May Dark Messiah become a massive hit?

It’s been announced for XBOX 360.

Now the biggest problem for the PC release was because of the plenty of technical problems. If the port works well and the controls are intuitive on the pad (that’s a design challenge but it’s doable) I think the game may as well become rather popular.

That and some game design issues that should be solved (like kicking and parrying being too overpowered and flow-breaking).

What I mean is that it’s a kind of visceral melee combat that with technical and performance problems out of the way could be a pleasure to play.

The screenshots also look way better than PC version. Lighting and colors are thousands times better.

Key Features of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements for Xbox 360 include:

More action, new challenges. Experience Might and Magic like never before, with refined game mechanics carefully crafted for pad-controlled carnage, including a brand new lock-on feature and tweaked level design and game statistics. Explore three previously unreleased secret levels with new objectives, gameplay, and rewards.

Multiplayer remixed. New multiplayer maps have been created exclusively for Xbox 360, while all other features have been completely remastered for an optimal Xbox LIVE experience, allowing you to play with up to 10 players. Enlist with the Humans or the Undead and choose to play as an archer, priestess, mage or knight. Make use of powerful and unique skills and spells on the battlefield, including powers such as meteor shower, berserk charge and rain of arrows.

Cutting-edge technology. Discover the power of the Source engine on Xbox 360, featuring jaw-dropping environments, incredible graphics and top-notch physics. Immerse yourself in a gritty first-person experience with complete body awareness, realistic movements and physics rendering, making Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements the first action game to feature a complete first-person combat system.

Environmental mischief. Use your environment as a weapon to outsmart the most fiendish monsters. From bottomless pits to diabolical traps, players will find that that their spells and weapons are not always the most effective solution to dispatching their foes.

Never-ending action. Challenge the forces of evil across 12 chapters and master over 30 weapons and 12 devastating spells. Engage the enemy in intense melee combat with swords, bows, staffs and daggers; summon magic powers or sneak in the shadows to stalk depraved creatures. Show no mercy as you carve deep into the enemy’s flesh and use the environment as a weapon to outsmart the most fiendish monsters.

The Might and Magic universe’s darkest side. From bottomless pits to abandoned temples, dark catacombs and swelled cities, explore the remotest recesses of Ashan, populated with fearless Orcs, dreadful Undead, elusive Cyclops and many other creatures that defy nature’s creation. This is the darkest side of the legendary Might and Magic universe, where the forces of evil are stronger and more cunning than ever.

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements will be released in Q1 2008.

Those are either bullshots or they are doing some crazy impressive anti aliasing.

Environmental mischief. Use your environment as a weapon to outsmart the most fiendish monsters. From bottomless pits to diabolical traps, players will find that that their spells and weapons are not always the most effective solution to dispatching their foes.

At least they’re up front and honest about it this time. For a melee combat game, there sure were quite a few times I had to figure out some other way of killing things…

How is the kicking on the 360 version?

Ubisoft published an interview with the producer along with the announcement.

What is the greatest challenge for you on this project?

The biggest challenge was having to rebalance the whole game because of all the changes we introduced. It is tricky to reach a good balance for all players, no matter what specialty they choose. We also had to ensure that the difficulty and challenge level would remain the same from beginning to end, meaning that getting a big sword and making extensive use of the environment with the kick move would no longer be an easy option to finish the game.


I tried to mess with some configuration files on the original version but I figured out that the balance couldn’t be adjusted. There are the hardcoded one-hit kill such as the fire, chasms and spikes that basically lock any possible change. If you make the enemy stronger then everything goes off balance because the tricks become too overpowered.

Two changes I’d like to see in the gameplay are:

  • Make parry use some stamina. In the original game parry = god mode. You could sit there and parry forever. It could be interesting to force some dynamism so that the player has also to move and dodges the blows instead of just parry everything. Each successful parry would use some stamina and the more the stamina goes down the more the enemy could have a chance to trigger a recoil and so break the parry stance. It would also force players to administrate the stamina like a resource.

  • Give enemies a chance to resist kicks. Instead of just send everyone flinging around, the enemies could have a chance to resist the kick and just get interrupted instead of flying back, so that it would be a bit harder to use the cheap tricks.

Those two changes wouldn’t remove the role of the environment while also avoiding to make the melee combat too easy to “game” through the kick tricks.

I hope the multiplayer doesn’t look like ass again or they’ll easily lose 20% of any review.

They already do that: if someone is shielding or blocking your kick doesn’t do anything much.

Welp, here’s a game I’ll wind up buying twice.

Doesn’t this game look essentially the same as the PC version?

My gut says that this won’t become a massive hit just because of a 360 release. I know that Ubi is trying to revive the Might and Magic brand, so I would view this more as a console beachhead for the brand than some kind of standalone blockbuster release.

I still stand by DMoM&M as a great time. Simplistic, sure, and unbalanced at times. But massively entertaining, in a Michael Bay kind of way.

I also enjoyed DMoMM. And it was way better than anything Michael Bay has ever done. Faint praise, I know.

Not from the new screenshots.

That’s it, I’m never buying a frickin’ PC game again. This thing was a buggy, stuttering mess that I wanted to love when I bought it for Steam, but now I can get it for the 360 without any bugs and improved gameplay?

PC gaming is dOmed!

Imagine a world in which companies actually bothered to make their system requirements tighter on the PC such that they could do better quality control, and sat and polished as long as they did for consoles… Do you remember back in the day when the only requirement on the box was 286, 640K of RAM, 500K disk space, and CGA or EGA graphics?

640k (612k free)

I miss the games.

I don’t miss the boot disks.

I’ll almost certainly buy this for 360. I didn’t buy for PC because of the reported technical issues and didn’t want to deal with sub-par graphics in case my rig wasn’t up to date. I already own a 360, I’d like the acheivements, and know it will be completely hassle-free.

Yeah I am in the same boat here. I’ll be getting it for sure.

May it become a massive hit? The game certainly has my permission.

I never got around to the PC version so I’ll definitely bite on the 360 version.

I never finished it on the PC but I might just get it for the 360. This game just seems better suited to joystick controls, big screen TV and a couch.