Review by arturchix

"Put Hal-Life 2 into Might and Magic shoes and you receive Dark Messiah!"

Dark Messiah is an extremely fun action game. If you have played before any of the Might and Magic games, be prepared that this game is not a RPG though it has several RPG elements like skills and inventory. The game uses Source engine – the same that made Half-Life 2 one of the best games of all times (so far) and the game feels somewhat similar to Half-Life 2, not Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, how many have compared it. I've read lots of Dark Messiah reviews written by professional gaming journalists, and IMO part of them treat the game very wrongly since this is not a RPG but pure action game. And Dark Messiah delivers pure action!

What I love most in the game is the combat which is the best I've seen in any game so far. Player can kill the enemies in dozen ways including swordfighting, backstabbing with daggers, burning with direct damage spells, kick on spikes, freeze them and disintegrate into pieces, with Telekinesis spell grab them and send to the Moon, etc. It was funny to read some reviews where some of the reviewers called the Dark Messiah combat repetitive. Now if something is repetitive, then shooting with the same guns all the game! In Dark Messiah during one game I was heavily using sword, bow and several direct damage spells at the same time, which makes the game so much fun. And there are enemies on whom certain attack works the best – for example, swordfighting against any melee enemies, archery against zombies.

The storyline of Dark Messiah is rather simple – if you have watched the last amazing trailer, you already pretty much know what will happen there. There are several unexpected turns of events though that you might find very suprising – for an action game it fits perfectly and once again I disagree with several reviewers who say that the storyline is dull. If someone is dull, then those reviewers!

The graphics are really nice, as you could expect it from a game that uses Source engine. I was playing the game on medium settings and yet I was amazed by the beauty of dungeons (though a bit straightforward) and the detail the developers have put into them. The character models are well designed as well though it made me smile that one of the main characters Leanna wears a miniskirt, has big breasts and sounds so totally naïve girl! Meanwhile Xana is a real succub character, you'll love her dialogues.

Voice acting in the game is simply superb, I really can't add anything to it – it really feels that the voices were recorded by professional actors, like in Half-Life 2. The game soundtrack is amazing as well though I wish they'd use some themes a bit more – the same combat soundtrack in the end of the game really started to feel a little repetitive but that's a minor thing.

While I was experiencing no tech problems with the game, I know some gamers have so I'd strongly advise to install any patches up-to-date before trying the game, though I had absolutely no need for one. The game demo gives a good example what the game is about, even if it shows so little. Dark Messiah is one of the best games I've played so far.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/16/06

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