Design: Randall Montanari
The Source engine has been the home to relatively few games over the past couple of years, with Half-Life 2 and assorted mods being the biggest splash. It’s taken a while for the physics revolution to capitalize on the seeds sowed by HL2, but not, with the arrival of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, it appears that some developers are seeing how to use physics as an integral part of their games, instead of simply more eye candy.
Dark Messiah puts you in the role of Sareth, an orphaned adventurer-in-training, under the tutelage of your master Phenrig. Despite his unfortunate name, Phenrig seems to see potential in you, and sets you out onto the path of adventure by sending you after an important relic: the Shantiri Crystal. Along the path of delivering the crystal, watching it get stolen, tracking it down, delivering it elsewhere, tracking down another mystical artifact, etc., you’ll learn more about your dark destiny, make some new friends, and kill a whole lot of orcs and goblins.
Although a few games have attempted to incorporate melee combat from a first-person perspective, few have done so as viscerally as Dark Messiah does, mostly through its complete control of your camera perspective. You’ll get more head-bobbing action here than in any dozen other comparable games. That said, though, the action is simply fun, what with all the kicking people off of cliffs, into fires, into water, into spikes, into spikes that are on fire, etc.
GameSpot’s Game Guide to Dark Messiah has all the information you need to complete the single-player journey, including details on skills, secret areas, and boss fights. Enjoy!