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Dark Messiah - Reviews @ Eurogamer & IGN

by Dhruin, 2006-10-28 03:36:03

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.


Information about

Dark Messiah

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released