Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes has arrived on PSN and XBLA and no messing around here, it’s brilliant.
To be honest it’s not very often that I get excited about downloadable games, don’t get me wrong, there are some great titles out there; it’s just that they usually get pushed to the back of the queue when the big retail titles arrive; Might & Magic though has grabbed my attention.
Set in the fictional world of Ashan, the game centres on its heroes, whose home has been devastated by the arrival of some evil demons (aren’t there any nice demons in the World?). Your mission is to take control of the five heroes and find out who is behind this plot to gatecrash your otherwise peaceful land, and so the story beings.
The game starts off with you learning the basics, which consists of taking part in a tutorial-lead battle within the game’s main combat arena. The arena consists of two areas, with the enemy taking the top of the screen, and the good guys on the bottom. During the battle your team is made up of various units, each of which is colour coded. Your aim is to match the unit colours up in three’s, which will then create an attacking unit. In battle if you manage to make up more than one unit of the same colour then these will link, resulting in more powerful attacks.
The combat is just so deep and varied that its difficult to explain all the different variations, for example, lining up three units of the same colour horizontally will create a defensive wall, whereas lining three (sometimes four) units vertically will create the attacking unit as described above. Things get even more complicated when you add in special abilities (magic etc) and the various unit types, such as fairies, deer, bears etc, into the mix.
Once you have you’re attacking unit a counter will generally appear next to it, this is the number of turns before the unit will attack, which allows you time to create some other units and chain them together. This may sound confusing (it’s confusing me writing it), however in practice it couldn’t be simpler, as each step and attacking option is explained very well by the game.
Ultimately the main aim of combat is to take out the opponents lives before your own disappear. You reduce an enemies life by attacking the very top of the screen, although usually you will have to get through their units to achieve this goal.
Throughout the game you will get the chance to play as five different characters, each of which has different units to control. As well as this, you will gain more units on your journey throughout the games linear maps, while also earning new equipment and cash, especially if you take up any of the side quests on offer. Might & Magic’s quest will also see you come across shops, allowing you to spend you’re hard earned coin on replenishing units you have lost in battle.
Might & Magic is a huge game, 20+ hours in fact, and surprisingly it doesn’t often get boring. This is due to the sheer variety of units to control throughout the game, as well as the incentive of gaining experience points for your units after each fight.
Away from the huge single player campaign, Might & Magic also includes Quick Battle and Multiplayer modes, which are available both online and off. These modes let you stage battles with your customized army, which provides a lot of fun. The only problem I have with online modes in smaller games is that it’s always very difficult to actually find anyone to play against after a few weeks, hopefully though that won’t be an issue with this game.
Graphically, Might & Magic is well presented, it has a very cartoon style approach, however this suits the gameplay well. The only real issue is the loading screens, which can become frustrating, given you are faced with a wait every time you leave an area or go into battle.
There are so many fantastic retail titles coming out over the next few months, however I would still suggest you at least try the demo for Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, because this is a pretty special game which deserves your attention.
If this game interests you then don’t forget to buy your XBLA/PSN credit here to save some cash.