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Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer

Score: 70%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: 3DO
Developer: New World Computing
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:

By far, the weakest part of Might and Magic VIII is the game engine. This is the same engine that was used in the previous two Might and Magic games, and itís really showing its age. It renders simple buildings and such just fine, but all of the characters are horribly pixilated sprites and looking up and down is an exercise in futility. The actual drawn graphics -- weapons and portraits and such -- are quite gorgeous, and the rendered cut-scenes that play either in shops or during plot points are nice as well. Itís just the game world itself thatís very, very ugly.

The various sound effects are mediocre with clings and clangs and zaps coming from weapons and spells. The voice acting is overacted, but itís not so bad as to be annoying, and itís pretty easy to ignore.


Gameplay:

If youíve played Might and Magic VI or VII, you know what to expect. Itís a mix of turn-based and real-time fighting. In MM8, youíre out to save the world from the Destroyer. Typical Might and Magic fare, neh? Those who are not new to the series will appreciate coming back to the world of Might and Magic.

Unlike the previous games, you recruit characters instead of starting off with them. This gives you less choice than the make-your-own situation of the previous games, and as such, is something of a loss. You can play as a Necromancer, Cleric, Knight, Troll, Minotaur, Dark Elf, or Vampire from the beginning, and later on can recruit a Dragon. Of course, if youíre a cheap bastard like me, your best bet is probably the Dark Elf so you can bow-and-arrow your enemies to oblivion without ever getting hit. Itís cheap, and itís a problem with the engine, but it works just fine.

And therein lies the problem. When MM6 came out, the whole real-time/turn-based thing was novel and different, and a helluva lot of fun. Now with MM8, itís just not enough to really make you want to spend your hard-earned money. Sure, there are jillions of quests to do, and the plot itself is pretty interesting (if not all that surprising), but Might and Magic VIII just doesnít offer enough new stuff to make it all that worthwhile.


Difficulty:

Until you get the hang of the way the game works, the Might and Magic series has always been damned hard, and this one is no exception. Once you understand whatís going on and how to work around the problems, itís considerably easier. And if youíre cheap, you can get through much of the game unscathed (well, relatively).

Game Mechanics:

As stated before, the engine could definitely use some work, especially with movement and looking around. Mouselook would have been really nice, with perhaps right mouse button turning off mouselook so you could click on stuff on the screen. Otherwise though, Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer is built on a solid foundation, both in lore and in gameplay. I can only recommend it to the die-hard Might and Magic fans, however; it doesnít offer much of anything new, novel, or interesting to those who donít follow the journey through the ages of the Might and Magics. If you do, however, youíll be pleasantly re-immersed in the environs.

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

Minimum System Requirements:



Win95/98/NT, P166, 375MB HD space, 32MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM, DX7.0 compat Video & Sound
 

Test System:



Windows 98 running on a K6-III 450 w/256MB RAM, 6X/24X DVD-ROM drive, SoundBlaster Live!, Creative Labs Riva TNT2 Ultra w/32MB RAM

Windows Man of War II: Chains of Command Windows Mortyr: 2093-1944

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated