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Dark Messiah: Might And Magic Elements Review

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It's not the messiah, it's a very shoddy game...

★★★★★

When a game’s over a year old – Dark Messiah was first released on the PC in September 2006, fact fans - you’d expect the developers to use the extra time and feedback to iron out flaws and concoct the best adventure possible. Bewilderingly, though, the coders behind this Xbox 360 reworking have managed to make DM worse…

Any Oblivion fan yearning for more medieval trickery would be advised to steer clear – and if you need more convincing, try this for size: most of the RPG elements have been stripped from the game since its PC incarnation, giving players little control in how their heroes evolve and leaving behind a rather shallow action game; the story forces players down a linear route with little room for exploration, making the game feel dated beside its more accomplished rivals; the script is clichéd, boring and vacuous, with leaden lines delivered by some of the most disinterested voice talent in gaming history; and the whole experience is riddled with technical flaws, from monsters that get stuck in the scenery and become impossible to kill, to a shonky save system that often loses your progress after hours of toil.

The chance to use environmental kills and shove enemies off the edges of cliffs or impale them on beds of nails brings a little originality to the experience, but overall Dark Messiah is a role-playing disaster that most experienced swashbucklers will despise.

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