Ubisoft’s 80s throwback role playing game Might & Magic X Legacy is available now for early access via Uplay and Steam for £19.99, and includes a taster of some interesting gaming. We sampled the early access “demo”, and found an intriguing game that offers an interesting take on first person adventuring. Take a look at our Might & Magic X Legacy hands on preview video for the full picture.
Might & Magic X Legacy hands on preview Text version:
Today we’re taking a look at the Steam Early Access of Ubisoft’s first person 80s throwback role playing game Might & Magic X Legacy or Might and Magic 10 Legacy which ever you prefer. It has to be said from the offset, that the style of play on offer has been replaced with more free flowing gameplay in modern RPGs making Might & Magic X Legacy quite unique. The aspect of control and movement is instantly noticeable the moment you step foot into the open world. So, players are perhaps asked to loosen the shackles of preconception, and bask in the clunky tile based movement the game offers without fear that being boxed in is a limitation, rather than the clear design choice being entertained here. Once this hurdle is overcome, then the game can be enjoyed for what it is rather than always questioning why “they didn’t they do this” or “that”.
To begin, players can select the obligatory default or hard difficulty, a leading choice if there ever was one, but perhaps an opening to set the long term fans from those dabbling for the first time. Once a suitable choice has been made, then players can either run with the default group of four characters, randomize the group for some interesting results, or be a little more tactical and choose their own. The latter option requires a bit of understanding of the game, and is perhaps best suited once some hours have been invested. There are four races available, Human, Elf, Dwarf and Orc with several classes on offer for each, although some are locked at this stage. Once a male or female team have been selected alongside their starting attributes, players can begin the adventure. Whilst taking a bit of time to gather the team and distribute points, the results can be more beneficial than using the default characters.
Into the game and players can move around one of several towns planned for the full game , some dungeons, and the open plains. There are all the usual RPG elements such as traders, hidden chests and the opening quest providers to set you along a righteous path – there is a story here which is voiced in part, but the real adventure is of your team and survival as you rid the world of undesirables. It’s all quite neatly wrapped up and allows for getting used to the tile based movement the moment you start the game proper. In a nutshell, each step in any direction is one tile with the passage of time passing on each step. Stay on the spot and time stands still (but the world doesn’t) until a further move is made. For the most part as players wander through the game world freely, the tile based movement can almost be ignored especially as left and right viewpoint shifts are on offer to create a more fluid experience, however in the great outdoors , it is clunky and would have been jarring to switch from free movement to tile based when in combat, so it’s understandable why the design choice was made. That said, the tile based movement works very well in combat situations as it adds a tactical edge to the game. If players think before they move, there is a chance for a first attack which is very useful when faced with numerous opponents.
When travelling the open world or interiors, enemies are placed on set tiles and can be viewed from a distance. Once in range, the fighting begins as players take turns to move, attack or defend. Once engaged it’s a fight to the death with no option to flee. When fighting, players have to consider the strengths of their party and adopt tactics that suit the team. When using the default characters for example, there are moments where the Dwarf character misses an attack each turn simply because he does not possess a ranged attack whereas the other three do. For a number of opponents, chipping away their health before they can get in close is a great tactic to use, so the dwarf is instantly disadvantaged. This is where developing your own starting characters is beneficial, because then players can make sure each character whether that be Dwarf or Elf has all the fighting styles covered using a mix of bows and arrows or magic to sit alongside the melee weapons. However, ultimately the choice lies with the player and with so many parameters to mess around with at the start, this is what makes the game the interesting prospect it is. Want to go in with an all girl shaman Orc team… you can!
During combat, players can use potions, cast spells, and select which fighter to strike next. It’s a simple set up, with editable hotkeys being available for the more common moves. The turn based aspect of the game means players can take their time with the strategy when facing more formidable opponents, but is also easy to move with fair pace when being less strategic and using raw power instead. The choice of characters does have an impact on how the game plays, where magic based fighters offer a bit more strategy to the game – and if both styles are utilized then battles require a bit more thinking than simply hammering the attack button.
So, the gameplay works despite its clunky nature, however, there are some issues with the performance at times with stutter and dips in frames which for a game which isn’t the most graphically intensive will need to be addressed before the final release. There’s some pleasant moments, such as the transitioning from day to night, some interesting character designs, and fitting music, but overall the game is certainly a throwback to a bygone age of gaming which in some ways is a shame, as the mind can only imagine how it would all look with a current lick of paint.
Might & Magic X Legacy in its current state offers some excellent music, solid adventure and some fine character customization making for a worthy game to invest many hours in. Whilst the tile based gameplay might be a little dated, if you can look past this and enjoy the game for what it is, there’s an large dose of adventure to be had here for any Might & Magic enthusiast and anyone else who wants in on something slightly off the beaten track. Might & Magic X Legacy is available via Early Access on Uplay and Steam for £19.99 and includes the full game when released, a ton of extra features including the option for the community to make their own content. If early access isn’t your thing, then be sure to keep an eye out for the full game when it releases.