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Thread: Dark Messiah - review please

  1. #1
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Location: Midlands UK

    Dark Messiah - review please

    Hi. Would anyone like to do a quick review of Dark Messiah of might and magic for me please - what's it like to play? - thanks

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Very close...
    I found the multiplayer and singleplayer are vastly different experiences.

    Singleplayer has a great story and fun gameplay mechanics. Though you may get annoyed that using the environment makes you too powerful. The game pretty much screams for you to always kick people into stuff or off stuff because thats a guaranteed kill. Kind of kills the game for some people. Plenty of options for different class mixings. I like being an assassin type myself. The levels have a bit of a linear problem, and have repeated structures all over the place. I didn't notice till my second playthough though.

    All in all its a much better FPS/RPG hybrid than bioshock.

    Multiplayer is a total blast if you can find a server that has nobody cheating on it. Cheats are pretty rampant. In any case it has 5 classes that are traditional archetypes and its DM, modified DM, CTF or modified CTF. There is enough multiplayer types to keep it interesting and call classes have their roles strengths and weaknesses. I'd still be playing if not for earlier mentioned cheating. I'm a 'jigga jigga' fighter shield bashing everywhere(the screen wobbles like a crack addict).

  3. #3
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Location: Midlands UK

    thanks

    mmmmm that's useful thanks. It looked a lot like thief which I will enjoy but I don't like very linear plots - it's more fun to have choices. I played GUN on PC once and got fed up with it because you had to follow a certain route.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: May 2007
    I wrote a full fledged review in one of these posts. Overall I give it the score metacritic gave it, 7/10. It could've easily been 9/10 if they had spent more time polishing the game.

    My review on Dark Messiah, spoilers to follow:

    Maybe my standards are higher than everyone else's here, but I found that while the gameplay was good and the storyline interesting (although it had a plot twist you could see coming from outer space), it felt extremely repetitive at some points in the game and unpolished throughout the whole thing. Whether this was caused by a rush in development to get the game out or whatever reason, it didn't feel complete. It could have been visually and emotionally gripping if they had put another 6 months into it, and wouldn't have had the piss poor 7/10 rating it got on Metacritic.

    Gameplay I thought was excellent, and props to whoever had the idea at Ubisoft or an indie developer to have a hero that was mage, assassin, archer and warrior in one with the ability to pick what to specialize (or not specialize). I started off specializing in stealth since that's the play style I always like to employ when possible. I personally found stealth to be the hardest method to play since once you got into trouble and were seen you had to be extremely good to kill that well armored guard, but this was balanced out by the fact that you could get instant kills with a back(neck)stab. Then again, undead and ghouls seemed to throw away the concept of stealth and would spot you regardless of how quietly you moved or how dark the shadows were. Eventually I got frustrated with stealth gameplay when every other enemy was an undead that had some type of radar mashed into a cavity or something, so I made a bit of a hybrid warrior/assassin, and this seemed to work out well for me; I could be sneaky and backstab when I wanted and if things got ugly or I wanted to charge in I could do that just as well. I haven't gone the archer or mage route yet but I hear you're more dependant on mana potions as a mage and that archer damage is weak, however what I have played as seems extremely well done.

    What I thought wasn't well done however was an issue of environmental imbalance and the god awful frustration of having to fight 5 ghouls at once (among other hoards of monsters) that refuse to stubbornly die with me hacking and slashing at them with a sword forged from the hardest of metals and infused with a demonic soul thirsty for blood, yet die with the swift kick of a boot into a spike rack. This was one thing 1UP had right, it is Sir Kicksalot Deathboot in the Land of the Conspicuously Placed Spike Rack. It might be because I played on hard but many enemies would refuse to die in the beginning of the game when I was just starting out and I had to impale them 3-4 times while knocked down for them to die, and in later levels...they would also refuse to die when I would hack and slash, not to mention the fact that in two hits I was looking up at the sky with a red overlay around my screen to indicate that I just died from a ghoul bitch-slapping me, one hit if they got a critical. Keep in mind that this is me with 3 levels of Endurance and Shadowsteel Armor, which means I had 90 health (maximum you can get). They seemed to die when I impaled them now but I had upgraded my attributes by this point in the game. Still they would die with a press of the F key into a spike rack in one hit. Heck maybe I should've picked up a spike rack to swing around. I'm all for environmental combat and interaction but god damn Ubisoft you didn't have to make a spike rack or cliff side the only viable and practical means of overtly killing someone.

    The environment wasn't entirely polished as far as visual details went, not so much the texture as it was the placement of objects and layout of areas. Take the temple of the spider, that place didn't look like orcs occupied it and were guarding it, it looked like orcs were standing around waiting for you to kill them. It looked great from the outside when you first walk up to it from the beach (if you disregard the spike racks), but once you peek around outside it seems lifeless. I won't pick apart every level and some were better than others for detail, but overall I get a feel of a very unfinished environment that didn't quite come alive for me.

    Storyline I liked, enjoyed, and I do have to say the voice acting was superb (if not a bit corny sometimes), but the interaction between NPCs was nill. The only real attachment I felt was with Xana, since she was the only real character with development and personality. I felt some empathy for Leana and I felt Arantir's character at the end, but Leanna didn't feel like a partner or even someone I felt truly compelled to protect. Not that character development was bad, but it's that they didn't quite have enough of it. I don't mean just interaction between characters but development in general; notes from Arantir's journal is a possibility, but then again it's hard to say how to fit the characters to the environment since you're always on the move so dialog seems about the only way to go, and they did that well with Xana. Xana was well developed because she was there and would talk with you constantly. She was inside your head all the time, had a very sassy and jealous personality and was very seductive with both exercising your lethality to kill others who were "innocent" and erm...other ways; much of the time I felt justified killing necromancers and orcs once I found out their true motives because of her voice in my ear. I was actually tempted with a lust for power and to free my father just because of her. Looking back on what I just wrote I realize this entire paragraph is about Xana, but that's the effect she had on me. I couldn't write about Leanna or Arantir or Duncan or the Dark Lord like that because the two sentences I wrote pretty much exhausted what I feel about them, which isn't a whole lot.

    Multiplayer I haven't dived into but I'll have to try it out, it looks quite fun and engaging.

    Well I didn't quite mean for this to be an official review, but there you go. I know I'm a few years behind but what the hey. Overall I found the game fun, if not a bit tedious and frustrating when I would have to reload the game trying for the 7th time to keep Duncan alive against a wave of ghouls then saying screw it and let him die, only to die myself repeatedly until I found a ledge where I could shoot a rope arrow and skip the whole combat. It was fun though, there was something primal and satisfying about getting a full adrenaline rush and lopping off the head or limbs of a nearby enemy in slow motion.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Heheh, in summary, Spaztick found the game too hard when playing on hard - except for the spikes.

    Fun game, kind of short, the plot is shmulk but hey. I've played it through virtually every which way. If you grab strength as soon as you can the game is quite easy, you can just slash your way through those ghouls - and even cyclopses - without too much difficulty. There's lots of other stuff you can spend skill points on, but none of them are as efficient IMO. That being said, a few of the spells are very, very powerful (charm and sanctuary, most notably), and mana potions are stupid easy to come by (seriously, playing as a straight mage who killed almost everything with magic I never ran low).

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: May 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Heheh, in summary, Spaztick found the game too hard when playing on hard - except for the spikes.

    Fun game, kind of short, the plot is shmulk but hey. I've played it through virtually every which way. If you grab strength as soon as you can the game is quite easy, you can just slash your way through those ghouls - and even cyclopses - without too much difficulty. There's lots of other stuff you can spend skill points on, but none of them are as efficient IMO. That being said, a few of the spells are very, very powerful (charm and sanctuary, most notably), and mana potions are stupid easy to come by (seriously, playing as a straight mage who killed almost everything with magic I never ran low).
    This review is outdated, maybe I should update it because I did replay it through again as a mage and I never had serious issues with mana, and when I got the rejen? skill I never needed mana potions after that. I've also played through multiplayer and is that fun. I think the single player might've killed multiplayer.

  7. #7
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Location: Midlands UK

    thanks

    Thanks for the detailed review! I think it sounds like my kind of thing

  8. #8
    10 note
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Tripping out in the exec lift.
    My favourite build would probably be to power stealth at first and then invest in combat. If you max stealth, the necropolis is a doddle since you can backstab or sneak past everything. Maxed combat ability is a necessity for the ghoulfest at the end since sneaking is impossible but by that point in the game you have enough skill points to max stealth and combat. Magic can also work, since fireball knocks them down, but you can't block with a spell ready so if a ghoul gets up to you then you're deadmeat.

    Did anyone make any use of demon form? I found it to be completely pathetic and never used it.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by steo View Post
    My favourite build would probably be to power stealth at first and then invest in combat. If you max stealth, the necropolis is a doddle since you can backstab or sneak past everything. Maxed combat ability is a necessity for the ghoulfest at the end since sneaking is impossible but by that point in the game you have enough skill points to max stealth and combat. Magic can also work, since fireball knocks them down, but you can't block with a spell ready so if a ghoul gets up to you then you're deadmeat.

    Did anyone make any use of demon form? I found it to be completely pathetic and never used it.
    I used it once. Definitely a good idea badly executed.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by steo View Post
    Magic can also work, since fireball knocks them down, but you can't block with a spell ready so if a ghoul gets up to you then you're deadmeat.
    Nonsense. Sanctuary. And charm. Wasn't even a challenge for my mage. Fireball was indeed primarily useful for knocking things around, though...

    My mage had his worst moments with large groups of spiders. Fireball just didn't do enough damage, despite the fact that as animals they were supposedly vulnerable to it.

  11. #11
    [not a review, but a simple rating] I'd say it's good. I'd give it 7/10... some will like it a lot more than that (especially if they haven't played all that many games), and some will just find it boring and painfully cheesy (can't stand the living guts out of story and most of the dialog, but mileage will vary).

  12. #12
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2009

    Dark Messiah of Might and Magic

    Does the Steam version of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic use SecuROM? Thinkin about getting it cause Steam has a good deal this weekend for that and the Heroes of Might and Magic 5 series

  13. #13
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    No, it just uses Steam itself as DRM. I'm speaking just of the SP portion, I have no clue about the MP component since I never bothered to install it (as likely nobody plays it), I honestly doubt that it does either.

    Steam storefront pages usually tell you whether or not a game has 3rd party DRM, eg Crysis Warhead.
    Last edited by EvaUnit02; 9th Dec 2009 at 09:24.

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