Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Elements

Posted by staff | Posted in Role Playing | Posted on 14-09-2010

5

  • Follow the young hero Sareth, trained to fight the prophecy of the Dark Messiah, but facing revelati
  • The enhanced version of the powerful Source Engine from Valve brings you new jaw-dropping environmen
  • Challenge the forces of evil in 12 immense levels and learn to master over 40 weapons and dozens of
  • Explore a new and darker side of the legendary Might and Magic universe where the forces of evil are
  • By gaining experience through fighting, players will be able to unlock new skills or equipment in or

Product Description
Dark Messiah of Might & Magic X360… More >>

Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Elements

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Way back in 2002, developer Arkane Studios unleashed a little game called “Arx Fatalis,” inspired by classic titles such as “Ultima Underworld,” upon an unsuspecting public. The end result – pure greatness. A true, bona fide, and highly overlooked classic in the roleplaying genre.

In 2006, Arkane released its second game, “Dark Messiah of Might & Magic,” for the PC. It was a spinoff of the once popular roleplaying and turn-based strategy series that was nonetheless a departure due to its first-person, action-adventure gameplay. It wasn’t met with cheers by the gaming press as was “Arx,” but it wasn’t lambasted either.

2008. Enter the Xbox 360 port and/or adaptation, now with the added subtitle “Elements.” Gaming critics everywhere can’t be bothered with that old adage, “If you don’t have something nice to say…” If they are to be believed, this game sucks @$$. That’s right, GameSpot reviewer Brett Todd was so unimpressed he dismissed it with a 3.5 score out of 10. If you can believe everything you read, that should tell you to stay clear of this one.

And if you were to do so, that would be a real shame.

“Elements” casts you as Sareth, a mysterious and unenthusiastically voiced wizard’s apprentice who is about to unveil his destiny and save the world from sinister forces. But as this is a fantasy game, that goes without saying, doesn’t it? At any rate, the story is predictable but not entirely uninteresting despite so many abundant clichés, and, worst case scenario, it should keep you interested until the credits roll.

As Sareth, you may specialize in one of four classes as opposed to the PC version’s free-form adaptations. You begin the game by choosing his career path. In other words, you select whether or not you want him to be an in-your-face Warrior, an Archer who kills at a distance, a Mage who specializes in casting magic spells, or a sneaky Assassin who takes his enemies by surprise via stealth. The selection of these highly specialized classes vastly affects the way the game is played, and should add ample incentive for hardcore types to revisit the material again and again. That, alongside the option of good and evil decisions, multiple endings, and a single player campaign clocking in at over 9 hours on the first play-through, is reason enough to warrant a purchase if you’re a fantasy enthusiast.

The game is linear, however. Very linear. There are sometimes multiples ways to attack a problem, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Still, the game’s structure provides a tight, action-focused gaming experience with just a smattering of lite (and I do mean LITE) roleplaying elements. In fact, the game’s biggest flaw may well be its identity crisis. It’s not an RPG, and it’s not an FPS. To compare “Elements” to Raven’s “Hexen” would be apt. The emphasis here is on killing things, not leveling up. Even though you do level up and gain experience, it’s really, essentially an artificial system.

The combat is good. Using the game’s physics to kick unsuspecting foes into massive chasms or into raging fires is undeniably fun. In fact, using your environment to aid you in slaying your enemies is where the game really shines. Of course, a pretty diverse set of magic spells and archery options do their part in diversifying the experience, but melees have a good solid feel to them as you parry your opponents’ attacks and line up your own. Using adrenaline can even net you slo-mo fatalities like impaling your enemies and then kicking them brutally off the point of your sword.

The game is powered by Valve’s Source engine, still doing its thing. It nails atmosphere, which isn’t surprising given that “Arx” was one of the most atmospheric fantasy games ever made. Be it dark, brooding crypts or cliffside Orc cities, it all looks pretty good. That said, character models are basic and not the most impressive. I mean come on, despite the artistry on display here, the Source engine is beginning to show its age. The audio is pretty solid, though, apart from some uninspired voice acting and an incessant tune that always plays during the game’s loading screens (and trust me, it will drive you mad the deeper you delve into the game and the more loading screens you must be subjected to!).

If anything really stunts this game, it’s the lack of polish – which shouldn’t be an issue given that this is a port of a game that’s over a year old already. Glitches are commonplace, some of them absolutely infuriating and unforgivable. For example, on several occasions I got stuck on pieces of the environment and had to reload a past save to continue. At another time, the game’s audio went completely mute for no apparent reason. At first I thought it was an issue with my TV, but strangely when I exited to the title screen, the music was back again. This problem persisted until I shut down my 360 console and rebooted the entire thing.

Other issues include the occasional vague objective or two, some dopey developer decisions, and the inability to really guage the choices that will make your character lean toward the evil side of the spectrum until it’s already too late. Still, these niggles aside, which are certainly worth mentioning, this is NOT a bad game – and believe me, I’ve played my share. As time passes and more and more solid games are dismissed outright by reviewers like Brett Todd, I’m convinced that these people don’t really LIKE video games at all. Maybe they should go out and get a different job.

Your ability to enjoy “Dark Messiah of Might & Magic: Elements” ultimately depends on your ability to accept it for what it is. It’s not quite an FPS, and it’s not quite an RPG. Both its strengths and its weaknesses lie somewhere in the middle. Sure there are a few flaws and glitches, but none of it breaks what is an otherwise satisfying adventure game. It’s got nothing on Arkane’s previous effort and bears little resemblance, for better or worse, to other “Might & Magic” titles, but if you’re a fantasy fan who loves first-person hack and slash… your game has arrived – at least until Bethesda summons up the next chapter in the Elder Scrolls series.

Rating: 4 / 5

Well I guess I’m the one to go ahead and “Bite the Bullet.” I Bought this game and after a few hours of playing it, its not what I was expecting, but not entirely without merrit. First let me say, this game is unflinchingly linear compared to Oblivion and other games of the like, Its more akin to playing “Thief Deadly Shadows.”

The skill selction is extremely limited as well (You pick a class and your stuck with that Class’ Skills/Spells/Weapons) with no ability to mix and match the diferint skill sets. If your a Mage, you can’t use anything aside from your spells and a staff. If your a Warrior, get ready for a big sword and not much else. If your an Assassin, sure you can backstab and hide in the shadows, but you can’t equip a bow. If your an archer then this has become ye olde FPS, just don’t run out of ammo.

Don’t take this as a reason to give up on this game. Its like Playing 1st Ed. D&D just by your self (Haven’t tried Multiplayer yet, after some more people buy the game and get online with it, I’ll try it out and edit this review). The combat is acutally pretty good, with different Classes having a unique feel for combat and environmental objects adding spice to the mix. You can sneak up behind a gaurd taking a break by the fire and either backstab him, or boot him firmly face first into the fire and watch him scream. You could be being chased by a group of monsters leading them along and round a corner close to some wall spikes or other trap, just go Sub-zero on them by freezing the floor with an ice spell and watch the fun as they lose their balance and fall face first into the trap. You could take out the supports of a scafold and drop it along with whatever its holding onto your foes. Found a vase of Oil? Toss it at an enemy, shoot him with a flaming arrow and grab some marshmallows.

The gameplay is fun, and the game only holds your hand for about five minutes in the training stage before cutting you loose. Not very challenging at times, I only died once when I couldn’t find a way out of the courtyard of the first stage (not the training stage), but the game gives you a number of options in combat and it is easy to pick up if you have played Oblivion or other FP games. On a technical note the game does a good job with full body emmersion, your not just a floating pair of arms in this game.

Its not the best game, but its fun to play (The mage has a “Gravity Gun” spell) and offers a good story. It looks fairly good, not as good as it could have looked; and the voice acting is decent, but not spectacular. Its worth a couple of play throughs, and the multiplayer may further the replay value. Check it out if you like Fantasy games. Its not as good as Oblivion, but its a dang sight better that Two Worlds.

If it cost $40 I would give it a higher rating.
Rating: 3 / 5

I decided to purchase Dark Messiah not just after seeing the video preview on Amazon, but after watching a PC walkthrough of the game posted on youtube. The game footage looked awesome, and challenging. The person who was playing switched from a sword, to daggers, to a bow. It looked like so much fun. So imagine my disappointment when I got the game home for 360 and was rudely awakened to having to choose only ONE weapon of choice. I chose the archer – bow skill major, minor dagger skill. It took me a while to get over it, however there were certain points in the game where I wished I could wield a sword – particularly the end where I’m fighting Arentir and he summons those damn ghouls that just wouldn’t die. This was my major con for this game, that I was locked into mainly one type of weapon. Another con I had was because of faulty design. There is a part in the game where you have to chase the ghoul that has taken a crystal you need. If the ghoul gets too far ahead, you fail and have to redo it. However, as you reach different checkpoints the game auto-saves. Well I had just reached a checkpoint and the ghoul had gotten a bit ahead and I was told that I lost and I selected retry. The problem here being that I had JUST reached the checkpoint, so everytime the game loaded, right away the sreen would then say that I lost. I had to reload from my last major save, which was at the beginning of the chapter. I was not happy.

With the cons out of the way, on to the greatness. This game really excels in the way it allows you the freedom of determining how to dispatch of your enemies. You can choose to pick them off using melee or magic, or you can be creative and pick up a crate or barrel and toss it, knock down a ledge full of barrels, kick the enemy into fire, into a bed of spikes, off a cliff, off the ledge into water…the choices are endless and it just never gets old hearing those stupid orcs saying “stranger must die” before getting kicked off a cliff into the void. Tisk tisk, will they never learn?

The AI in the game is fairly strong. The enemy will block blows with a blade or shield or even try to kick you off a cliff into the void. There is a sneak mode in the game but it only really works well for someone who chooses the “assassin” class. Once the enemy hears you coming, they run toward you trash talking a bit and attempt to thrash you. If you take their life down far enough, they will run off to get backup.

The storyline is straight forward. It is a very linear game, where you have main objectives, and a few “choice” objectives (i.e. rescue Leanna or purge Xana). If you are looking for a game with an in-depth story, this is not the game for you, and you might consider renting in lieu of purchasing. However, if you are looking to spend a few hours kicking orcs off cliffs, stabbing necromancers in the neck, or impaling a zombie with your sword, this is the game for you.

If you are unsure of what the gameplay will be like, check out the walkthrough on youtube.

Rating: 4 / 5

If you’re looking for reasons to buy this game please read the few other, positive reviews for DMMM. I’m here to tell you why NOT to buy this game, or…if you’re going to buy it, don’t pay more than $20 bucks for it, at the most.

If you’re looking for fantasy based FPS multiplayer, it has yet to arrive on the Xbox 360. So few people own DMMM that finding a ranked multiplayer match is maddening. To even begin a match 8 people need to join the game BEFORE the match can begin. In fact the main reason I’m writing this review is because my wife and I sat around for a solid hour waiting for 6 other people to join. People would join but after waiting a min or so, would drop the game. A ranked match is the only way to get multiplayer achievements by the way.

As for the single player. DMMM is a weak FPS, and a downright terrible RPG. I’ve played my share of shooters and role playing games. As you progress in the linear game, you level up linearly. The voice acting is hollow and lifeless, which really detracts from the atmosphere. Also the sound mixers of the game must have tried to make all the sounds as loud as possible. When the game starts up the Ubisoft video blares at you, each time you forget to turn your speakers all the way down. Music is repetitive and uninspiring.

Load times are about 20 seconds long. So if you’re in a tough spot in the game, and you die repeatedly, tag on 20 seconds for each retry. And you get to hear the same load music (which is composed of all percussion instruments)

I am a fool. I bought this game for $60 bucks new, so did my wife. ($120) I went to GameStop to trade in this waste of plastic, and they wanted to offer me $9 for each copy. Ouch. Apparently they don’t think much of DMMM either.

Now this last part is sad to say. I’ve had more fun playing the Xbox Live Demo of DMMM than the full game. I’ve quit the full game, only to return to the demo, Cuz that’s where the action is.

If you’ve stayed with me this far, I ask a favor of you. Please help me make up for my mistake, don’t buy this game new.
Rating: 1 / 5

Just pretend you’re playing Oblivion, but just the main quest. I only went through as the wizard, but I got the idea. I never got a stealth kill, I never sniped a dude with an arrow, and I never took on five guys in hand to hand combat, but by the time I was done with the game… I was done. If any of those things that I missed out on sound cool to you, Pick your warrior accordingly. Otherwise be the wiz. He’s soft at first, but about an hour in, his magic rocks. The game has stuff hidden everywhere, and that alone kept me looking till world seven… then I sped through the rest. I paid about ten bucks after shipping, and I would say it was worth it. Don’t pay any more unless you a hardcore into these games (might and magic). But I’ll warn anyone who’s not. Oblivion is better in almost every way. Fighting is flashier in DMMM, but the weapons are fewer and almost all the same. That sums up every aspect of the game. Fun for a little while.
Rating: 3 / 5

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