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Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra (PC) artwork

Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra (PC) review

"It has flawless execution and presentation values, and still has value, even when stacked up against the newest role playing games."

Might and Magic 3 is by far the best in the series of Might and Magic games.

I'm quite aware that that is a lofty proclaimation. However, all future and past Might and Magic games could not match the ease of play, balance, and presentation value of Might and Magic 3. This includes even the vastly superior technological games, Might and Magic 4, 5, and 6. Why is Might and Magic 3 so good?

Well, it's not because of the story. It's the typical Might and Magic story. Which basically means that they throw you into the middle of a town and you're on your own. You find quests to accomplish mainly by stumbling around, reading information about various locations and talking to wise sages. As you travel, the mysteries of Terra open themselves up to you, but not without hard work. The story is simply not a drawing point of Might and Magic 3.

The ultra-tight gameplay is though. Combat is much better than typical ''dungeon'' role playing games. It moves at a very fast pace; you won't have to spend hours clearing just one dungeon. This isn't because the game is easy, because it's not. It's a testament to the fast-moving battle system, with an emphasis on attack instead of defense.

Equipment and items are also very simple to utilize. Two to three button presses can equip, use, or transfer items between characters. With a quick reference sheet that can be viewed at any time with the Q key, you can look at the changes new equipment make.

Characters can be created and put into your party at any point in the game, a maximum of eight, no more than six player and two non-playing (computer) characters though. They come in many different classes and races, mostly of folklore design. Elves, knights, druids, dwarves, humans, robbers, paladins, all the main staples of role-playing games are here.

The amount of equipment available in Might and Magic 3 is astounding. Every piece of equipment has three traits - the type of equipment, the type of enchantment it has, and the material it's made out of. With these three different values combining to make different types of equipment, there's easily over five hundred different types of equipment.

If Might and Magic 3 has any faults, it would be the non-linear gameplay. However, in dealing with almost any computer role playing game, this is a given, ESPECIALLY in the time period it was released. When graded against other games of its time, Might and Magic 3 is head and shoulders above the rest. None of the other games of the series dominated their time period like Might and Magic 3.

Graphically, Might and Magic 3 is untouched in its own way even to this day. No game has matched the sheer cleanliness of the graphics. Statues and fountainheads in the game look beautiful, shimmering and gleaming with sunlight. The game is so polished graphically that the enemies don't pixelate at close range.

The sounds of Might and Magic 3 are good for their time, annoying at any other time. It's all midi-based, but that's a GREAT thing compared to the scratchy digitialized speech of later versions. Translation - you won't put plugs into your ears, but you're not going to be cranking out these tunes either.

Overall, Might and Magic 3 is the epitome of dungeon-wandering games. It has flawless execution and presentation values, and still has value, even when stacked up against the newest role playing games. Pick it up, you won't be sorry.

sgreenwell's avatar
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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