Among the old school RPG titles that helped form the genre that we now know today, some have survived in some form while others had been left to languish in the annals of gaming history. However, while those that still survive like Diablo have been twisted into a shadow of its former self, Might and Magic has always been the series that most people have vaguely heard about and has somehow maintained a good bit of its original form. Of course, the newer games did take on more modern features, but this one has gone back to the distant past to relive its legacy.
Might and Magic X: Legacy from Limbic Entertainment and Ubisoft is a throwback to the Might and Magic titles of old, which featured the retro-style movement and the four-character party system that longtime fans are familiar with. Instead of following the story of Might and Magic IX, which was released back in 2002, this game follows that of Might and Magic Heroes VI. It may sound confusing to some, as there are two game series from this franchise. There’s the Might and Magic old-school RPG series, and there’s Heroes of Might and Magic turn-based strategy series. Might and Magic X is like a convergence point for these two, as well as a return to the classic.
This is not a game that most kids of today will appreciate like how the kids of yesterday did. What it does have though is the authentic CRPG gameplay experience that became the next level of progression after pen-and-paper and roguelike. The plot here is a simple “you’re a hero, go kill baddies” angle with little to no twists and turns in between. Despite not having as extensive of a storyline as you’d expect from an RPG in this day and age though, there’s still a lot of the massive in-game world to explore. As with the older games, it’s like a first-person version of Gauntlet with four characters. You get a lot by the way of weapons, skills, spells, and so on to develop your characters and use against increasingly powerful enemies.
RPGs back in the day didn’t have much in terms of storyline due to restrictions in graphics and storage capacity back in the day, so they mostly focused on combat and linear progression. The various things we have these days in RPGs like side quests and multiple paths are a luxury compared to what was common in the old days, but that never stopped developers and gamers from getting into them. Might and Magic X takes a lot from those days of yore, so its adherence to classic RPG design makes up most of its charm. However, most would find this to be rather boring since there’s not much story to speak of and you just move around and kill things for the most part, so it’s only appealing to a niche audience.
Perhaps it’s a welcome break from all the Mass Effect’s, Dragon Age’s, and Skyrim’s of today; a simpler premise to get back to simpler times when all you needed was your weapon and a bit of imagination to embark on adventures. Unfortunately, not everything in this game is delightfully old-school as you are reminded that it’s a modern title with modern inconveniences, like Ubisoft’s Uplay online authentication that raises doubts as to whether people can still play this 10-20 years from today, like what some gamers do with games from the 80′s and 90′s .
This really is a game for those who are truly interested in classic RPGs, so it’s not for everyone. Perhaps there are people who didn’t like Might and Magic as kids but now could appreciate it as adults (like me), so this could actually be a good entry point into the series. But be warned that if you don’t end up liking this one, then you’ll definitely not like the previous games in the series. Time will only tell if this game will truly stand the test of time like its predecessors somehow did.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 7/10