Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dark Messiah Might and Magic: Elements (Xbox 360) Demo Impressions

Wow, and no, that's not a good wow. Dark Messiah Might and Magic: Elements strikes me as one hell of an The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion wannabe, with more of an action than RPG flavour, and not a really good one at that.

After starting up the game, my first impression was how last-gen this title looks. Visually, it actually reminded me a lot more of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and certainly nothing that's sported on the Xbox 360 today. Dark Messiah Might and Magic: Elements was developed using an ehanced version of Valve's Source Engine, and if this is it enhanced, than it's aged rather poorly.

Gameplay wise, the Controller is layed out similar to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, with a few changes (such as being able to kick and opponent away by pressing both Triggers). While you can level up, the game seems to lack any real stat upgrades, and instead on each Level Up you get a new ability.

In the demo, you have to find and enter a temple and retrieve a special crystal, and you mentor guides you verbally along the way. While there are some cool additions, like mantling and rope climbing, the controls do feel sluggish, overall, especially movement, and on Normal combat was far too easy.

Enemies rarely blocked and you could either power attack or simply hack them to death (I played as the Warrior class). Impaling enemies as a finisher was cool, but nothing ground breaking enough to make combat exciting.

You have a simple inventory to manage and there's a variety of weapons from magical Swords to a Rope Bow that shoots ropes for you to swing from, but the game just couldn't help but feel like a shadow of Bethesda's masterpiece. I'd say pass on this one and go pick up the Platinum Hits version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion instead.

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