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Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements - Review @ Eurogamer

by Magerette, 2008-02-13 19:25:17

Eurogamer kicks up their take on Ubisoft's X360 port, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements, based on the PC title from Arkane Studios, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, giving it a score of 6/10 and pointing out some positives as well as some frustrations.

On the positive side:

It's a game of simple, repetitive and often wicked pleasures: booting unwary enemies to their doom; into the abyss, against a wall of spikes or flame. If none of those are options, then you can always see if you can slash a rope and send a massive stone statue tumbling onto their heads, or dispense some lightning justice into a pool of water and electrocute the whole lot.Despite its RPG leanings, Dark Messiah: Elements is an unapologetically linear, story-based affair, set over ten medium-sized chapters, and in some ways all the better for it....Elements is a classic example of a game that starts off mediocre, dips into the realms of outright rubbishness, then soars unexpectedly out of the mire to become bafflingly engaging...

Some of the frustrations:

Ridiculously, the game has no auto-save, meaning that if (like me) you switched the machine off at the end of a session, you'll have to start over. Worse still, if (like me) you end up playing the game all evening and fail to save, then (like me) get stuck inexplicably in a piece of scenery or find that the game has just locked up for no apparent reason, you find yourself having to go back to the last save - even if that was four hours ago. Yes, despite regularly checkpointing your progress, it doesn't write those checkpoints to disk....

Even less forgivable are the optimisation issues. Surely a 16-month-old PC game based on Source (an engine from 2004, remember) should be capable of running on the 360 without a hitch? A few bits of slowdown and some tearing we can tolerate, but Dark Messiah: Elements regularly grinds to a near-halt when there are more than a handful of enemies on the screen - even when they're not in view...


Anyway, I love and hate Dark Messiah: Elements. For everything that's good about the combat intensity, the flexibility of the skill system, the quality of the puzzles and the brooding, engaging atmosphere, it's undone by massive technical problems. After such a long wait, the last thing we expected was for it to be even more of a buggy, unoptimised mess than it was the first time around. But it is.

Information about

Dark Messiah of MM: Elements

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: Xbox 360
Release: Released