Kick the undead in the back

August 9, 2006 by Tim

I’ve been spending some time with the Dark Messiah: Might and Magic demo so that I could relay my impressions of the game. I think my impressions can be summed up in one word- wow.

While I don’t think the game approaches the scope or open-endedness of Oblivion, for instance, it does a lot of really cool stuff that Oblivion lacked.

First of all, the combat is much more fun. You can dual wield, which is always a plus, and there’s a good variety of combat moves you can execute, such as charged power moves. There’s also an adrenaline meter which fills up during combat, and allows you to pull off finishing moves like decapitation, or running someone through. During a finishing move, everything slows down so you can really appreciate the destruction you just laid down on your opponent. And if they happen to be knocked down and still alive, you can… let’s say you can remedy the situation.

You can also kick, which makes for some great situations where you sneak up behind someone and boot them off a cliff.

The game is first person, but if you look down you can see your body. I always like that in games. It’s less immersive when you’re just a disembodied head. Anyway, the reason I mention this in particular is because, during one fight with a vicious looking goblin/orc thing, he actually grabbed me by the neck and lifting me into the air. All I could do was look down helplessly as he grimaced at me, and then flung me backwards. As I landed hard on my back, stunned, I saw my body laid out and the orc walking my way.

Then, before I could get up, he gave me a little kick and sent me flying off the walkway we were on and into the chasm below.

Manipulating items and bodies is also pulled off better than Oblivion. Whereas in Oblivion, if you wanted to move a body, it was a serious pain in the ass, Dark Messiah lets you just pick them up and carry/throw them wherever you want. This also makes for some fun times.

I really recommend giving the demo a whirl. The game won’t be out for a while, but this is a nice taste of what’s in store.

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