Review by heptadragon

"Dark Messiah is an excellent game so long as one has the patience to work through a few bugs."

I have a number of reasons for being incredibly excited about Dark Messiah:

1) I've always been a fan of first-person shooters, ever since Doom and Wolfenstein 3D. I love the tension and drama I associate with playing through something really tough/scary, defeating the enemy with raw skill or through the creative use of my resources. I've also really gotten into innovative FPSs like Deus Ex (I'm a sucker for a good RPG or anything resembling an RPG). Not to mention I'm a huge fantasy nut. Thus, a fantasy-based first-person shooter with RPG elements: it's like manna (mana? as in Secret/Legend/Sword of...) from heaven!

2) As I mentioned previously, I love RPGs. Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG; action RPGs like Diablo and Dungeon Siege (third person) or Morrowind/Oblivion (first person); and even games like Deus Ex that aren't RPGs in the traditional sense but have elements of an RPG. Knights of the Old Republic? Golden. I love playing a game where I actually get to make decisions that have a noticeable effect on the path I take and how NPCs react to me. Even if there's not too much non-linear interest in DM, I'm already digging on the skill system and the fact that I have an arsenal of weapons/fighting styles to choose from.

3) I like graphics. I like physics. They aren't the most important component of a game (I still play a lot of my old favorites on SNES and such), but if they are there I will definitely appreciate them. Doom 3? Very nice (although the formula was a bit disappointing after awhile). Flatout? Most excellent! I really like the Source engine; it delivers great graphics and physics while maintaining a smooth framerate and experience that really gets me excited. I love interactive environments as well, even if it's just certain objects. Kicking enemies into traps, spikes, fires and off of ledges and cliffs is just amazing.

There are so many different things that I love about DM that I can't describe them all in one review. I'll just have to keep ranting and ranting about them until I get sick of the game, maybe in like 10 years or so. Even then I may still be playing it; I still play Diablo, and it's 12 years old. Final Fantasy too. This is definitely a game that will inspire nostalgia in most anyone who plays it, I think.

A final note about the bugs and crashes some have experienced: I downloaded the game on Steam as soon as it came out (I had preloaded it as much as was released before the game became available for download). When I first played it I experienced a number of glitches, NPC dialogue missing/playing as static, etc. I did as one user on the M&M forums suggested and verified Dark Messiah's cache; after that I had very few problems. I also defragged my cache (in Steam) and the drive the game was on and experienced a noticeable performance increase. So I'd say don't let the bugginess worry you too much, as it can be fixed easily enough.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/27/06

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