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January 7th, 2008, 20:16
TVG has posted a rather unforgiving preview of Ubisoft's latest incarnation of the Might & Magic franchise, the XBox 360 exclusive, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic:Elements, summing it up as of this early view as a bargain bin candidate:

…Cue one the introduction to what is shaping up to be one of the least satisfying combat systems in console gaming. And no, we're not kidding. The success of a game is won or lost in the opening minutes and hours spent with it, and if the preview build's opening missions are indicative of the final complete version, then Dark Messiah's potential performance could prove disastrous. Depending on whether you've chosen the tank-like warrior with his double-edged blade, or either of the other classes in Elements, the combat is either bland or pointless. In fact, the dependency on Mana if you're a Mage is so high thanks to inadequacy of the Wooden Staff, that all too often we were forced to kick enemies backwards time after time, hoping that they'd fall into the nearest [fire] and burn…
And the summing up:

It doesn't take much to realise why Ubisoft has added the all-important 'Elements' to the game's title, if there is any semblance at all between this version and the final release: like Hydrogen it's light, like Nitrogen it's bland - and like Sulphur it stinks. Let's hope that an intensive final few weeks will have brought Elements up to scratch because otherwise Xbox 360 gamers could be the recipients of one of the poorest titles on the console to date.
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January 7th, 2008, 20:16
I don't think that I have ever seen a preview of a game that unfavorable. Is this essentially a straight port of the PC version?
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January 7th, 2008, 20:22
From what I'm getting basically yes, though it's referred to once as an "expanded port" so there may be some additional features or content. I agree this doesn't sound like your usual rosy preview.
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January 7th, 2008, 20:33
Yes and no is how I understand it. I downloaded the demo and there have certainly been made some changes.

One is that you choose a career from the menu and then as you progress through the game you are automatically awarded a predetermined skill instead of choosing it yourself, meaning that you'll not be able to play as sword and shield melee fighter who can throw a mean fireball from time to time or the stealthy assassin who can also equip a decent sword.

Consequently the inventory/user interface has changed rather significantly also. Regarding the game itself, it is my understanding that most of the levels are the same, though the tutorial in the demo is not a map seen in the PC game.

The demo level is simply too short for me to make any kind of assumption about the quality of the port but this review is indeed a smack in the face to Ubisoft and whoever did the port. Ouch!
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January 8th, 2008, 03:28
Ouch, first time I have been glad a game is console exclusive.
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January 8th, 2008, 06:18
I got the review yesterday on my mag. It got 88%. The game is mostly just like in PC except for the artificial/unlogical/stupid simplification done with the classes which is the only complaint.
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