A retro-inspired dungeon-crawler quick to punish your mistakes.
You are Raiders, a party lumped together to make a name for yourselves in the crafted Argyn Peninsula, a land wrecked by turmoil both political and monster-horde in nature. There’s not a lot of plot – you’re told you won’t be hunting rats, but instead giant spiders, in just the barest gleam of the developers sense of humour – at the beginning, nor through the rest of the game, but that doesn’t matter much: Might & Magic X: Legacy, crafted by Limbic Entertainment and published by Ubisoft, is more of glorified excuse to take your rag-tag bunch of adventurers
on a monster and dungeon exploring-spree.
Legacy is grid-based and in first-person, in its entirety; it might reek of a golden age of video games that have long since passed, but then, so does the rest of the game. Might & Magic X isn’t ashamed of the genre it is continuing; rather, it is a deliberate homage to the role playing games of the '80s and '90s, and refuses to apologise for it. It doesn’t push you in the right direction. It doesn’t block you out. It kicks you in the back when you’re not looking to go out and fight the vicious fauna, flora and local inhabitants. You’ll probably die, but if you don’t, that’s where the fun truly begins.
Might & Magic X is classically turn-based, including all the frustrations with such a model. Dungeons are more mazes that take forever and a day to navigate thanks to every monster within what seems like 100 meters getting a turn before you can act out. Each round of battle, all your characters get one action, and while combat isn’t too tactical or in-depth – mash an option that kills the enemy is what I did 90% of the time – bosses can be both annoying and frustrating in their spike of difficulty and the bad luck they bring upon your band of merry travellers. It’s not the worst thing in the world for combat to be easy and simplistic, because you’ll spend the majority of your time hacking at spiders, bandits, mer-people with katanas and myriad of other zany creatures that the Argyn Peninsula can throw at you.
Might & Magic X is a deliberate homage to the role playing games of the '80s and '90s, and refuses to apologise for it. It doesn’t push you in the right direction. It doesn’t block you out. It kicks you in the back when you’re not looking to go out and fight.
Two things stand out in Might & Magic X: Legacy, and they’re both the budget and the love shown. NPCs in town don’t do squat except stand there and talk smack to you (in the first town, they’re all ex-adventurers, who apparently can’t deal with their own spiders) and character-creation is extremely limited for a role-playing game: 4 races, each with three classes, but on the flip side character progression is relatively horizontal and you can specialise each class into their own flavour of character, which is really nifty. But lore is deep, detailed and scattered about the realm; the gameplay mechanics are definitely solid; dungeon design is interesting and varied (as well as sometimes surprising); and it’s brutal to beginners.
If you’re a first-time player to the series or genre, you will make mistakes. Your characters will most-definitely suck, thanks the variety of skills that are open for you to choose right at the beginning. It is highly worth your time to play around and understand what it is you’re trying to accomplish with all the perks, skills and magic spells the game has to offer, because your party is utterly useless without them. You kill enough monsters by mashing your hotkeys, you get experience, you unlock a new skill for your hotkey thanks to a level-up. It’s a classic system that is known to work, and actually felt a bit daunting to get used to after the hand-holding I’ve been used to in the last decade.
There are a few problems that should have been dealt with but for some reason or another weren’t. The first is the performance: my machine isn’t top-tier, but it can run anything I throw at it. It ran Might & Magic X: Legacy decently… on medium/low. Even then, it would chug and clamp up every so often, and while it was only a few times an hour, I was also getting exorbitant load-times. Secondly, the inclusion of Uplay is a bit irritating, as problems with either Steam or Uplay make the game really difficult to even play. I still highly enjoyed playing the game, which is all that really matters, but it felt important to mention these issues.
The Final Verdict
Might & Magic X: Legacy is not for everyone. It’s combat-heavy and story-light, and can be a bit rough around the edges, making it so dissimilar to popular RPGs of today that the modern gamer might be completely disillusioned playing it. However, through the good and the bad, Might & Magic X: Legacy is an excellent modern rendition of a genre lost to age and time, and will douse you with heavy amounts of nostalgia.