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Posted on Dec 20, 2006 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Dark Messiah – Game Review (PC)

James Lombardi

Passed Inspection: Fast paced and well executed melee combat. Good overall story.

Failed Basic: Story is weak at some points. Environment is over-utilized.

If there is one area where first person games have had trouble, it’s handling melee combat well. Games that focus primarily on swords and similar weapons are few and far between, but Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, with help from Valve’s Source Engine, manages to pull it off. While not without its weaknesses, Dark Messiah keeps the action fast paced and fun.

The easiest thing to get out of the way first is that being powered by the Source Engine, this game is graphically quite good. The outdoor settings are often quite beautiful and the game makes good use of sounds and visuals to create strong atmosphere as you crawl through crypts, dungeons, caverns. The creatures are well rendered from the extremely annoying poisonous spiders to the main characters in the story.

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Dark Messiah opens establishing the main character as an apprentice to a powerful mage named Phenrig. Phenrig’s voice guides Sareth, the main character, through a simple quest that serves as a tutorial to the game, introducing the player to the general controls needed to get through the game, and of course the combat system.

Combat is the main focus of the game – no need for wandering through towns talking to strangers for clues in this one – and luckily the game does shine here. The fundamentals are simple, left mouse click for to make a quick attack, right mouse click to block. Holding the left mouse button executes a power attack, which can be coupled with pressing a movement key in different directions to enable different attacks. Pressing back while holding the attack button places Sareth in a stance to thrust his weapon forward into the enemy rather than slash.

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