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Default Dark Messiah - Retrospective @ Eurogamer

September 20th, 2011, 03:12
Dark Messiah isn't usually the sort of game that gets a retrospective, which makes this article at Eurogamer a little unusual:
Released in 2008 by Arkane Studios, of Arx Fatalis and the upcoming Dishonored, Dark Messiah was made in Source, Half-Life 2's engine. The similarities between them, few as they are, dwell in the strength of Source: its physics. Importantly, though, rather than go down the route of Half-Life 2's physics puzzles, Arkane made a game shot through with that physicality, permeating the entire game world. Things that you'd expect to react to a bunch of medieval fantasy dudes duking it out do react to a bunch of medieval fantasy dudes duking it out.
Attic floors, constructed of half-rotten wooden planks placed down by some cowboy carpenter, splinter and snap when put under the pressure of a lobbed crate, taking the three guards you really didn't want to have to deal with down to a sticky end on the floor below. A chandelier swings wildly out of control when you cut the rope that was so courageously holding it back. Men get crushed, all the bloody time, because you're just the kind of curious sadist that Arkane made the game for.
More importantly, these tactics are all but required if you don't want to die constantly. Dark Messiah treads the tricky line of empowering you without ever making you feel superhuman. Your opponents don't have noticeably less health than you, and there's rarely a time when you'll be facing them one at a time.
More information.
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September 20th, 2011, 03:12
This game proved that you don't need swords or spells in an adventure - you just need a good, sturdy boot.
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September 20th, 2011, 03:57
I really dug this game at the time and have actually been replaying it recently, making this retrospective timely. It's a really good melee fighter if you like that kind of thing and because we're stuck with 6 year old hardware as a baseline it still looks modern today.
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September 20th, 2011, 04:44
Yup, because of XBOX games will not venture foward technologically. Had alot of fun with this one though.
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September 20th, 2011, 08:04
I'll be honest: I REALLY enjoyed that game . The plot isn't great (even if there are two different endings, which is difficult to see even in modern RPGs), but I really liked the setting, especially the central part of the game, and the combat… Yeah, I really wanted to see a combat system like that in Skyrim for example: it's fast, violent, and a bit strategic too (should I burn, slash, freeze or kick to death my enemies ?).
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September 20th, 2011, 10:29
A great game. I play it through every now and then.
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September 20th, 2011, 13:57
I played through it back when it was released and enjoyed it. That being said, it was a letdown compared to Arx Fatalis or any of the real M&M games.
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September 20th, 2011, 13:59
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
This game proved that you don't need swords or spells in an adventure - you just need a good, sturdy boot.


Yeah, I used that boot all the time, no matter what came too close I booted it. I often booted orcs off cliffs and platforms as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4HGs896hKk

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September 20th, 2011, 15:00
I thought it was a great game that could have used a bit of polish/balancing; was sad it did poorly in the market and did not receive a follow on. I really like arkane and hope their work for bethesda shows the same ingenuity
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September 20th, 2011, 15:04
Nice article. It's one of my favourite games ever. The only thing sad about it is that the game could and should have been more complex. I love it the way it is though, a true gem, the kind of gem that only Arkane can make.
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September 20th, 2011, 19:23
As much as I liked this game, I always felt it needed to be a bit… more. It needed to be cranked up to 11, be a bit crazier. When I saw the previews, especially the giant cyclops battle, I expected something a bit more… Conanesque. Instead, it was more subdued, which isn't a bad thing, but I always think of what I expected it to be when I see it mentioned.

OK, so maybe leave this game the way it is, since it is pretty damn good as it is, but make a faster, furiouser, rampaging funfest with the same sort of gameplay! (Wow, if feels weird to be asking for a more actiony game )
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September 20th, 2011, 19:24
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I played through it back when it was released and enjoyed it. That being said, it was a letdown compared to Arx Fatalis or any of the real M&M games.
I played it too and enjoyed it for what it had to offer. But like you, all I ever think about is Arx 2… where is it?

No Arx 2 makes me REALLY MAD!

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September 20th, 2011, 21:39
The new M&M setting is meh. It's not a cRPG. The story is not much better than average high school fan fiction.
Why the hell I like this game so much?!
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September 21st, 2011, 06:38
Only recently played this. Honestly I found some items game-breakingly unbalanced but somehow that didn't render the game any less enjoyable. And even though I didn't take the stealth route, I found the continual nods to Thief to be so much fun.
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