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RETRO REVIEW: Might and Magic® 6

From the deepest dungeons to the intrigues of the royal court, lead a band of adventurers on a dangerous journey of amazing depth and intelligence. Develop your characters through an unique skill point system and take part in an epic clash between the Ancients. Gather your forces, forge new allegiances and destroy all who oppose you. The fate of the world is in your hands!

 

 

Might and Magic 6 is part of one of the oldest, and in this writer’s opinion, best RPG series available; minus one or two of the later games in the series. The game itself was released in 1998, and so is definitely not a game most people would have played. The series was created by the now defunct studio, New World Computing, and was published by 3DO, before being sold to Ubisoft.

 

Might and Magic 6 is the first game in the series to use a 3D engine, although this is only really used to create the environment and make it a semi open world, with 2D sprites used as the NPCs. Although this has the advantage of the NPCs having a lot more detail compared to just regular 3D models of the time; compared to more modern games, it hasn’t aged well graphically, but has aged much better than other games released around the same time. This is mostly due to the aforementioned implementation of sprites instead of 3D models, but the game was never really played for the graphics, more for the story and gameplay.

 

 

The world the game is based in is called Enroth, and is set several years after an invasion of alien demons following a war with another race called The Ancients. During an attack by the demons, the player party is transported by a warlock to prevent them from being killed and to save the world.

 

Enroth is split into 12 different zones, which have many different types of enemies, ranging from Goblins and Mages in the starting areas, to Minotaurs and Hydras in the later areas. There is also at least one dungeon in each area related to a quest, and except for one or two, are not locked to the players. If you’re not strong enough for the dungeon, it will be impossible to complete them without leveling up.

 

 

Each NPC can be spoken to around the game world to provide some backstory or even an extra follower, for the right price. The conversations, while one sided, can provide a lot of information, depending on the purpose of the NPC, with quest givers providing a huge amount of backstory. All NPCs wandering around the world can be killed, but if you’re at a lower level this can badly backfire, so murder at your own risk.

 

Both enemies and NPCs respawn after a set amount of ingame time, ranging from a few months to a couple years depending on the area. This doesn’t just affect the world map but also the dungeons in each area, so they can be cleared out again for the extra xp.

 

 

The party, unlike some RPGs, is only made up of a single race, but there are a choice of 6 classes which affect the skills of the characters. During creation, there a number of shared skill points which can be used to increase the usual stats associated with RPGs, such as might, accuracy etc, making changes easy to determine. Each attribute and skill also has a hover description which provides useful information. The classes are easily recognisable, with 3 magic based, and 3 physical based, with each class only able to use certain skills from the pool, but each class isn’t too restricted to what they can choose to do with the skills.

 

The magic system is based on a points system, with the points increasing as the characters level up, as well as with a skill called Meditation, which increases the pool based on the amount of points in the skill. Health works the same way, but the skill to increase the number of points is called Bodybuilding.

 

 

The main story is a long quest series which can be completed as and when the player wants, along with numerous sides quests, which as mentioned previously, are set in the dungeons found throughout the land. The main story revolves around the demons discovered in the later game. During each quest, several objects of note may be found that provide more backstory, or even solutions to quest puzzles. An interesting feature is the quests don’t have markers pointing out where to go and what to grab; the complete opposite of what most modern games do: hand holding and spoon feeding every detail needed to complete the game.

 

The combat is kind of unique in how it can be approached. Most of the game is in real time, and so combat will be too, but the game allows you to go into turn based mode, with the priority of which character gets to act first based upon their speed attribute. It is worth remembering that the enemies are also affected by this. In the later games the turn based option wasn’t fully implemented as you are unable to move between rounds, but the monsters could.

 

I have played this game probably between 10 and 20 times over the years with varying degrees of completion, depending on what was happening in my life, but along with a handful of other games, this is one I always come back to, at least once a year.

 

Overall the game is as good in terms of gameplay as it used to be, even if graphically it hasn’t aged well. If you like RPGs, give this game, as well as the series, at least one play through, to see how games from the 90’s were made compared to how they are now, especially regarding the quests and storytelling.

 

Might and Magic® 6 is available from GOG.com over at https://www.gog.com/game/might_and_magic_6_limited_edition


February 7th, 2018 by GreatSnowman
This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 at 5:02 pm and is filed under Gaming, General, PC. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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