I still consider HoMM3 as one of the best games ever released and I actually still own the game and play it every now and then with the same pleasure as years ago. After Heroes of Might and Magic III, things started to look bad for the game: the 4th in the series was simply a freak of the game that was completely wrong, while the 5th wasn’t that good either, even though it showed some improvements. What about HoMM VI or Might & Magic Heroes VI, as Ubisoft decided to rename it? Read on this review to find out!
First of all, I must say that I was completely skeptical when it came to the game: I was expecting a horrendous experience and overall I was expecting Heroes 6 to be that kind of a game that you really regret purchasing. Fortunately, that was not the case and the game managed to provide a very pleasant surprise.
And I am talking here about the single player campaign in the first place even though fans of the series know that games in the Heroes of Might and Magic series are not about single player gameplay. However, the story of a family torn apart by conflicts is engaging enough to keep you playing and the maps are pretty smart and filled with things to do not to get boring. Indeed, the difficulty is a bit on the soft side, at least for the hardcore Heroes players, but at least you’ll get to consider yourself some sort of God of HoMM after playing the campaign.
The multiplayer maps are, however, the attraction point here and you’ll probably love to hear that Ubisoft and Black Hole Entertainment decide to introduce the hot seat multiplayer feature, something that made the Heroes series what it is today. So a big thumbs up for this decision as it certainly is delightful for all those veteran players who still remember the sleepless nights playing Heroes 3 with a friend or two on the same computer.
However, there are also a lot of improvements (or just changes, in some situations) brought in by Might & Magic Heroes VI: first of all, the magic system which has been completely revamped. You no longer build your Magic Guild in the city to learn spells, but instead you use ability points in your Hero’s tree of skills to learn spells. This brings in a different approach on how you… approach things: these points are extremely limited (one per level) and the skills, specializations and spells are so many that you need to think extremely well before investing them. Personally, I am not completely pleased with this change, but at least it makes the game a bit more complicated and certainly offers different types of strategies to approach the campaign and especially multiplayer maps.
Another change that I didn’t like at all – but fortunately, it doesn’t influence the gamplay at all – is how castles look like in Might & Magic Heroes VI. Everything has been overly simplified and the grandeur of castles back in the previous games is gone. Now your castles are dull and boring and take a lot of that feeling that you’re the king of the world…
The battles themselves look a lot like what we’ve seen in HoMMM V and the AI is smart enough to offer a fair challenge and I’m sure that things could even become tricky for novice players every now and then. Even more, your Hero can now take part in the battle and attack the enemies or use special abilities (somewhat similar to the Commanders in the WoG expansion for Heroes 3), which makes it possible for even more tactical approaches of the battles.
Visually, the game is really impressive even though there are some glitches when it comes to animations – but nothing to destroy the overall experience which is, by all means, great. The only thing that seems to be a bit harsh is the fact that you must be connected to the internet when you play Might & Magic Heroes VI – something that proves that Ubisoft, just like most of the other game companies, still have to learn a lot when it comes to DRM.
But all in all, Might & Magic Heroes VI is a really pleasant surprise and finally a game that can be compared with the amazing HoMM III. It’s still a bit off, but clearly the best game in the series since Heroes 3!