previewed on PC
In the aftermath of the groundbreaking Quake III, and likewise with Doom 3, many developers utilised their graphics engine in order to give their game a true edge in today's market. Similarly, Arkane Studios is using Valve Software's source engine, previously used on Half-Life 2, to the same effect. Together with Kuju Entertainment, who are dealing strictly with the multiplayer aspect, they are working on Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, a fantasy-themed First Person Shooter, set to impress both in the single player adventure, and in the internet escapades.
Set in the Fantasy world of Ashan, all of the staple parts necessary in creating a fantasy title are present; Magic, elves, orcs, demons, one god-like sorcerer, who one thousand years ago, imprisoned all the demons in a cave of magic. That sorcerer's betrayal sets off the backdrop to the story, in a world coming to terms with the re-emergence of the once banished demons' reappearance. You, Sareth, student to a powerful wizard, are sent by your master to recover the skull of the wizard who created the prison- a relic that can either seal the prison permanently, or unleash an unrestrained wave of ancient demonic hordes all over Ashan.
The game immerses players in an interesting form of First Person Shooter. In the same way that for instance Deus Ex combined the elements of a Role Playing Game with classic Shooter gameplay, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic attempts to emulate this feat in a similar way. The game features two different character growth systems, one for single- and one for multiplayer. This Role Playing Game element incorporates a loose system that breaks free of a rigid Dungeons & Dragons class based system, allowing you to learn skills freely, devoid of class restrictions. The Experience points for which are not gained per enemy (as per the norm), but instead are rewarded for completing objectives. However, in the multiplayer system, your progress is restricted to one class to encourage teamwork (otherwise your teams would be full of unstoppable powerhouses).
The gameplay itself is all in the first person. Picture if you will, any third person perspective Role Playing Game. Now imagine playing it in the first person perspective- that is what Arkane Studios has attempted to do here. From this first person perspective one can block, parry, slash, thrust, shoot, cast, dodge and many other previously unfamiliar commands, uncommon to most First Person Shooters. This view, instead of adopting the staple 'disembodied camera', contains hands and feet when performing actions, giving an awareness of your environment.