Closer Look at Might & Magic Heroes VI
Ubisoft, the rights holder and publisher of the Might & Magic series, preferred the Hungary-based Black Hole Entertainment to Nival Interactive as the developer. The result turns out to be a milestone in the series, if not a completely original game.
You can note that even the game’s official name has changed somewhat. Although the developers claim to have followed the traditions of the series, this is not easy to see. The selection of resources has been shrunk to only four basic ones (gold, wood, ore and crystals) but this is not going to make the game easier to play. You still need many heroes to gather required resources as soon as possible and you’re always going to be short of something.
City development has changed significantly, too. You won’t find a magic guild among the buildings of Might & Magic Heroes VI. Magic talents can only be acquired in the hero development menu. Heroes belong to two classes: mage and warrior, but you won’t feel the difference between them until they are level 15. In fact, they only differ in the skills they gain when leveling up and in the availability of super spells or melee tricks in the third-level abilities.
The plot of the 6th installment is about such basic things as honor, duty, betrayal, love and fate. Fate is a key concept of the Might and Magic universe which is in the state of precarious balance, living through repetitive cycles. Once each four centuries demons can invade the world of the living and get rid of the curse of their dungeon. The game unfolds during the second demon invasion and 400 years prior to the third one, described in Heroes of Might & Magic V.
It is the ducal family of Griffin that play the key parts in the story. The heirs of Duke Slava of Griffin find themselves in different parts of the Ashan world. His five children control the five castles available in the game: Anton is responsible for his father’s heritage and the castle of Haven; Anastasya, supposedly the killer of her own father, heads the necromancer stronghold of Necropolis, Kiril betrayed his family while trying to help an angel and get rid of the voices in his head and was lured into Inferno, Sandor, keeps friends with the orcs of Stronghold and Irina is responsible for Sanctuary.
As promised by the authors, the game features a lot of innovations. We liked the boss battle mode, for example. The previous parts of the series used to throw a huge army of foes at you at the end of each campaign or quest, but now you can face a single fallen angle. The problem is that he’s got about two thousand hit points, so the battle isn’t going to be easy anyway. The opportunity to convert conquered enemy cities to your race, a hero reputation system and dynastic weapons can also be mentioned.
It would take very long to describe each innovation. The game is complex, so you can spend months just reading the stories and dialogues in it. Some missions may turn out to be too difficult even at low difficulty settings, especially as wrong actions during the first weeks into a scenario will eventually show up and make you replay it. Well, it’s just like the good old Heroes but somewhat different. The game is worth playing, but let’s see if you can enjoy it comfortably on your current hardware.