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Dark Messiah Might and Magic PC Review - -

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.6
Sound 8.8
Value 8.5
Developer: UbiSoft
Review Date:
February 2007
Edwin & Shael Millheim
Classification: M15+


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Dark Messiah Might and Magic

Game reviewed on an Alienware system

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Dark Messiah Might and Magic at a passive glance may look like yet another dungeon crawl, or oh no another Oblivion type game. While the games do have some minor similarities…the whole Swords and Sorcery vein… that is where the likenesses end. The game is a surprising, very absorbing, and yes…FUN game. Dark Messiah Might and Magic thrusts the player into the boots of Sareth, a young man who is the pupil of a mage known as Phenrig. As Sareth the players have some of the standard ways of fighting off all sorts of enemy and beasts. Swords, daggers, bo staves and of course the Bow and Arrow are all familiar weapons in the game. Happily enough the character Sareth also has a few martial skills as well, so kicking the crap out of an enemy is just as satisfying. Speaking of which, the game takes some pretty, dare I say it, Interesting and fun ways to dispatch a foe.

If the player is skilled enough they can get the enemy set up in front of a spiked door or something like that and kick them into the spikes. What sinful fun! Or they can kick them over a ledge, set them on fire, spring a trap or use other objects in the environment to cause all manner of mayhem.

The implementation of combat, physics and the environment makes the game stand out and you can forgive the game for having so many scripted events. Nothing like Oblivion’s seemingly wide open world to explore, Dark Messiah has a very solid scripted story and scripted events that rocket the player along in this adventure. At times nail biting and keeping the player on the edge of their seats, like the very fast and furious chase across a castle keeps roof tops and building scaffolding. The adrenaline was pumping and a fall to a final death for the character seemed all too real at times. Sequences like this make the game a stand out amongst the sword and sorcery RPG genre.

The RPG elements come into play with the characters skill tree which the player can grow in skills as they earn skill points. The player spends the skill points in several different areas of ability. Pretty much all of the ability titles are self explanatory, the weapons skills, spell skills and miscellaneous skills. Well maybe the miscellaneous skills should be explained a bit. These are basic every day skills that the character grows more skilled at, such as walking silently, disarming traps or getting an increase in Mana (energy that gives the magic power.) and of course increases of health. Since there are several abilities and choices that have to be made, and on what to spend the skill points on this is just the tip of the Role Playing aspect. Now ad in also how the character is played, either all stealthy, or more of a magic caster or an up to the elbows in enemies fighter…there is a lot of surprising customizability to the game.

For those hard core fans of the Might and Magic line, there is enough here that keeps to the spirit of the Might and Magic series to hold it’s own and then ads to the ever expanding series. Some have bulked at the games departure from the world of Xeen, but I found this to be a bold new chapter in the game line. In fact the factual world of reviewer’s world wide seems to be split about the game. I loved it and perhaps gave it a higher score than most would have. While it is true that some of the game can seem repetitive, this is a bold game that deserves the recognition. Too true that sometimes it seems kicking someone does more damage than smacking them with a sword, but I can forgive the game for this, because the fun and over all graphic beauty of the game far outweigh any cracks in it’s armor.

Graphically, Dark Messiah is just a drop dead eye pleaser and that’s not enough you have lot’s of action and of course mix in the whole immersive story and you’re talking about one superb game. As for a few bugs that seem to crop up in a lot of these games…just hop on over to Ubisoft and get the game patches, just remember to apply patch one, then patch two in that order. We did have some graphic issues, but that seemed to get fixed with a much needed update of the graphics card drivers.

Now, while some of the voice acting here and there can be a bit heavy on the cheesy side, most of it just seems to fit right in. Sound and music are superb with every foot fall and clash of steel on steel ringing out in spectacular sense shattering sounds.

Dark Messiah Might and Magic can be pretty demanding graphically and those with an Nvidia Geforce 7 series card will probably really see what the graphics engine is capable of, but the game can be toggled down graphically a bit for those that are having some slow down issues.

Shael points out while her favorite game is still Oblivion, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic really drew her in and made her want to stay along for the ride. It’s a surprisingly well done game all around and if you have been holding off like me with the thoughts that it was just yet another sword and sorcery game…do your self a favor, grab the demo and be prepared to be surprised. Dark Messiah Might and Magic is sure to cast it’s spell on you.

Have fun play games
Edwin Millheim

Sit back, relax, and let’s play
Shael Millheim



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