Dark Messiah rises in 2006

Ubisoft announces its second Might and Magic game since acquiring brand, a first-person PC game running on Valve's Source Engine.

In 2001, 3DO released Legends of Might and Magic, the long-running franchise's debut in a first-person perspective. Though the game let players see through the hero's eyes, it didn't quite see eye to eye with critics, who tagged it mediocre.

In 2003, 3DO went bankrupt and sold off its properties and licenses. Ubisoft won the bidding war for the M&M license, but never announced an M&M product until earlier this year--Heroes of Might and Magic V for the PC is scheduled for release in early 2006. Included in its product lineup was an unnamed "product with the Might and Magic brand." That is, unnamed until today.

Ubisoft will release Dark Messiah of Might & Magic on the PC in the third quarter of 2006. The game will continue the first-person experiment of Legends, but will have the backing of Valve Software's Source Engine, the same game engine that powers Half-Life 2.

French company Arkane Studios will handle the game's development. The team has experience wandering dungeons from a first-person perspective; it was at the helm of 2002's Arx Fatalis, a PC game based on the classic game Ultima Underworld.

Interested gamers won't have to wait long to get a glimpse of Dark Messiah, as Ubisoft will show off the game at the Games Convention in Leipzig on August 17.

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