събота, 15 март 2014 г.

Might and Magic X Legacy - EN


    After I played around 10 hours I decided to write a preview of the new Ubisoft creation – Might and Magic X Legacy. This is only a preview, something like first impression, because I haven’t finished the game yet!
Have you played Grimmrock? No? Ok, something classic then – Wizardry 8? Yes? Great! M&M X is exactly in this style – classic turn-based, first-person RPG in which you form a party of adventurers and go offer your help to the people in the world of Ashan.
Before I get all technical and tell you more for the gameplay there will be a little bit of the story – you are controling the four students of a great adventurer and you have sworn that you will bring his dust to the city of Karthal, BUT the city is in the middle of rebellion and is off-limits. To get inside you should help a whole bunch of people to solve their own problems. Also, the Emperor is dead and the Empress is reforming all kind of things and not everybody is fond of that. The story follows the end of Heroes of Might and magic 6, so if you have not played it yet – SPOILER ALLERTS! Now, how the game works and what it have to offer?
You have to form a party of four characters and for that you are given four races with three classes each. The races are elves, dwarves, orcs and humans. Every race have an archer, a warrior and a mage, exception are the humans, because they don’t have an archer. They have mercenary who is a jack of all trades.
Every class starts with two default skills which you can’t unselect, but depending on your starting skill points (four for humans and two for the others) you can learn few more before the start of the game. The skill variation is not bad at all – you can learn all kind of skills – all sorts of weapons, dual wielding, two handers, shields, magic schools (water, air, fire, earth, light, prime) and few more. But you are limited in the skills each class can learn, so don’t hope your mage to swing giant sword, dressed in all heavy armor. Oh, and if you really want a certain skill but don’t have skill points for it in the beginning, don’t worry – you can get it any time when you gain a level in the game. The skills have three mastery levels – expert, master and grandmaster. To advance you will need to have rised the skill to the needed level and find certain NPC which will teach you the next skill rank.
Every class has one advancement, for example – your Freemage can become Archmage or your Mercenary can become Windsword and so on.
After you have chosen what party members you want (By the way if you don’t have the patience to manually create your party, let the game do it for you.), you are ready to start. After some loading and veeery long cut-scene you start at the shore of Sorpigal-at-the sea, located on the Angyn Peninsula.
You have just made ten steps in this new world and an NPC jumps on you and starts to babble and offer to take you on a city tour – accept or don’t, doesn’t really matters. The most annoying thing for me is the movement – square per step so your party kind of jumps around, but oh, well…
After you enter the city you will see that it is nicely done and have the right character – of a resting place for retired heroes. I personally couldn’t help but compare it to the Academy faction in Heroes of Might and Magic 4, but it is actually inspired by the Santorini Islands, Greece.
In this new Sorpigal (not to be mistaken with New Sorpigal) you will find everything to start an adventure – blacksmith, temple, inn, quests and NPC to talk with. Annoyingly enough you won’t be able to leave the city until you don’t finish certain quest, but no worries it’s a quick one. And if you think your first task will be to kill spiders in a maze, well, you’re absolutely right!

But the NPCs will not only give you quests but will also tell you about the world you’re in and if you like game lore – hear them, but if you’re in for the gameplay, you would not miss anything.
And mentioning quests and gameplay, let’s talk about the battle system, after all this is RPG game – the battle is main part of what you’ll be doing. If you have played other games of this genre then the battle system will be nothing new to you, but for those of you who have not played such, let me explain – after you get on a certain distance from your enemy you engage in a battle. If you’re lucky, your opponent will be at some distance and you will have time to fling some arrows at him and throw some spells. If not, well, draw your swords! Turn changes after all your characters do something and then all enemies play. The actions your guys can perform are attack, cast a magic, drink a potion, and defend. The battles end fast, even with stronger opponents which is always good. 
I must say that I enjoy the fights and they certainly offer challenge and need of skill synergy between party members. That reminds me, you will not find useless skill in the game - just some are more effective than others and in every magic school there is at least one skill which you will use during the whole game.
Sadly, you cannot flee from battle, you can’t choose which opponent to attack when they’re at distance and you can hardly move when engaged in hand-to hand fight.
Talking about the enemies, I must say that there is a great variety of enemy types, if you have played HoMM 6 then you will recognize all factions creatures from there and even some more. Every enemy has some ability, which also adds to the challenge of the fights and tactics.
If you like these kinds of RPGs, play it! If you have not played such games but you’re curious, go for it! If you like The Might and Magic universe, but have not played the previous nine Might and Magic (like me), don’t let this stop you, this game is related to HoMM 5 and 6, not to M&M 1-9.
Don’t play it if you’re hard core fans of the series, a lot of people like you are disappointed from it. Don’t even get close to it if you don’t like turn-based games. Also if the graphic quality is very important to you, avoid it by all means, M&M X don’t impress with graphics but I don’t even think it tries to, after all - it has “retro pixalization” option.
I like it and I will probably finish it, for now I’m in Act 2, lost in elven forest.

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