Might and magic heroes VII, the seventh instalment of the main franchise, not changing the play style the games series has set for it in previous games it is a turn based strategy game with an RPG element made by Limbic Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. Not really knowing much about this franchise it was interesting to play, maybe with an emphasis on the interesting.
There are two main modes to the game which are the multiplayer and the campaign which play in much the same way. However the campaigns obvious differentiation is that it has some story worked in there. From what I understand the story takes place approximately two hundred years after the shades of darkness (the stand alone expansion for might and magic heroes six) and one hundred years before the fifth game in the series. You are Ivan Griffin – Duke of Griffin Duchy, and must gather a force of allies to take the crown of the land of Ashan while the Falcon Empire is in a state of disrepair. Well, the story starts here once you have done a couple of mini campaigns as you have to finish two of your ally’s backstories. How the stories are delivered through the use of very well done simple yet artistic cut scenes and talented voice acting during the game’s missions creates a real nice flow of story without interrupting the gameplay or making it feel disjointed in any way. However, I really did not feel that enthralled by the story. Maybe this is due to how late I have come into the series. Kind of like turning up to a party when everyone’s gone. The game does try and fill you in with the backstories of characters, however the game still feels like one that you need a certain amount of knowledge before going into it to fully enjoy it. Nowhere is this clearer than in the gameplay.
As mentioned the game is a turn based strategy game which is divided into two main areas- movement and combat. With the movement you traverse the map picking up items, resources, extra exp and fights where you please just like a standard turn based strategy game with the enemy also moving about the map. When you eventually have an engagement with an enemy consensual or otherwise you will enter a screen to place your troops and then launch into combat with the enemies on a small chess board like a battlefield. The combat is done in the same turn based style as the movement, however you don’t just have your troops to attack your enemy, but your hero can use their abilities to aid your loyal pawns with dealing extra damage through standard attacks or magic. That nifty magic can also be used to buff troops and heal them too. But, this is a double edged sword as the enemy can do this too, if you encounter one of their heroes which is especially annoying since heroes cannot be killed and will only lose when their army is wiped out. Splitting up the combat and divorcing it from the traversal of the map is interesting as opposed to a turn based strategy game like war machine which has the combat and movement tied together in a much simpler and nicer way, however, I can see why it is done here as warmachines battles during the campaign are very small squad styled skirmishes whereas might and magic you are fighting a war. This is in some way, maybe how games like warmachine falls apart in big long battles as sticking as many units as you like (which you can do in the free battles up too a limit) leaves the battlefield cluttered during combat and it is very easy to see quite early on if you are going to win or lose as one side starts to gain an obvious power advantage. This is opposed to how might and magic works as with each battle you have a chance to recover with savvier tactics. You are left with choices such as “should I attack this neutral unit to gain more exp with the risk of losing troops” or “leave it so that I do not suffer massive losses in some tough inescapable combat”. Which unfortunately was something I had to learn the hard way as I did not realise you could not re-enforce your troops a lot of the time straight away. The game also has an RPG element to it with the ability to level your hero increasing the damage and abilities they have in combat.
If you are a fan of the franchise, it has not changed much and looks very pretty indeed with all the cool creatures and heroes available and the maps feel very organic and beautiful. If you are someone who likes epic, memorable scores you are properly going to be disappointed, however the voice acting, as mentioned, is phenomenal and adds that extra something to all the main characters.
Overall the game is good. Saying good seems to be harsh as it is such a mundane, boring sentiment, but, by this I mean it does what it feels it should with its continuing lore heavy story carried from the series predecessors. It’s interesting game mechanics with the heroes features that are introduced during combat adds to, this to however, it falls into maybe more of a “massive” turn based strategy game in which you are concerned with a bunch of small fights during a big campaign map as opposed to small skirmishes which I personally find less fun as more time is spent in making sure you do not make tiny mistakes and overall the games are a lot longer and arduous. So if you are a fan of might and magic and like to do your fighting in lots of small but tactical skirmishes and like a massive maps to play extensively then this Is a great game for you, however if you prefer the more squad focused turn based strategy games then you may find this game a little harder to get into.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.