Dark Messiah of Might & Magic - All News
Friday - October 21, 2016
Dark Messiah - Retrospective Review
BitGamer looks back at Dark Messiah of Might and Magic:
Ten Years On: Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
It’s fascinating to look back at Dark Messiah through the lens of Dishonored. So much of what made Arkane’s magical murder sim special is built atop of foundations originally laid in this curious chapter in the studio’s history: the multiple ways you can approach combat; the game’s creative relationship with physics and the environment; first-person sword-fighting that actually works. Even Dishonored's in-combat music is a variation of the score used in Dark Messiah.
Despite some ropey production, I think Dark Messiah has aged very well indeed, perhaps even better than the game which eclipsed it when it originally released. Oblivion’s template has been surpassed by Bethesda’s later open-world titles. But Dark Messiah offers a very different experience to Dishonored, and this has helped it endure. At the same time, it shares its most important lasting quality. It offers you a world that you can return to over and over and discover a dozen new ways to play with.
Tuesday - March 15, 2016
Dark Messiah - Retrospective Review
Review REDUX - Dark Messiah of Might & Magic
In this video, I take another look at the rather overlooked first-person action-RPG, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic.
Tuesday - September 20, 2011
Dark Messiah - Retrospective @ Eurogamer
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.
Friday - December 21, 2007
Dark Messiah - Demo for Xbox Port Released
For those interested in the XBox 360 version of Arkane Studios and Ubisoft's Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Elements, a demo has been released. Shack News reports it available on Xbox Live Marketplace, and Gamebanshee provides a link to a download at Major Nelson.
From the ShackNews piece:
Newly available on the Xbox Live Marketplace this morning is a demo for Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements. The 689mb download includes single-player and multiplayer content.
Developed by Ubisoft Annecy, the Xbox 360 port of Arkane Studio's 2006 PC action/adventure game features new single-player content and additional multiplayer maps. Elements will be released February 5.
Sunday - August 19, 2007
RPGWatch Feature: Dark Messiah Review
The Leipzig Games Convention starts next week and we'll have heaps of news on upcoming games - so we have just enough time to catch up on some articles we fell behind on. Our original Dark Messiah review didn't pan out, but Mike Anderson decided to go back take a look at how Arkane's action romp stands the test of time:
My basic description of Dark Messiah Might and Magic is "Half Life 2 meets Arx Fatalis meets Blade of Darkness." The game is powered by the Half-Life 2 Engine, developed by the same folks who brought us Arx Fatalis and based in the storied Might & Magic universe, and features a visceral melee combat style reminiscent of the brutal action game Blade of Darkness (Severence to some). The game has already angered fans of both role-playing games, because this effort took Arkane studios away from making Arx Fatalis 2 and also because this game has very little to do with the Might & Magic franchise, other than using the name.
Unfortunately that is only the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong. Let me get one thing out of the way for those who have played the demo or some of the game and are outraged at the score - this game can be loads of fun. I finished it, went back and played more using a different skill-tree approach and keep loading old saves just to play through some of the areas. It is fun - but that doesn't mean it's very good. Look at it this way - when my kids were toddlers they would often like the box more than the toy that came in the box; but that doesn't make the box a great toy.
Monday - June 25, 2007
Dark Messiah - Elements Trailer
TeamXbox has Ubisoft's "announcement" trailer for Dark Messiah Elements, for anyone watching the Xbox 360 version of Arkane's action game.
Wednesday - May 23, 2007
Dark Messiah - "Elements" X360 Version
Eurogamer is reporting that a brochure for an Ubisoft event in Paris has a logo for "Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Elements". It's an even bet whether this is an addon to Arkane's action effort or a console port. Elements is due to be demonstrated during Ubidays, so we'll find out soon.
[Update] ...And here it is. I missed a later Eurogamer newsbit that reveals Elements as an updated Xbox 360 port:
Ubisoft has revealed at its event in Paris that Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Elements is an Xbox 360 title.
It will be a port of the game that appeared on PC last year, but with new and additional content.
Wednesday - May 16, 2007
Dark Messiah - Review @ Just Adventure
Most of the Dark Messiah reviews have faded into the past but Just Adventure has just posted an unusual critique that's as much game history lesson as anything else. There's no score and I'm not really sure exactly how the author sees the game as a whole but here's a sample:
Let us not forget the plot. The plot is the thing in my book and the plot in this game is about Sareth the orphan who happens to be adopted or raised by a wizard named Phenrig. Sareth needs to find out his true identity and Phenrig and his friends help him do this by presenting him with quests. Phenrig puts a demoness named Xana in your head who you can talk to. Talking to Cortana helps alleviate the loneliness that assaults most single character adventurers.
Unfortunately the plot is linear. Everyone knows I prefer open ended game plots, such as the one from Faster Than Light’s SunDog: The Frozen Legacy, released in 1984 for Atari ST and Apple II. The design was by Bruce Webster and Wayne Holder. Be a space trader, be a mercenary, be a bounty hunter, etc. You can do almost anything as you explore the galaxy and upgrade your ship engines, weapons, etc. This type of game was tried in the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons gold box games (Pool of Radiance, Strategic Simulations, 1988). You explored, you found new places and you forged off in another direction. In the end you came to the same climax.
Tuesday - March 06, 2007
Dark Messiah - Post Mortem Interview @ CVG
Brit site CVG caught up with Arkane's Raphaël Colantonio to look back at Dark Messiah in an article format interview. It's not terribly long or revealing but a few thoughts do get through:
"We love the games where you have multiple approaches to the terrain. It was just a matter of time investment, and at some point in the development we realised we shouldn't do a Thief-style game. Thief's one of my favourite games, but the fact is, if you take ten people and make them play Dark Messiah for the first time, then nine out of ten will play it with a sword or as a magician. It's a special kind of player who's drawn to stealth. Plus, we have this interesting combat system, so it's going to be more rewarding for them to play with that. The stealth in Dark Messiah is more for the second-time player, who's finished it with a sword and wants a new challenge."
Tuesday - February 27, 2007
Dark Messiah - MP Steam Patch
We jumped the gun on a previous Dark Messiah MP update on Steam so I've lost track of them - but since this one is dated Feb 26th, I'll assume it's new. Head over for the full patch notes.
Wednesday - February 21, 2007
Dark Messiah - v1.04 MP Steam Patch
A new multiplayer patch for Dark Messiah can be nabbed via Steam, taking the game to v1.04. You can fire up Steam or head to Worthplaying where we noticed this item to read the notes.
Tuesday - February 06, 2007
Dark Messiah - Review @ Gamers Europe
A new review at Gamers Europe for Dark Messiah carries the strong score of 8.5/10:
The best part of the combat system is the adrenaline bar. Although most of the environments are pseudo-weapons in themselves (that contain rocks, spikes, oil jars and crates), power striking an enemy a few times will fill your adrenaline bar, allowing you to unleash a very powerful attack. This special move depends on the weapon or spell in your hand, but its effects are always decisive. Decapitations and impalings are common, hence the large red 15s label mentioned earlier.
Harsher critics will argue that Dark Messiah is nothing but an overwrought mod for a middle aged game. While hallmarks of the Source engine are very prevalent in the menus and style of physics engine used, it has to be said that the location-based targeting is a big step up from what we’ve seen before. I can’t think of many games that depict lost limbs and scenes graphic enough to cause guffaws of surprise and shock.
Tuesday - January 30, 2007
Dark Messiah - Single Player Maps
Prima Games official Guide to Dark Messiah Might & Magic lacked the single player maps, which are now available in a pdf here.
Saturday - December 23, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Fragland
Speaking of Arkane, Dark Messiah has been reviewed at Fragland. The score is 76.5% and here's a snip:
In the beginning the levels are quite easy with few enemies, to let you get used to the controls and stuff. The levels do get more and more complicated, but the balance is disrupted by the strength of your enemies. Until somewhere in the middle of the game you notice the fights get more difficult, but once past the zombies in the catacombs, fighting isn’t that hard anymore. Bosses aren’t much of a challenge too, they’re just bigger, that’s all. Sometimes there are too few enemies, meaning you’re wandering around for a while without encountering something or someone. It’s almost as if it’s meant to make the game longer, although it doesn’t really take long to finish it. If you take your time, explore a lot and search for secret areas (where bonuses can be found), you might need a reasonable time. If you go straight to your targets, the game will quickly be over.
Thursday - December 21, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Bjorn3D
Somehow it doesn't get any more obscure than this, but Bjorn3D has posted a very detailed and positive review of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. The bottom line is that Bjorn has given the game his seal of approval with a final score of 8/10:
Might and Magic: Dark Messiah brings some very interesting and innovative ideas to all gamers out there. A first person shooter mixed up with RPG elements is not something we encounter every day and innovation is something we, as gamers, encourage…
Bring into this equation the fact that it is based on an enhanced version of the Source engine and you’ll have some idea of what to expect to see once you run it. It also features an extremely fun and tactical multiplayer mode featuring 5 totally different classes to choose from.
The game could have scored much higher but a few bugs and glitches prevent it from doing so and that is just a shame. If you are not looking for a (too) deep RPG game, I promise you won’t be disappointed…
Wednesday - December 20, 2006
Dark Messiah - Video Interview @ Hexus.tv
Hexus.tv has a video interview with Ubisoft Community Manager Chris Easton about Dark Messiah.
Dark Messiah - MP Steam Update
Valve's Steam site has news of a Multiplayer update to Dark Messiah:
Updates to Dark Messiah Might and Magic Single Player have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. Numerous map changes are present in this update.
Dark Messiah - Review @ Yiya.de
The German site Yiya.de posted their review of Arcane Studio´s Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. They are slightly disappointed. According to them the game can´t really live up to the hype and it´s more fantasy shooter than RPG. It still an entertaining and competent action game, which is enough to earn a weak B.
Sunday - December 17, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ GameDaily
Saying it has "squeal like a school-girl charm", GameDaily's review of Dark Messiah scored 8/10. Here's the opening:
On the surface, Dark Messiah Might and Magic is a masterful reinvention of a legendary franchise, taking turn based strategy role playing elements and transforming it into a first person action "shooter." While this isn't new (Deus Ex) the magical infusion of these ingredients, combined with a robust multiplayer component and a brass knuckled pulp fantasy story helps make Messiah one of the more enjoyable games of the year.
Thursday - December 14, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Boomtown
Boomtown has a review of Dark Messiah, with a score of 6/10. Here's a snip that insists comparisons with Oblivion are valid:
You are Sareth. The lowly apprentice of the wizard Phenrig. With his guidance you must steam full pelt into a wide variety of challenges like climbing ropes and kicking relatively broken pieces of wood, with the odd 'save that person's life' or 'kill that dragon' thrown in for good measure. These challenges are not fought alone, though. Before you set off on your journey of self-discovery, Phenrig creates your in-head guidance as a beautiful if bitterly witless seamstress called Xana. She'll be the one telling you what to do next if you ever find yourself without direction.
Which is highly unlikely, may I add. In terms of the story and missions, DM tries just a little too hard to be epic. As much as people disdain comparisons between it and Oblivion, the only reason to disregard them (irrespective of the genre) is because DM does seem to attempt emulation and yet has the narrative consistency of a bog-standard run-'n'-gun FPS. Xana's presence is practically pointless because the types of missions require little more than kill them, steal that, turn this, etc. Mind power has no place in this fantasy.
Dark Messiah - Scathing Review @ The Game Chair
The Game Chair, a site dedicated to playing games in depth and writing 'progressive' reviews (usually three parts), has called a halt to the review process after a single part and scored Dark Messiah of Might & Magic a paltry 2/4:
Oh, Dark Messiah, how do I hate thee; let me count the ways. First let’s talk about storyline. I’ve played some misogynist lite games in my day; however, Dark Messiah features a storyline which may even cause certain Custer’s Revenge developers to blush with envy. I play as the apprentice of a completely mad sorcerer bent on world domination. Neither of us appears to have any motivations whatsoever. Oh yea, did I mention that I’m also possessed by a shape-shifting soft-core dominatrix? Don’t ask; I have no idea. All I know is that she wants me to learn to enjoy the pain. My soul sharing porn-fairy also makes continuous unCortana like comments in her hornster drawl. I’m sure the actress involved had to take several showers after that recording session. Combine this poor acting with cutscenes that somehow manage to look worse than the game engine and you have a recipe for disaster.
Tuesday - December 12, 2006
Dark Messiah - Interview with Raphael Colantonio @ Gamasutra
GS: So is that what convinced you to start the studio in Austin?
RC: It’s this word that I use all of the time, “passion.” It’s just, you don’t really think in terms of “let’s make some money,” when you start your own studio; what kind of business plan is getting together four guys to make their own engine for an RPG, none of us having done an RPG, and also in a context where RPGs and the PC market are declining? What kind of a business plan is that? It’s only passion that would drive that kind of craziness.
You work on the game and it takes about two or three years of your life, maybe longer, and at the end you’re three years older! You look back on your life and you think “what have I done with those three years?” It’s like being divorced. I really wanted to be working on things that I feel proud of, that I really wanted to do, so I felt emotionally attached to them.
A lot of the games that I loved in the past were created in Austin, from Origin with the Ultimas, Ion Storm did Deus Ex there, a game I really liked too, so when I went there for the first time I was really like, “wow.” I really thought the place was amazing, and that one day, if we needed to expand, it would be there. I didn’t even have a company when I was thinking that!
Source: Shack News
Dark Messiah - 1.02 Patch @ Fileshack
Fileshack has the latest 1.02 patch for Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. Patches are available for English and German retail editions.
Source: Shack News
Thursday - December 07, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ UGO
UGO has posted a review of Dark Messiah. Saying it was a "a fun, but not classic, experience", the score is 'B':
Unfortunately, not every build is that great. Those who go strong melee with the game's single heal spell to back themselves up with will find they have a much easier time than someone who plays as a thief, caster, or archer. Thieves have to spend far too long setting up single instant kills and still wind up stuck in fights with multiple opponents in their face anyway. Spellcasters will find that damage spells drain their mana very quickly and usually have to be augmented with additional melee attacks as well as mana potions (sure, there is a skill that allows mana regeneration to increase by a massive amount, but you won't get access to this until somewhere around halfway through the game at the very least - and that's if you didn't spend skill points on any actual damage spells). Bow users will find that the skills you can increase to make bows work better just don't do much, and since even those skills don't cost many points, you'll likely just dump them into the game's excellent melee abilities anyway.
Wednesday - December 06, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Game Industry
Game Industry has the second very positive review of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. The scoring system is with "GI Gems" with a total of 5 possible. The reviewer scored DMoMM with 4.5 'gems' and said:
Depending on the path you choose, there are multiple endings. I found four of them. I kind of thought the endings should be more flushed out. They are all quite similar and even steal graphics from one another. I would have liked to know what happened to the various characters you interacted with based on your choices in the game (at least the ones that were still alive) or to see you and your chosen partner (trying not make this a spoiler) living happily or not so happily in the world you created. Come on Arkane, if someone fights their way all the way to the end of your adventure, you owe them just a bit more pizzazz than what you gave. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the single player campaign.
Owing to its shooter-like nature, Dark Messiah also comes with a huge multiplayer component. This is set up a lot Team Fortress from Half-life, with different character classes that can act as spies, frontline troops or sniper archers. It’s pretty fun to play a game like that in a medieval setting, and adds a nice touch to a pretty good single player experience, upping the value score by a significant amount. My guess is that most people will buy Dark Messiah for the single player fun, and then stumble into quite a good multiplayer arena that is worth the price of admission.
If you prefer action in your RPGs, then Dark Messiah is your ticket. It could have been billed as a medieval shooter with role-playing elements just as easily, and unlike most hybrid type titles, does well with a foot in both places.
Dark Messiah - Reviews @ Guru of 3D
Guru of 3D has the first review of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. The reviewer liked the action-RPG combination and said:
Dark Messiah, Might & Magic is an extremely satisfying attempt at revitalizing the hack’n’slash adventure come RPG genre, and for the most part it pulls it off extremely well. The combat and feel of the game is fantastic, it makes good use of the source engines physics capabilities, as well as some fantastic HDR effects, and the story is generally pretty solid. For some reason though, I finished the game thinking it could have been that bit better.
Monday - December 04, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Gameplanet.nz
Gameplanet.nz has kicked up a review of Dark Messiah. The score is 4/5 and here's that ubiquitous comparison:
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is, without a doubt, a great game to play. With every facet of what you'd expect in an RPG fully exposed for your gaming pleasure, you can certainly believe that Arkane Studios have not left a single stone unturned in their pursuit to create the near-perfect RPG. And the question of the day - is it better than Oblivion? That we just can't say but we can certainly vouch for the game on its own merit and rank it as a game that could easily give Oblivion a run for its money. Bottom line, if you are an RPG fan, you won't want to miss out on Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, especially so close to the Christmas season.
Sunday - December 03, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Gamers Hell
Gamers Hell has kicked up their review of Dark Messiah. The score is 6.7/10, with the reviewer a little disappointed it isn't a real RPG:
ARX FATALIS was an RPG told from first-person perspective. DARK MESSIAH, in contast, is really a first-person shooter with some rather minor RPG elements. You begin (and end) as a character named Sareth, and while you learn a variety of skills, spells, and weapons along the way, your journey doesn't entail much in the way of customization. You can learn spells and skills that take your character a little more or less in the direction of a healer, fighter, or mage, but since the single player campaign is primarily a solo one, the best skills and spells are those which increase your strength, stamina, health, and offensive abilities.
Dark Messiah - Music Interview @ IGN
IGN's music subsite has an interview with Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan about their creation of the music for Arkane's Dark Messiah:
IGN Music: Since Brunet approached you to demo for the project, what was it about it that made you want to get involved? You know, what was so special about Dark Messiah of Might & Magic as opposed to some of the other videogames you've worked on? Was it a case of where the themes of the game seem like something that would challenge you in terms of coming up with immersive music?
Cris Velasco: I've been a fan of the Might and Magic games since I was a kid. Being able to create a new sound for this world was a great challenge and an honor to me. Ubisoft and Arkane have taken this franchise in an exciting new direction and we wanted the score to reflect that. One of the hardest things to do is to give a game its own unique sound. I think we were able to do that. Every track sounds different, of course, but they are instantly recognizable as having the "Dark Messiah" sound.
Friday - December 01, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Celestial Heavens
Might & Magic fansite Celestial Heavens has reviewed Dark Messiah. Despite noting some design questions and technical issues, the score is still 8.1/10:
Dark Messiah takes place 20 years after the end of Heroes of Might and Magic V. After a short prologue, a young man called Sareth is sent by his master to the city of Stonehelm to give an artifact called the Shantiri Crystal to Menelag the wizard. From there, the game will quickly put you in the middle of the action and let you progress through nine chapters and one epilogue of various lengths. You see the world through the eyes of Sareth, who travels alone most of the time, and the games does a good job to let you identify to the character: if you look down you will see your feet, if you climb a ladder you field of vision will be limited on each side, if you are thrown by a creature you will end up on the ground, looking at the enemy who is towering you. Unfortunately, that effect is spoiled by the fact that all conversations in the game are scripted and spoken. Similarly, the game gives you very little freedom in your travels. You are supposed to go from point A to point B, and besides a few exceptions, walls, closed doors and dead-ends will force you to follow the path drawn by the developers. As a consequence, your tour of the city of Stonehelm is limited to a few streets and buildings. There is no shop around, bystanders will barely say a few words and ignore you when you talk to them, and the objectives in your journal are merely a list of things to do before you get to the next chapter. However, the first time you come across an enemy, you quickly find out that your trips around Stonehelm will not be a walk in the park.
Thursday - November 30, 2006
Dark Messiah - Patch 1.02 Fixlists
Ubisoft released the fixlists for the upcoming patches 1.02 for Dark Messiah - first for single player:
Patch 1.02 changes and bug fixes
- Combat Difficulty has been raised for "Hard" mode
- Added a new "Hardcore" difficulty mode
- Re balanced NPCs strength & health on the second half of the game for all difficulty modes
- Added an intermediary "Texture" setting between "Medium" & "High". "High" could create an overload with some video card memory, so to offer more scalability, it has been renamed to "Very High" and the "High" option now offer "Medium" textures for the scenery but "High" textures for the NPCs.
- No More Crash on NPCs behead (that happened with the “head_link” error message)
- Fixed the black BINK playback problem with GeForce FX video cards
- Fix FPS drops with GeForce 6800
- No More graphical glitch on GeForce FX cards when player is under water
- No More graphical glitch on GeForce FX cards when player is being hit or is almost dead
- No More graphical glitch on GeForce FX cards equipping a Magic Weapon.
- If you still have trouble, please set GFX Detail to “Low”
- Fixed additional stuttering problems, linked to Expression files being
- Saved Game system changed to the new Async System to prevent too much stuttering when the game is auto saving (if you’re still experience problem, you may want to disable the Auto Save feature in the “Gameplay” options menu)
- GFX Option is now properly Saved
- Avoid Rope Bow to disappear under the world surface before getting it
- Fixed inconsistency with the way Xana behaves during “City of the Flames” chapter events depending on player’s choices
- Fixed a bug where the giant spider was not spawned at all.
- Fixed a bug with some potions being destroyed on map spawn in the “Temple of the Spider” chapter
- GFX Detail level Option is now properly translated in the french version
- Avoid user from being stuck in the walls while using the Rope Bow
- Final Boss has been re-balanced
- Removed some dev button that could be found behind some walls in the Epilogue
- Fixed the way some objectives were badly managed with the Pao Kai in the last chapter
- Removed an improper “use” flag on some wooden beams in “Gleam of a Cold Knife”
- NPC immune to Telekinesis can't be grabbed using Telekinesis Spell when they are in ragdoll behavior
- Arrows that are out of the Game world are now Removed properly to prevent Framerate to slowly decrease to zero
- Max number of potions/food you can stack in your inventory is now properly checked
- Avoid the Ghoul script to be broken in some cases if player used the bow to attack the creature in “Dead Man's Trail”
- Remove small memory leak on the Particle System
- Remove small memory leak on clear value
...and for Multiplayer:
Patch 1.02 changes and bug fixes
New game mode
Capture The Flag
Significant optimisations for sounds, textures and particles on lower-specification hardware
Defend your team's flag while stealing the enemy flag.
You must have both flags at your own base to score.
Scoring a flag will give XP to all players on the scoring team.
Returning your own flag also gives personal XP.
Flags will not appear until there are players on both teams, and the 'battle begins' timer has finished
Picking up a flag will slow you down, disables your weapon and briefly highlights you to the enemy team.
Pressing fire when holding a flag will drop it and allow you to fight (be careful not to pick the flag up again when fighting)
Dropped flags return to their base when touched by their team, or after 20 seconds.
These can be found in the Options->Gameplay tab, and will generally require a restart of the game engine to use.
Character LOD values lower by default (can be returned to higher quality by users in config files)
Option to use alternative particles
New high performance particles for all spell effects. Total particles reduced, 'distort' effects removed, dynamic lights reduced. (This replaces the particle sliders)
Option to disable streamed sounds
prevents sound being streamed from the hard drive during play. May improve framerates, but will disable some ambient noise.
Option to use lower quality texturemaps
reduces load times and increases framerates for almost all users.
Option to force simplified texture surfaces (this disables Normal mapping and Specular mapping). Will speed up loading times, especially for low RAM users, but the visual quality is reduced.
Recompiled spawn point error fixed
Recompiled ambient sounds improved, framerate optimised, spawnpoint error fixed
Recompiled framerate optimisations (detail models now fade earlier)
Portcullises at final Undead point now lock open for last flag. New route added to final quadrant. Ambient sounds optimised.
Assassin Backstab improved
Assassin Triggered Poison Orbs
Recharge time added, Mana cost added
Mage Lightning Orb
no longer instant-fire, must be charged, will not hit behind caster when cast.
Mage Flame Arrow & Lightning Shock damage adjusted for maxed elemental alignments.
Projectile flight speed reduced
Priestess is now informed how many team-mates have been mass resurrected or healed
Warrior Leaping Attack fixed
Warrior Safeguard now defends only in an arc in front of the character (you will need to track lightning orbs/fireballs to be protected)
Warrior Safeguard now costs mana to create, and takes mana if it is hit by a spell. If mana is depleted, the Safeguard will fall.
Warrior Safeguard now emits a noise telling players it is active
Warrior shield no longer interferes with the movement model with when hit by an arrow
Smoothed Spectator Cam
Game Timer now shown on main screen and it highlights when time is short.
Teamkill menu now available for 15 seconds after a teamkill
Tuesday - November 28, 2006
Dark Messiah - Reviews @ Game Over & GamePyre
60% is the score for Dark Messiah in Game Over's review, which is rendered fairly useless in the first couple of lines:
If you go into Dark Messiah of Might and Magic like I did, looking for an RPG, you’re going to be shocked if not disappointed. It took me a considerable grinding of mental gears to get myself out of the Oblivion mindset and start to understand DM for what it is, because it’s not an RPG in the vein of Oblivion. It’s not even as much of an RPG as Titan Quest. It’s more like a first person Tomb Raider with some light RPG elements thrown in to try and accommodate different playing styles. In that could perhaps have succeeded, but instead it fails because of a lack of enemy variation, a stupid story, and a truly novel combat system that is overused to such an extreme that it becomes almost a gimmick. It also claims the rather dubious prize of being the first game in my memory that gives away the big plot twist during the opening movie“ did they show the movies out of order or something? Oh, and it has absurdly long load times.
...on the other hand, Gamepyre has a 13 page extravaganza complete with a history of Might & Magic, an award and a score of 84:
Dark Messiah Might and Magic is not for everyone, but I had a lot of fun playing the game. The combination of the action adventure game ala Tomb Raider with RPG elements ala Might and Magic works for me. The game has a few “wow” moments like when you first fight the Cyclops one on one and figure out you aren’t doing any damage with spells or weapons. Replay ability in the game is pretty good. You can play the game as a fighter, a mage an archer as your primary focus, and then replay the game using different skills. The game also has a couple of places where a choice can affect the outcome.
Saturday - November 25, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ GGMania
79% is the verdict for Dark Messiah at GameGuru Mania. Here's a snip:
The fighting in Dark Messiah of Might & Magic is fast, brutal, and satisfying. Everything is in a first person view, and you will be practice plenty of killing while up close to your enemies. While Dark Messiah of Might & Magic seems similar at first to The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion in terms of first person melee combat, you'll soon find that the combat system in Dark Messiah of Might & Magic is far more varied and challenging. A variety of moves and combat tactics are available throughout, from kicking enemies into fires and spiked walls, to slicing a rope to unleash a torrent of barrels from a platform above, to straight out sword fighting with a variety of foes ranging from human guards to spiders, and many far larger things. You can also acquire numerous fire and ice attacks, as well as telekinesis and some handy health replenishment skills. To vary the combat, there are also a few boss battles thrown in, like taking down a cyclops or fleeing a giant worm along a precarious cliff path. Those fights can be a little more involved, but the artificial intelligence makes even these monsters relatively easy to beat.
Thursday - November 23, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ GameZilla
For "Fans Only" is the verdict for Dark Messiah in GameZilla's review. Here's the opening paragraph:
Dark Messiah: Might & Magic is the sixth title in the Might & Magic franchise, and the games have come a long way from the kind of paper cut-out elves, unicorns, and cartoon blood splashes of the original. Now what you have is a visually photo-realistic First Person Slasher with beheadings, dismemberment and a goal to save the world in there somewhere. The M rating is well-placed and if there was an M-plus-plus then this game would qualify. But its realism, the argument goes. Well this is a fantasy game. If it is then it must take place in a fantastic universe where every character -- even the holed-up, anemic undead ones, which you would think would die in a puff of dust, realistically speaking -- carries an extra quart or two of the red stuff just for decorative gushing and spurting. This is not a serene game with a kindly wizened mentor; in this one your guide in the early training exhorts you to "Impale him!" and "Kick him against the spikes!" Phew. There must be a lot of bloodlust in the market.
Sunday - November 19, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ GameZone
7/10 is the verdict for Dark Messiah at GameZone. Here's the opening paragraph:
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic marks a real departure for the long-running RPG franchise. Whereas other entries were pretty much straight forward RPG, Dark Messiah puts itself more in the “thinking man’s FPS” type of quest, employing open-ended RPG elements and cinematic FPS action. Not only that, but the game also utilizes the Source engine, making for some truly impressive physics and nice graphical effects. Unfortunately, while the game almost nails the formula, it falls victim to a bevy of technical flaws and bugs that render the game unplayable at times. Dark Messiah has a lot of good ideas going in, but ultimately gets bogged down with stability issues.
Friday - November 17, 2006
Dark Messiah - Reviews @ DriverHeaven & Gamers Temple
Arkane's Dark Messiah has been reviewed at DriverHeaven. The score is 84% and here's a snip on its apparent freedom:
RPGs often promote exploration and freedom of choice. The first is present here in the form of hidden areas where better weapons and potions can be found. The freedom in this game is also very hard to match. Although the path you have to take to complete the game is very straightforward you have free hands when it comes to how you intend to follow that path. You can blast everything in the path or you can try to get by enemies without them even knowing you are there. Than there are the already mentioned environmental traps that you can lure your foes into. Throughout my adventure I often loaded up a recent savegame just to see if I could get rid of the bad guys in a more amusing or perhaps a more visceral way.
The Gamers Temple isn't quite so impressed, awarding only 64%:
The game really shines when it comes to combat. The battles can be a lot of fun because they give you so many options in dispatching your foes. You can charge in and go sword to sword, or go for a one shot kill with an arrow to the head, or drop rocks on an enemy’s head, or use telekinesis to push him off of a ledge (hmm, the Star Wars theory is looking even better now). This is really pretty cool and can be a lot of fun, but you don’t spend nearly enough time in battle in the game. Most of the time you’ll spend wandering overly long and dull levels trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do next, making your way past cheesy jump sequences, or solving uninteresting puzzles. And just in case you may find solving puzzles to be intriguing, the game provides you with a spirit guide that likes to drop ten ton hints for each puzzle (no, it’s not Obi-Wan). It’s obvious that most of the development effort went into the combat in the game and that not much time was spent on designing the game itself. The game is padded out so that you won’t be able to play through the whole thing in an evening or two (not including installation time – or perhaps that’s an insidious way of padding the game’s life out even further).
Wednesday - November 15, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ GamePro
Describing it as "broken", GamePro's review of Dark Messiah still scores 3/5:
Even without the technical problems, the game itself has issues. The story is flat and meandering while the voice acting is either mediocre or melodramatic . Also, while the combat is generally enjoyable, there are gameplay sequences (one involving a giant worm) that devolve into trial and error as you attempt to find the path the developers intended in order to avoid instant death. Moreover, things often devolve into random chaos during the multiplayer as one team slowly loses the match. All you can do to organize at that point is to send urgent (and usually ignored) text messages to your team.
Tuesday - November 14, 2006
Dark Messiah - Updates @ Official Site
The official Might & Magic portal has a few small items for Dark Messiah such as the 4th part of their multiplayer guide.
In addition, they are pointing out Dark Messiah files including skins, maps, mods and wallpapers and a dedicated mod forum.
Dark Messiah - Review @ Worthplaying
Worthplaying is the latest site to review Dark Messiah. The score is 8.6/10 and here's a snippet:
Dark Messiah has some of the best scripted scenes of any game I have ever played. Early on, you are perched on a horse conversing calmly with a castle guard. Suddenly, the ground starts to shake and the guards and townsfolk start freaking out. Your horse bucks you off and you land flat on your back. Screams of "Cyclops!" alert you to the cause of all the commotion. As the guards drag you to safety, you catch a brief glimpse of the beast entering the town, and it is fearsome! An excellent, dramatic musical score enhances the tension.
Monday - November 13, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Bit-Tech
The latest review of Dark Messiah can be found at Bit-Tech, with a score of 8/10 and finding the game enjoyable but not living up to the pre-release hype:
The structure of the levels is simplistic and traditional. That isn't to say it's not enjoyable though, there is a definite level of pleasure attached to running through levels hacking and slashing enemies to bits. Dark Messiah also contains numerous (optional) set-piece events which add variety, albeit of the staged kind, to the 'on-rails' feel of the game. The staged events provide some of the most memorable moments in the game. On one occasion, a group of guards were blocking my way but were also standing below a crane that was holding a heavy crate. A quick rope cut later and the result was splattered guards across the town's dark and dirty cobbles.
Killing the enemies throughout the levels is usually a pleasure. You can take the gentleman's route and face off in hand to hand battle, sword versus sword, or there are less obvious ways of killing an enemy. You can use your kick manoeuvre to send an enemy falling backwards off the edge of a high cliff or into a bed of spikes. This leads to some rather humorous moments – watching an Orc squeal as he plummets to his doom is actually a lot more fun than it sounds.
Wednesday - November 08, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Internode
The games arm of Australian ISP Internode has kicked up a review of Dark Messiah with a score of 9/10:
Thankfully, there's nothing flaccid about Arkane Studios latest release – Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Based in France, the developer chose to base the game play on Arx Fatalis, its only other game released in 2002. Taking 80 people 2 years to make, Dark Messiah employs Valve's Half-Life 2 Source engine to bring us a world filled with a myriad combination of swords, spells, boobs and brawn and of course, a delectable array of creatures patiently awaiting the killing stroke of the player – nothing soft within miles.
Dark Messiah - Retail patch released
It's patch day today: The next patch available is the retail version of the 1.01 update for Dark Messiah, bringing the game to v1.1. You can download it from 3D Gamers.
Tuesday - November 07, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ ActionTrip
ActionTrip has slapped up their review of Dark Messiah, which carries the score of 68%:
As any reasonably intelligent person can tell, apart from a flimsy and rather uninteresting storyline, the game appears to feature weak characterization and very few unexpected plot twists. Practically every event that occurs in the game is predictable. The dialogue is somewhat unimaginative and deprived of any half way decent humor, so I guess you can say that the writers of DMoMM didn't put a lot of effort into embellishing the plot with something lasting that could lure you deeper into the game's well known universe. Shame, I suppose it goes without saying that once again players are accompanied by a loquacious big-breasted female sidekick to help speed up the proceedings (Not that there is anything wrong with that, per say -Ed). Regrettably, this component didn't help improve my overall opinion of the game's fragile storyline.
Dark Messiah - Review @ VE3D
Voodoo Extreme's Dark Messiah review is up, rating the title 8/10:
The other role-playing aspect is that there's an actual inventory system. You just don't run over things to pick them up. To use an item or spell, all you need to do is either right click it in your inventory, or drag and drop it into the hot bar, which automatically is assigned to a number (1-9) key. Most of the time you'll be navigating your way through dungeons, solving puzzles and fighting monsters. The physics effects are really quite cool, as you can kick monsters off ledges and into spikes, as well as do stuff like break beams that rain debris down on enemies, crushing them. Another fun gameplay twist is the rope bow, which fires magical arrows that work almost like grappling hooks. With it, you can climb up to ledges, get past traps and other sneaky stuff.
Dark Messiah - Review @ ViTiVi (German) & GBase (German)
Monday - November 06, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ GamingExcellence
7.5/10 is the score for Dark Messiah in GamingExcellence's review:
Still, though, the emphasis here is on the gameplay. There are a few ways to play the game, based on your preferences: you can either charge headfirst into battle and slash your way through the foes, you can blast enemies from a distance using a retinue of magical attacks, you can stick to the shadows and backstab the bad guys, or you can stay back with a bow and quiver and let fly. Each way presents its own pros and cons, but things seem more weighted towards the warrior way. The battles are more visceral and enjoyable, and it’s a lot more challenging to stay alive otherwise.
Dark Messiah - Patch #2 announced
While patch 1.01 is available via online update on Steam only yet, Marco Mele from Arkane announced a second patch on the Ubi Studios boards:
I would like to add some comment to this patch 1.01 fix list.
- I understand some of you may feel disappointed that some "minor" bugs seem to have been fixed before the major ones (crash & performance). The fact is: they are not the same people working on these "minor" bugs & on the "major" ones. Meaning while some of us fixed the minor ones that match our "job", other were & are still hard at work on others.
- Reason why we're going to release this first patch without waiting for additional fixes is that it includes some fixes to some really annoying walkthrough stopper bugs and fixes for bugs that are damaging the experience (like unbreakable shields that breaks..)
So we dont want you to wait for these fixes, since they are already available.
Note the patch also features the first pass on stuttering reductions.
Keep in Mind: Releasing this patch DOES NOT mean we're giving up on other bugs.
WE WILL NOT LEFT THE GAME BEHIND AS IT IS WITH SO MANY OF YOU HAVING PROBLEMS.
Just to let you know what is currently under work for a second patch(among other fixes):
- Fix for the loading crash
- Fix for stuttering & perf Pass 2
- Fix for Magic Weapon display glitches on Direct X 8 Cards
- Fix for black BINK video files on Direct X 8 Cards
- Fix for bad underwater FX on Direct X 8 Cards
Dark Messiah - Review @ AceGamez
AceGamez has posted their critical review of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, which carries a score of 5/10:
So what's the problem with the combat system? Let me present a sermon from the First Church of Kickology as my reply. He who lives by the ledge will die by the boot; and beware the temptations of boot and spike - they will be your undoing. Seriously, while using the kick tactic was fun in the demo, it becomes tiresome in the full game. Later on there are a number of instances where it won't help you - certain enemies are strong enough to resist your kicks and there are a number of pitched battles that don't happen near ledges or fires. But for most of the game you will find yourself thinning crowds by positioning them for a good kick into a spike or off a cliff. And why not? When you have a high level weapon or spell that takes multiple hits to kill an enemy that you can easily send sprawling into the abyss, what should you do?
Saturday - November 04, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ HookedGamers
HookedGamers wrote in about their review of Dark Messiah, which carries a score of 7/10:
Some of the levels seem a little uninspired. Especially towards the end of the game, the wall textures seem repetitive and the map layouts make less sense. You don't really get the feeling that you are exploring a Necromancer's fortress so much as... well, completing a level in a First Person Action game. The other environments – especially the level taking place on a cliff side – tend towards the other direction, feeling more natural if not perfectly believable. It is for this reason that it might be tough to play through the game more than once – you might wind up wanting to skip some of it.
Dark Messiah - Patch Fix List
Still not the patch itself, but mightandmagic.com revealed the fix list of the upcoming patch 1.01 for Dark Messiah:
SP Patch 1.01 changes and bug fixes
- Crash fixed on Save/Load if player has an object in their hands.
- Health and poison effects are no longer displayed during credits.
- Player’s hands don’t appear behind the credits when you combine the Skull of Shadows with an equipped spell.
- All game menus are hidden when a video starts.
- Problem fixed when the player tries to switch between Xana mode and an equipped scroll.
- Indestructible shields are now really indestructible. - Crash fixed when the player tries to throw a dagger, then immediately jumps and parries.
- Crash fixed when the player tries to switch between casting a fireball and taking an object.
- Bug fixed. Player cannot re-use a scroll multiple times after switching to Xana mode.
- Saving is now disabled during end game credits to avoid system anomalies.
- The player now dismounts correctly from the top of ladders, even when moving backward.
- Instantaneous spells (Magic Protection, Heal, Wizard Eye) no longer break other spells like Firetrap.
- Climbing NPCs can't be charmed and fall if shrunken.
- Fixed getting stuck on door on Level 11, when jumping on a rope attached to it.
- Fixed weapon being unequipped after jumping in certain conditions
- Fixed when pressing E multiple time in certain conditions would quicksave the game
- Fixed when pressing E very quickly to get his backpack back at a specific location, backpack was recovered but all objects were missing
- Fixed not being able to take any objects under certain conditions
- Fixed game crash after de-equipping a weapon in certain conditions
- Fixed a potential first person hands animation problems
- Fixed being stuck sometimes in some specific locations close to stairs
- Fixed looping dagger and staff sound when doing a power attack and parrying in the middle.
- Fixed some scrolls that could be used several times (much like a spell)
- Fixed teleporting that could occur when using lockpick
- Fixed Fireball staying stuck to the player until it explodes
- Fixed, shrinked enemies are now sensitive to melee weapon
- Fixed a crash when killing a NPC with a fire weapon when he is knee deep in the water
- Fixed invisible wall present on level 7
- Fixed lockping becoming a weapon (melee animations played)
- Fixed Lighting bolt scroll not working
- Fixed issue with telekeninesis not always working as intended
- Fixed issues with "Adjust Brightness Level" still being in game after using it in the menu.
Friday - November 03, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ gameSlave
Dark Messiah has been reviewed at gameSlave with a score of 7.5/10:
Sadly the level design while not shocking lacks that magic sparkle that makes a game truly great and memorable. The spider lair for instance is just annoying to play through, too much like a maze of tunnels with the added annoyance of spiders that poison you with nearly every attack. However I must say I did enjoy using the rope bow on some of these levels. The rope bow works by you firing it at anything wooden and it releasing a rope which you can then climb, much like Thief 2. If you are clever about it you can fire several rope arrows and then cross large gaps that you could not normally get across. It reminded me of an old school rpg, which if I am honest is what a lot of the level design reminds me of. It would be nice to have defended castle walls with some NPCs against a lot of orcs trying to breach the wall, or something epic like that, instead of what is sadly mostly a lot of corridors and indoor areas. Also I would have liked to have been able to interact with more characters to improve the story and your relationship with the people in the world.
Dark Messiah - Patch News & Tweak Guide (Updated)
VoodooExtreme has a short note from Arkane's Raphael Colantonio on the fixes they are working on for Dark Messiah:
We're currently fixing a lot of the stuttering that happens with Dark Messiah on some hardware: We're modifying the way we're accessing some of the audio and precache files. A patch will soon be released for both the Retail and the Steam version. It fixes a lot of issues, including a few scripting bugs and some performance [issues]. We are really sorry for the problems some of you have had with the game, and be sure we're fixing them all.
...and they are also pointing out a tweak guide at TweakGuides.
Update: this thread on the official forums includes a detailed list of planned fixes and further updates will be posted in that same thread. This is primarily a multiplayer update.
Wednesday - November 01, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ GamerNode
Another site, another Dark Messiah review...this one at GamerNode scores 8.2/10 and here's an excerpt:
I always smile when taking on five guys at once, having my whirling daggers slicing and dicing while dodging their attacks. Once you accumulate a bunch of landed blows, your adrenaline will cap out, which you can then unleash in the form of a finishing move. These are fairly graphic one-hit KOs. For example, with a sword you can behead your enemy (complete with a brief slow-mo effect) while with a dagger, you can throw it into someone's face. There is a downside, though: once your adrenaline caps out, you have to use it then and there or else it gets wasted.
Dark Messiah - Review @ AtomicGamer
Dark Messiah has been reviewed at AtomicGamer with a score of 79%:
The game doesn't really last all that long, either. I made it through in about eight hours, and even though I got stumped for about ten minutes each on a couple of puzzles (there's a Rope Bow in the game that allows you to shoot wooden structures, causing a rope to drop down - the light puzzle elements here usually revolve around using this bow) and wound up reloading my game a few times for various boss fights and other tough encounters, it still didn't last as long as I had hoped. Sometimes I have found myself comparing this game to fantasy RPGs like Oblivion and Knights of the Old Republic and feeling very disappointed at how short Dark Messiah is, but it really must be considered to be something more like a first person shooter that just happens to be in a fantasy setting. And even then I don't think the fun melee combat can make up for this game's lackluster atmosphere, simple story, or boring characters. The developers even spoil the game's plot twist about an hour in, long before its true reveal near the end of the game - that certainly doesn't help, either.
Dark Messiah - Review @ ComputerGames.ro
ComputerGames.ro let us know they have posted their review of Dark Messiah, with a score of 80%:
The game is divided into ten chapters excluding the tutorial. The size and difficulty varies depending on locations and enemies populating them. You will encounter necromancers during the first and last chapters, orcs and undead on the deserted island and ghouls during the last levels of the game. There are quite a few surprises along the way, but who am I to spoil your fun? Fighting all these enemies requires quite a bit of skill and, of course, wisely invested skill points. One thing should be reminded here. If you expected a complex RPG, then you’re in for a big disappointment. They’ve never said that Dark Messiah is an RPG, but a first person fantasy action game with role play elements. Yes, it takes a more words that I initially thought in order to describe it, but this is accurately telling you what you should expect. It is a first person shooter in a fantasy universe and your character can get better skills and spells by distributing skill points that you get after completing objectives. Any true RPG rewards a player after killing mobs, but not this one. When you complete important objectives you receive skill points that you can spend in one of the three trees at your disposal. Being primarily a first person shooter, the role play elements were kept to a bare minimum, so you will see basic skills like critical hit, archery, melee combat, strength, flame arrow, fireball, heal, telekinesis, magic affinity, endurance, mana regeneration, stealth or burglary. I haven’t mentioned all of them, but as you can see, you can either become a warrior, a mage or assassin.
Tuesday - October 31, 2006
Dark Messiah - Patch Coming Soon
Not exactly detailed information but the Might & Magic portal says "A patch will be out soon very soon!" and directs anyone having trouble in the meantime to head to the forums where solutions to common problems have been collected.
Dark Messiah - Review @ 1Up
"Broken" is the verdict for Dark Messiah from well-known gaming journalist Tom Chick at 1Up. The score is 4/10 and here's the opening:
Dark Messiah of Might & Magic is littered with racks of spikes, conveniently propped upright with the sharpy sides pointing outward. There are also walkways without railings and open fires everywhere. Racks of heavy barrels or marble sarcophagi are precariously held overhead by creaky wooden beams. It is an OSHA inspector's wet dream.
The message is clear. "Use the kick button!" is all but written in neon. With a simple thrust of one of your very visible legs--bound appropriately to the 'F' key--you can dispatch enemies with ease. Impale them on spikes, push them off cliffs, and shove them into fires where they'll light up as if they'd been marinated in lighter fluid. It's the fantasy world equivalent of guards who insist on standing next to explosive barrels. Welcome to The Adventures of Sir Kicksalot Deathboot in the Land of the Conspicuously Placed Spike Racks.
Update: Note that Tom has commented on the scoring system at 1Up, saying he would have rated it 6/10 for other sites.
Monday - October 30, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Yahoo! Games
The latest Dark Messiah review comes courtesy of Yahoo! Games, where it received a mixed response and a score of 3.5/5, although multiplayer was rated 4/5. Here's an excerpt:
The skills are where the RPG stuff comes into play. Do you opt for magical spells, do you put the points into stealth for backstab ambushes, or do you just buff your combat abilities? Each branch has further branches, whether it's elemental magic or charms, or melee or ranged combat. Furthermore, many encounters have a few different solutions, such as using environmental hazards against enemies or simply sneaking past them. It's nowhere near as robust as something like Deus Ex, which is obviously the inspiration for this type of gameplay. But it keeps Dark Messiah from being too linear and predictable.
Sunday - October 29, 2006
Dark Messiah - Reviews @ Gameinformer & CVG
Let's start with Gameinformer, who are rating it with 9.25/10:
Beyond the combat, the ancillary aspects of the game – exploring Dark Messiah’s fantastic world, enjoying the plotline, and simply basking in the great ambiance that Arkane Studios has created – are savory distractions that never get in the way of the core gameplay. From start to finish, the adventure is an amazing experience that demands respect both for its overall excellence and its entirely unique gameplay.
CVG gives it a 8.4/10 and this conclusion:
Dark Messiah is graphically excellent, and a brave attempt to bring convincing hack-and-slash action into the first-person. The character development adds some limited but welcome RPG elements, and there's a constant feeling of rewarding progression and plot advancement. If the game suffers, it's from over-explanation, the occasional lapse in the combat, and the repetitive nature of the environmental weaponry. But I was kept entertained all the way through, and I've never felt so directly responsible for chopping off a goblin's arm. And that has to be a good thing.
Dark Messiah - Review @ 4players (German)
German site 4players has reviewed Dark Messiah of M&M. The outcome was a Gold Award and a rating of 85%. The reviewer liked graphics, combat system, voice acting, story, physics, but disliked the long loading time and encountered some graphical bugs...
Dark Messiah - Review @ Gamesradar
Gamesradar's review of Dark Messiah of M&M is online now, rating the action-feast with 8/10 and coming to this conclusion:
Regardless of the match you choose, performance is smooth. The only real beef we have is that the XP system means it's never long before a few veteran players have pumped up their characters and become virtually untouchable, clubbing everyone else like baby seals. But it's empowering if you're one of the vets, to be sure. At the end of the day, for action, role-playing and shooter fans alike, neither of these components should be missed. Highly recommended.
Saturday - October 28, 2006
Dark Messiah - Free Game Guide @ Gamespot
Gamespot offers a game guide for Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, both an online version and a downloadable pdf. Get it here.
Dark Messiah - Review @ Gamespy
Gamespy has posted a review of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Though .5 stars is the minimum 'score' a game can receive, at this earliest posting, it has no stars. Take from that what you will. Here is a snip of the reviewer's comments:
On a more concrete level, many players are reporting all manner of gameplay bugs and performance issues with the game. These include freezes, crashes and memory leaks along with less serious but still annoying stutters and frame rate drops -- two issues that we experienced first-hand during our play time. Ubisoft has acknowledged an issue with Nvidia Series 6 cards, though the currently offered solution (to revert to old drivers) is hardly advisable. If you're unsure as to whether you'll encounter problems with your system, the best advice is to wait until Ubisoft issues a patch (currently under development).
It's easy to be disappointed with Dark Messiah, given that it had so much potential. There is still some compelling content in here, though you'll frequently have to exhibit a good deal of patience if you want to enjoy it. As for the multiplayer, well, it's anyone's guess what till happen once fans get their hands on the SDK. Right now, though, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is little more that a novelty, a game with some great ideas and poor execution.
Dark Messiah - Reviews @ Eurogamer & IGN
Eurogamer and IGN have posted reviews with scores of 8/10 and 7/10 respectively. Here's a snip from Eurogamer:
There's a problem with this, but it's a transitory one. I visited Arkane during development, and when one of their designers gleefully demonstrated kicking a mob of orcs, one at a time, off a ledge screaming, I asked whether they wondered whether making such deaths so easy would make someone resort to them constantly. Why take a sword into battle when you'd be better off bringing a big, sturdy boot? He just shrugged, and - in a more roundabout way - explained that if that's what people want to do, more power to them. At the time I made a runic scribble in my notebook which roughly translated as "Hmm. Not convinced".
Except, now I am. Yes, you spend a lot of time taking people out in ways other than six inches of steel... but that's fine. In fact, that's hilarious. The source matter, as much as the ludicrous quasi-Tolkein source back-story may imply, isn't actually Dungeons & Dragons as much as a Hollywood serial adventure. And how many times did Errol Flynn actually run someone through rather than sending them careering by clever manoeuvring? Exactly. I went far too quickly from rolling my eyes to enjoying the dumb-ass joy of running in circles around an enormous swinging pendulum while being chased by a mass of orc guards, trying to make them get hit by it in a keystone cops with a GTA-bodycount manner. While there are a lot of serious gaming mechanics in Dark Messiah, it's primary devotion is fun, and lots of it. With your growing power as a character as you progress, the more gimmicky ways of slaying lessen in importance. A high-level warrior doesn't need to kick his enemies into walls of spikes. He carries the only spike he needs around with him.
...but IGN doesn't entirely agree with this:
While it's impressive to see enemies flipping off cliffs, floating in water, staggering realistically after a kick, and watching environments crumble and topple in a believable fashion, it renders some of the melee and ranged combat irrelevant. Since most of the game's single player arenas are set up with various spikes and fires for you to take advantage of, kicking enemies to their death will serve as a common method of execution as long as your stamina bar lasts. Once you get a little way through the game the gameplay starts to drag. Even if using the melee and magical abilities, the fights start to get repetitive after halfway through. The game still offers some interesting battle scenarios and it's definitely fun for a while, it just doesn't last.
Friday - October 27, 2006
Dark Messiah - Review @ Gamespot
Gamespot has posted a lukewarm review of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. Scoring the game 6.7 ("fair") that is summed up nicely in the opening three or four sentences:
Dark Messiah wraps a dull story around repetitive combat. It's not a bad game, but its technical glitches really bring it down.Contrasting viewpoints on the Gamespot site, however, are rendered in site user ratings which bring the game in at 9.4.
The Good: Good death animations.The Bad: Numerous crashes and glitches get in the way; minimal character building and progression; most of the game's combat is unsatisfying; storyline is almost completely transparent right off the bat.
Dark Messiah - 32 Multiplayer Screens @ IGN
IGN has posted thirty two multiplayer screenshots from the recently released Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. Enjoy!
Thursday - October 26, 2006
Dark Messiah - First Impressions @ GameSpy, IGN & IGN AU
Three sets of first impressions for Dark Messiah are up across the IGNSpy network. Let's start with GameSpy, who note "We're a little bit disappointed with the single-player game":
The game's designers have very cannily exploited the Source Engine to provide you with a multitude of wicked ways to dispatch your enemies. Melee combat is brutal and visceral, and when it's at its best, it's immensely gratifying. When you land your blows, they feel solid and full of impact. Combat is at its most interesting, however, when you're enouraged to indulge in the interplay between physical, magical, and environmental attacks. In one example, you can set a barrel on fire, hurl it into a group of unsuspecting guards via telekinesis, and watch the mania ensue. There are plenty of elements in the environments that you can use in combat, and in many cases, exploiting them is the best way to surmount unfavorable odds. Nitty-gritty melee combat, while explosive and satisfying, sometimes feels frustratingly fast and loose, and the enemy AI is a bit catatonic at times. Don't be surprised to put an arrow between a guard's eyes only to have his neighbor stare at his corpse for 30 seconds before responding.
...next to IGN:
Even with all this differing options for combat, we still found ourselves growing bored around halfway through the game. At this point you'll have seen all the tricks the game has to offer, like punting enemies off cliffs and causing statues or barrels to crash down on their heads by knocking out support beams. You'll also start to see the large bosses of the game start repeating. The first time you fight a Cyclops or Pao-Kai, you'll definitely be taken aback by their size and power. However, by the fourth Cyclops and third Pao-Kai it's not so impressive anymore. You'll also start to notice how some aspects of the game are largely exploitable. Setting a barrel on fire and holding onto it instead of firing it with telekinesis basically acts as an instant kill for any enemy you touch. All you have to do is pick up the container, set it ablaze, lightly touch any nearby enemies before it goes out, and watch all your foes burn to death.
...and finally, IGN Australia:
Puzzles-wise, many of the game's more thoughtful and interesting moments are cleverly scripted for moments of key tension and exhilaration. A rooftop chase sequence early in the game is fast and just precarious enough to be genuinely thrilling. In pursuing a scurrying Gollum-like creature in pursuit of a key quest item, you have mere moments to scramble across awnings and through open windows in a deft combination of platforming skills and problem-solving. Branching paths are minimal, however; you're more likely to find yourself taking a jump onto a board that splinters and send you plummeting to the unforgiving soil below, forcing a rethink of your approach and cautious footwork. Autosaving is very well implemented too - saving at key moments to avoid bouts of severe frustration at having to redo a load of do-or-die leaps of faith.
Wednesday - October 25, 2006
Dark Messiah - Now Available
Dark Messiah of Might & Magic should now be turning up in NA stores, plus the Steam version has been unlocked and is ready to go:
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic™ On Steam™ Now
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is available now for those in North America for just $49.95. For those outside of North America, the game will be made available at 10 am GMT this Friday, October 27.
For more information on Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, please visit http://www.mightandmagic.com/.
Dark Messiah - French Review @ Jeux Video
Honours for the first Dark Messiah review we know of go to French site Jeux Video. The score is 17/20 and my Google-fu says the review notes original and varied gameplay in an interesting universe but there are some technical failures and long load times. Thanks dju!
Dark Messiah - Updates @ Official Site
The Might and Magic portal has a bunch of updates for Drak Messiah. Head over for a Multiplayer Class Guide for the Mage, a launch trailer, Knight Wallpaper and Shield skin competition.
Dark Messiah - Shipping to NA Retail
Dark Messiah is on its way to NA retailers - here's the announcement:
SAN FRANCISCO – October 24, 2006 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, announces that Dark Messiah of Might and Magic™ has released and will be at North American retailers this week.
“Dark Messiah of Might and Magic successfully blurs traditional lines and defines a new approach to action-RPGs for the modern PC gaming audience,” said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. “Dark Messiah of Might and Magic’s breakthrough game design, combined with the technology and graphic capability the Source Engine brings, signals an exciting new direction for the Might and Magic brand.”
Developed in conjunction with Ubisoft, Arkane Studios (for single-player), and Kuju Entertainment (for multiplayer), Dark Messiah of Might and Magic puts players in a first-person perspective, allowing them to encounter ferocious combat within a dark and expansive fantasy environment.
Powered by an enhanced version of the award-winning Source™ Engine created by Valve to power its Half-Life®2 video game, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic allows players to immerse themselves in an environment that responds and envelops them like never before, thanks to the Source Engine’s exceptional technological enhancements in areas such as character animation, advanced AI, real-world physics and shader-based rendering.
Dark Messiah Might and Magic ships with an ESRB rating of “M” (Mature). The game is available for PC at the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $49.99 for the standard edition, and $59.99 for the Limited Edition.
For more news and information on Dark Messiah Might and Magic, please visit the game’s official website at www.mightandmagic.com.
Friday - October 20, 2006
Dark Messiah - Soundtrack mp3 samples
Ubisoft released news about the soundtrack of the upcoming Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. The soundtrack, which will be included in the special edition, is composed by Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan. The full press release is mirrored at GamersHell, who also offer three mp3 samples.
Dark Messiah - Sound Trailer @ Worthplaying
Worthplaying has a sizeable Dark Messiah trailer highlighting the sound and music. Weighing in at 115Mb, there's around 4 minutes of gameplay and interview footage.
Wednesday - October 18, 2006
Dark Messiah - Movies & Wallpapers
The Might & Magic portal is pointing out several humorous Dark Messiah videos and a new wallpaper. The first two videos carry a language warning, so be careful.Fire vs Ice
The Government strikes back
Cooking with your friends @ Eurogamer
Tuesday - October 17, 2006
Dark Messiah - Official Movie #14 @ Gamespot
Gamespot has a new movie, #14, available for your viewing pleasure. Head to the link above and download the 21Mb movie (lo-res, free).
Saturday - October 14, 2006
Dark Messiah - Crusade Campaign Preview @ GameSpot
GameSpot's latest Dark Messiah preview looks at the Assassin, Priestess and Warrior in the Crusade MP campaign:
The crusade campaign is sort of like the conquest mode in the popular Battlefield games. Two teams will fight for control points on a level, and when someone dies, it costs the team a ticket to respawn back into the fight. The team that runs out of tickets first loses the round. However, the crusade goes even further by linking the levels together. All the levels are linked in a chain, and every time you win, you advance toward the enemy's stronghold; every time you lose, the enemy advances toward your stronghold. The winning team is the one that can battle toward the enemy team's stronghold and defeat them there. And while the campaign is going on, your character becomes even more powerful, as you gain experience and unlock new powers and abilities. Once a campaign concludes, a new campaign will begin, and everyone starts from scratch, in terms of powers and abilities.
Dark Messiah - Movies @ Gamespot
Gamespot is also showcasing three gameplay movies. Running between 28-40Mb (lo-res), they can be downloaded at the link above.
Tuesday - October 10, 2006
Dark Messiah - Interview @ Celestial Heavens
Might & Magic fansite Celestial Heavens has an interview with Arkane's Raphael Colantonio on Dark Messiah. Here's a snip:
Were you able to bring to life every idea you had for Dark Messiah or did you have to toss something because of lack of time or it was impossible to be done? If so then what exactly?Raphael: The final game is pretty close to the initial vision in terms of what nature of experience we wanted to create: We’ve always had in mind the multiplay style, the first person melee combat, and the highly simulated environment (mainly with the way AIs react to their environment, and the way the entities can be manipulated by the player). The intense usage of physics came a little later, when we realized how powerful the engine was. We also adjusted the combat rhythm a little later, when we realized that some combats were too long. The only things we cut are probably content related, but nothing in terms of feature that I can think of, beside the shops because they were not really fitting with the rhythm of the game.
Look for the non-answer to the last question on the possibility of a M&MX, which some may read as encouraging.
Monday - October 09, 2006
Dark Messiah - Dark Messiah of Might & Magic is GOLD
The headline says it all: Dark Messiah of Might & Magic is gold and should hit stores on october 26th as scheduled...
Saturday - October 07, 2006
Dark Messiah - Screens & Movie @ Worthplaying
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is getting a lot of love at Worthplaying. They have fifteen screens and an 18Mb trailer for your viewing pleasure.