Might and Magic Heroes VII – Review
Follow Genre: Tactical turn-based strategy game
Developers: Limbic Entertainment
Publishers: Ubisoft
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Might and Magic Heroes VII – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Good soundtrack and pretty graphics
Bad: Doesn't always work very well
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Might and Magic Heroes VII is the most recent adventure in the popular turn-based strategy game franchise. Using traditional Might and Magic elements, this game has all the ingredients to please fans of the series. Not everything was executed perfectly though, and the game is already receiving a lot of criticism. But is it really all that bad?

MM Heroes - Logo

Story

Duke Ivan Griffin wants to restore peace in a divided nation. Ten years after the Holy Empress was murdered, Ashan is at war. The Duke realises he cannot end the conflict by himself, and he creates a council of advisors. These advisors come from six typical Might and Magic factions that all have their own units, style and lore: Haven (knights and priests), Academy (wizards), Necropolis (necromancers), Stronghold (orcs), Sylvan (elves) and Dungeon (dark elves). Each faction tells their story in its own way, and all factions have their own lore, which gives the game character and honours the Might and Magic franchise. There’s a lot of diversity in background stories which is great.

The main issue with this story is how it’s delivered. The game doesn’t make the best first impression as the intro uses 3D models that surprisingly are not animated. It can be hard to focus on a narrative while you’re trying to figure out whether your game is glitching or if it’s actually meant to look that way. The fact that the models aren’t animated wouldn’t be such a big deal if they didn’t look like they froze mid action. Some characters have their mouth open the whole time, which looks odd at best. When the game doesn’t use its 3D models, players get treated to slideshow narrations typical for many turn-based games or dialogue screens. This works well enough, but it might still take a fan of the series to fully engage with the game’s story.

Graphics

For a game with a relatively high spec requirement, Heroes VII’s graphics surprisingly aren’t that extraordinary. The concept art used on narrative slides are definitely an improvement to the game’s lifeless 3D models, but animated cutscenes would have been so much more impressive. The colour palettes used throughout the game are very pleasing though and when combined with a top-down perspective, the landscapes get an almost maquette-like feel. This style works very well for this type of game and adds to its charm.

Character portraits were created in typical RPG-style, and contribute to the game’s typical high fantasy atmosphere. There are many different types of enemies and environments, and each faction has its own aesthetic, which does make the game feel quite immersive and broad.

Overall the game is pretty to look at and includes enough diversity to make players feel as if they’re entering a different world, but does not compare to some of the graphical beasts in its price range.

MM Heroes VII - Graphics

Sound

Heroes VII’s soundtrack is another element that emphasises the game’s genre. From the use of dramatic string instruments to delicate flute sounds accompanied by opera-like vocals, the music exudes a style unique to the high fantasy genre. The vocal part to the soundtrack is of great quality, and while the rest of the music is never truly groundbreaking, it still works very well for this type of game.

Enemies do sometimes sound repetitive, and the continuous grunting and growling during battles doesn’t necessarily provide players with the most enjoyable experience. This is a minor detail though, and overall Might and Magic Heroes VII has a great sound to it. The voice acting in Might and Magic Heroes VII works well enough for this type of game, and even though some voice actors tend to overact it is never really a problem as this type of acting can actually work quite well for fantasy games.

MM Heroes VII - Gameplay

Gameplay

Might and Magic Heroes VII is a turn-based strategy game with heavy exploration-focused elements. Players make their way through the land by using their daily movement allowance, and in turn open up more areas on the mini map. While on their way, heroes will find multiple types of resources that can be collected or mined, as well as different types of enemy armies. Enemies come with a threat level, and can be engaged through turn-based combat on tactical grids or automatically. The game also has a skill point system, which works by adding points into a skill wheel. There are plenty of opportunities for exploration, and different areas look very different to previous ones which adds a lot of welcome diversity to the game. Quests provide clear objectives, and the lore on different types of enemies is interesting enough.

If you’re not into the campaign, you could try the game’s duel or multiplayer mode. Unfortunately the multiplayer mode has a lot of issues (such as getting it to actually work), but the duel mode works well enough, though it’s not that appealing as the AI is quite transparant most of the time. This is also an issue in the campaign, but is easily fixed as the outcome of battles can be automatically decided or the player can use an auto-attack mode.

The biggest problem with the gameplay is that it can be very confusing for newbies to figure everything out. There are no obvious tutorials to be found, and the game kind of expects you to just know what you’re doing. While this definitely isn’t the first game in the series (is anyone even keeping count anymore?), this could definitely keep newcomers from giving this one a try. Google can be a trustworthy and good friend, but in-game tutorials could have been even better ones. Another issue is that the game doesn’t always work as it should, loading screens always offer a tense experience as the game does sometimes crash at those times.

MM Heroes - Gameplay

Conclusion

While Might and Magic Heroes VII is a pretty game with a solid soundtrack, the gameplay is not that extraordinary and it might be difficult for newcomers to figure everything out. The game can be unstable and doesn’t always work properly, but this might be something that could be fixed in a future patch. The story is engaging enough, and the different factions are very interesting. This is probably not Limbic Entertainment’s best work to date, but fans of the series might still enjoy this one.

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I'm a 24 year old gamer with a passion for RPG's, and the gaming community as a whole. When I'm not gaming, I can be found cooking, reading, or with my partner and pets. Currently on: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, PC and 3DS.

1 Comment

  1. ThaMofo
    October 20, 2015, 18:52

    Still love the older ones, might just pick this one up when its price drops a bit.

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