The Might & Magic franchise has been around for quite some time. The first title in the series was released on computers in 1986, and since then, the series had been steadily releasing dungeon crawlers onto the PC world until 2002. Sadly, the main franchise appeared to die after the release of Might and Magic IX, when the original developers filed for bankruptcy. However, Ubisoft has recently revived the series with Might & Magic X: Legacy, a decidedly old-school dungeon crawler set in a fantasy world on the brink of war. Will the Might & Magic series make a triumphant return to form with Legacy, or is what made the series so influential lost?
Besides the pre-made party, and a few tutorials, Legacy offers no handholding, leaving the player to their own devices. There are quests to complete and dungeons to explore, but you aren’t given directions of where to go and what to do; you decide where to go in the grid-based environment yourself. Except for a couple instances early on, you also aren't barred from any particular area. Legacy’s open world nature lets you go anywhere at anytime, and decide from there whether you’re able to handle the creatures there or not. This can be frustrating for some, as it’s all to easy to stumble into a dungeon with a monster that makes quick work of your party, but also gives exploration a satisfying air of danger and risk-taking that often is absent from many modern games.
There are also puzzles in Legacy, but for the most part they aren’t too difficult; hints to the solutions are almost always available in the room you find the puzzles in. There are also hidden passages to find, pressure plates to step on, and levers to pull, but these are normally very pronounced, and those that aren’t are typically mentioned by one of your party members. Legacy’s focus is more on the ‘puzzle’ of defeating strong enemies than it is on complex dungeon head-scratchers.
Also, despite how nice looking Legacy’s world is, the game suffers from optimization issues that mar the otherwise pleasant graphics. Frame rate and pop-in issues are abound even on higher-end computers, and many times the game has trouble running when it doesn’t seem like it should. There is also the inexplicable requirement to log onto uPlay whenever you boot the game up, which feels like an unnecessary complication considering most players will likely buy the title on Steam or another distribution service. Finally, there have been rare reports of save corruption issues, but it is not something that should deter you from picking up the title.
Might & Magic X: Legacy’s homage to older games of the iconic series is sure to please fans of old-school dungeon crawlers, but others may be put off by its open-world style and rough difficulty. Legacy has plenty to offer those that dig into the world, but only yields rewards to those that fight tooth and nail through each and every battle. While the game does provide some small mercy in the option of choosing a pre-made, balanced party, but beyond that the player is left on their own, and the lack of direction can steer gamers away. All in all, though, this game is both a homage to previous Might & Magic games and a faithful continuation of it... and that means it comes with all the ups and downs the franchise is known for.
Versions tested: Steam (PC)
Disclaimer: A copy of this game was provided to RPG Site by the publisher.