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

Dark Messiah – Game Review (PC)

James Lombardi

As Sareth progresses through the storyline, he gains skill points that can be used to unlock more spells and skills. With the wise design choice of rewarding skill points for reaching points in the story, advancing Sareth does not rely on killing every enemy along the way. A character focused on stealth can slip past most enemies without suffering penalties compared to a character that kills every living thing he sees. The flip side of this is that there are a very limit number of skill points available in the game, and are controlled by the story. Each point needs to be spent carefully, because by the end of the game, there will still be many unlock skills. The best strategy is to focus on one of the three logical paths, stealth, melee, or magic. Some cross training is essential, but spread Sareth’s skills too thin and risk being too weak in every area to make it through the game.


On top of becoming more powerful through unlocking skills, there are numerous magical weapons along the way that can unleash spell like effects. One shield, when used to block an enemy attack, provides an electric shock to damage and stun the attacking enemy. A sword found later in the game can be used to set foes ablaze. And while bows are generally weak in the game, those with magical enhancements provide added punch. Sareth has a huge inventory to carry items along in, but since there are no stores to sell old weapons – or buy new ones – there’s no incentive to keep carrying those weaker weapons.

Ultimately, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic provides an entertaining experience. When one can resist the urge to use the environment to easily defeat enemies, the melee combat is rewarding and exciting. The storyline, although with its ups and downs, provides incentive to keep pushing through to the game’s disappointingly short conclusion(s). And because skill points are in limited supply, there’s some incentive to try the game again with a wholly different approach. For those tired of World War II shooters, modern or futuristic battlefields, or counter-terrorist operations, Dark Messiah can provide a strong, fresh experience.


Armchair General Score: 84%

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