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GC '07: Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements Impressions

We see what's new with Ubisoft's fantasy action game at Leipzig.


Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements seemed to have captured the magic of the PC original when we recently saw it on display at the Leipzig Games Convention. This Xbox 360 version will feature four new levels, plus all the magic, swordplay, traps, trolls, spiders, and adventure of the original.

Unlike the PC version, you won't hone your skills through use; rather, you'll pick a class and automatically increase the skills associated with that class by simply leveling up. This looks to be a more streamlined, intuitive system targeted at the slightly less micromanagerial console gamer. Our presenter seemed to have picked the warrior, and as the presentation began, he parked his horse near a gorgeous waterfall and went searching for a magical orb.

However, before he found the orb, he discovered an evil soldier standing on a cliff admiring the waterfall. With a quick kick to the posterior, he helped him experience the fall to its utmost. From there, he arrived at a bridge blocked by boxes, which he simply kicked out of the way. This displayed the Source engine's impressive physics capabilities, not to mention your character's powerful right foot.

Once across, the player was attacked by a warrior. He immediately locked on and circled the foe in a short dance of death. The enemy attacked, the hero parried, counterattacked, and won the battle as his foe fell lifelessly to earth. From there, we entered a dark cave, where the presenter activated light vision, which allowed him to see in the dark and bestowed an odd, watery effect on the outlying edges of the screen.

Upon emerging from the cave, our presenter was attacked by more foes. Because he'd built up adrenaline from the previous fight, he was able to slow down time and deliver deadly blows to both his attackers near instantly. After his frenzy subsided, he killed another enemy warrior by throwing a barrel at him, and then he kicked a zombie into some nearby spikes to show how the environment would play a huge role in combat.

This factor was especially driven home in the boss fight against the huge spider at the end of the dungeon. The spider was fast and aggressive, but no match for the giant concrete blocks hanging from the ceiling by ropes. The presenter simply got some space between himself and the spider, then cut a rope as the spider shambled across the room toward him. The falling block did major damage, and it was only a matter of time before the arachnid crumpled.

That concluded our glimpse into the strange new world of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements, although we heard that multiplayer gameplay and other options were being considered. When we know more, we'll tell you more, like the fact that this game should ship sometime in the first quarter of 2008.

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