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Might & Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven (PC) artwork

Might & Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven (PC) review

"Don't get me wrong, Might and Magic 6 is still a decent game. However, it's just not that fun to play and pales in comparision to the other games. "

Might and Magic 6. The game that was supposed to bring Might and Magic out of the typical Dungeons and Dragons world and into the 3-D RPG world. Does it succeed? Well, the jury is still out for me.

The story is actually an improvement over old Might and Magic games; you're told what to do in this one. You must save the kingdom. Well, okay, the idea isn't original. But it's better then the typical Might and Magic story.

The gameplay is much worse then previous Might and Magic games though. Every cave has around 70 to 80 monsters. And no, I'm not exaggerating. This can make even the most grizzly RPG player grit his teeth. The world is also much larger with many more tasks to complete, so many so that it all piles up on you and seems daunting and impossible.

Expect even the very best RPG player to spend around 30 hours at the least, but more likely somewhere around 50 to 60 hours. This is not a journey for the weekend warrior, or the faint of heart. Hardcore RPG'ers who can recite Magic Tables for Dungeons and Dragons are the only people who should apply for this quest, unless you want to cheat with hex editors or trainers.

There are, however, some improvements in the gameplay. There are many more weapons, armors, shields, and helmets in this installment, not to mention boots, gauntlets, items, etc etc etc.

The worst feature of Might and Magic 6 in my opinion is the ''Skills'' function. In previous Might and Magic games, you'd just pay a lump sum to learn a skill (say mountaineering). Now you must ''earn'' the skill level-wise.

However, you only earn a certain amount of points each level, and there's simply not enough to spread around. You end up learning a few abilities really well and all the others fairly crappy.

Add to this the weird view that the game uses. When you engage the enemy, you can choose between two options, the real-time fighting mode and the turn-based fighting mode.

The real-time fighting mode makes this game play more like DOOM then anything else. Well, not DOOM, but Hexen. However, the action goes by too quickly most of the time while in real-time. While you're trying to assess your situation the enemies keep on pounding on you.

The turn-based mode is decent. However, it can only be used in battle. So if you want to use it, you have to switch from real-time mode to turn-based mode. This will usually cause you to miss a round as your enemy hits you with long range weapons or spells.

Another problem is that this game is a little choppy. It's not my system either; I tested it on a 266/64meg ram with a Voodoo 3 and on a 233/32meg ram with a STB Nitro 2meg. On both systems the game ran virtually the same speed. This can be distracting in real-time mode when you hit a button and nothing happens.

The graphics are not anything to write home about. Even when the game came out, the graphics were not comparable to, say, Final Fantasy 7 PC. The game is alledgedly 3-D accelrated, but I'm not seeing it.

The sounds and sound effects are a massive improvement over previous installments. They sound good enough to leave the sound on... Well, for a little while at least. Eventually you'll turn it off once you start hearing the same music after going out and coming back into a dungeon for the 5th time.

Compared to the previous games of this series, Might and Magic 6 is better and worse. The gameplay is just not as fun to play. The hordes and hordes of monsters aren't fun to kill as in previous games, and the skills system is assinine; there's far too many to learn and some are completely useless. The new equipment and spells are also a little fun, but too many monsters offset this problem.

Some people might argue that the graphics are better then previous games, but I still believe that the clean and refined graphics of 3 rule the series. (Note: I haven't gotten a chance to play 7 and I'm not counting the ''Heroes'' games.) The graphics still can't hold a candle to current games, or even games that were around when it was released.

The sounds are much better. The cheesey, crap sounding digitalized voices from 4 and 5 are gone, thank god. The game's music sounds pretty enough and it definately a step up from earlier games.

Don't get me wrong, Might and Magic 6 is still a decent game. However, it's just not that fun to play and pales in comparision to the other games. Baldur's Gate is a better RPG if you're a hardcore player, and Final Fantasy 7 or 8 for the softcore.

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

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