by Sergio Brinkhuis
reviewed on PC
While Legacy does everything right where it counts, there are a number of things that distract from what would otherwise be a glorious return for the franchise. Balance, for one thing, is a little off when comparing might (melee) and magic (spells). Too often I felt that all my ‘might’ characters were good for was staying alive long enough so that my mage could roast whatever stood in my way.
If you enjoyed the freedom of movement in Might & Magic 6 to 8, you will feel restricted playing Legacy. We’re back to tile-by-tile movement which – after a decade of the series laying dormant – takes a little getting used to. It doesn’t help that many tiles that look accessible turn out not to be quite often. I also found it difficult to absorb that you are locked in combat from the moment the enemy has spotted you. There is no escape, not even if there is a door to the outside right behind you. Worse still, once the enemy is in melee range you’re not even allowed to move anymore, making it impossible to at least try and maneuver to a more advantageous position. If you are grossly outmatched by your enemy, all you can do is wait for the death of your party and no amount of cleverness can change their fate.
The graphical style is more like the playful Might & Magic III than the slightly more realistic aesthetics applied to the later games. This would not be a problem per se, were it not for the fact that the low graphical fidelity will often have you wonder whether the game was released in 2004 rather than just the other month. On the plus side, the developers have worked hard to create a world that is oozing with personality. The Agyn Peninsula which makes up the map offers a wide variety of regions that range from barren wastes to lush forests and thriving cities. All of the artwork is warm, creative and diverse enough to feel fresh throughout the game.
There are, however, a number of small bugs that plague the game. Characters shouting out that they feel stronger after being hit by an enemy or notifying you that they have yet again found the same secret room that they found the previous five times that you passed the corridor can get a little silly. At some point, I lost all my in-game notes which, after 40+ hours into the game, was more than a little disappointing. Yet the most annoying issue with the game is the painfully dull load screen that pops up every time you die, go into a new city, dungeon or enter the main map. Staring at it for a minute each time really erodes one’s sense of immersion.
The best sibling
Legacy makes no excuses for paying tribute to its older siblings, even if it does not always choose the best relative for the job. The graphical style and restrictions when moving around are unfortunate, but not game-breakingly so. Arguments can be made for and against these choices but I can’t help but feel that emulating, say, Might & Magic VI would have opened the game up to a broader audience while being just as enjoyable.
Those niggles aside, I have to say I had great fun playing Legacy. I am confident that anyone willing to spend more than a handful of hours with the game will find these issues but tiny hurdles that are easily overcome. Might & Magic X Legacy is not only a faithful tribute to one of gaming’s most lauded RPG series but also a solid, time devouring RPG.
Old school gameplay mechanics brought into the modern days. More please.
Graphical fidelity is through the floor. Movement feels restrictive.