Preview

Might & Magic X: Legacy Preview (PC)

Back in 1986, New World Computing released an expansion, ambitious roleplaying game set in an open 3D world, Might & Magic. The game defined roleplaying games alongside Bard's Tale, Wizardry and Ultima, and might be considered a predecessor to such massive map games like The Elder Scrolls, albeit turn-based. The series let to the classic Heroes of Might & Magic games as well.

Since its release, the game had regular updates roughly every 2 years until the disastrous Might & Magic IX arrived in 2002; the game suffered major launch bugs, and shortly after its release, 3DO was dissolved, after only one official patch had been released. Since then, no Might & Magic game had been announced. Til now.

 


A few days ago, Ubisoft announced Might & Magic X: Legacy, and the name is appropos, as the feel, strategy and style of the game harkens back to 1986 with scintillatingly retro gameplay. In short, the game is the original Might & Magic with more modern bells and whistles.

For one, towns are once again static pictures of people at the location which have basic dialog options. Clicking on, say, the local alcemist brings up a rumor she heard (more or less a tooltip in the game I played), while another option opened up a basic trade screen for potions.

Leaving the town places the player on what is essentially a giant square-grid map in which players move and turn step by step through the wilderness. If the player get too close to enemies, they become locked in combat.

From there, the player's four man party can engage the enemy or enemies with melee or ranged combat, cast spells, use items or take a defensive stance. Combat is simple unless multiple enemy types are in combat, when it becomes important to close in quickly to prevent ranged units from allowing melee units to move in and engage.

 


Each character has different levels of multiple skills, from a range of 0 to 25. When characters level, the player is given a few skill points to distribute amongst the skills. Levels range from unskilled to grandmaster. Do you add some points to the Block skill for your heavy melee guy, or do you invest more in his blunt weapon skills? The characters also have a very basic paper doll system for equipping items, as well as a shared inventory.

Finally, the graphics in the build were functional, and while it may be that the game's visuals will get more polish (one of the death animations is a little over the top and comical), it's unlikely to be on the level of The Elder Scrolls - nor is it aiming to be.

Might & Magic X: Legacy is supremely faithful to the original 1986 game, gleefully eschewing such modern standard gameplay mechanics as real-time 3D rendering. Instead it harkens back to the days when roleplaying games were as much about tactical strategy as it was about telling a story. Nostalgic gamers will drown themselves in its simple-yet-complex gameplay, and perhaps with the comeback of "retraux" gaming, young gamers may enjoy its style without having to deal with blocky characters.

Most Anticipated Moment: Seeing just how big Ubisoft will make the world map, with today's PC processing power.

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Comments

By Mindrax (SI Core) on Aug 18, 2013
Mindrax
Ok, i'll try it when my wallet allow me :)