Like a 'Thief' game on steroids- give it a second look !
tarbandu wrote this review on .
In many ways “Messiah” reminds me of a Thief game - on steroids. The first-person perspective, the nicely detailed quasi-medieval setting, and the combat mechanisms are all reminiscent of how the gameplay went in the Looking Glass / Ion Storm Austin games. You have access to healing potions, rope arrows, fire arrows, and even gas arrows. The stealth aspect of the game isn’t as well-developed as in the Thief series, it is mainly a broad-daylight melee combat type of a game after all, but there is plenty here to enjoy despite the game’s comparatively short length. In fact, I think all Thief fans should give Messiah a look, because there is much here that will appeal to them.
The developers clearly put a great deal of thought into making the Source engine’s physics applicable to a melee combat scenario. While you can suffer if you try running into every fight looking to hack n’ slash, there are always rewards for the player who investigates things prior to launching an attack. Whether it’s kicking enemies off high places, backstabbing, or releasing prisoners in order to have them fight for you, just about every encounter offers some cerebral approaches to victory.
With the patch installed I didn’t encounter more than two or three bugs- minor ones involving some looped sound effects when loading a level, or clipping problems forcing a restart (this kind of thing happened in the Thief series on an irregular basis). I played on an Athlon 3700+ (2.2 GHz), 2 GB RAM, with a GeForce 6800, and I had no problems with frame rate slowdowns or crashes to the desktop.
The game is not without its problems; much like in the Thief games, there are clipping and ‘stuck-on-object’ problems that, particularly during combat, can cause frustration. The camera angles can occasionally be a hindrance, and when one has some spells equipped (such as Fireball) , the graphical display of flames and light, while pretty, tends to obscure your center-view. And the final Boss Battle offers little more than repetitious spell-casting and circle-strafing. But these are not showstopping defects, and with some patience most players will learn to deal with them without too much trouble.