Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness ReviewPC
key review info
- Game: Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: N/a
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness is a long name for a video game, and a bad sign when it comes to the quality of the experience offered by the expansion created by Ubisoft.
There are two new campaigns to enjoy, one focused on the new Dark Elves and their Dungeon city, and another linked to the Necropolis.
The game also introduces new heroes, new units, an Artificial Intelligence that’s supposed to be smarter, and a host of other improvements.
The Dark Elves are an interesting faction, and their troops certainly reflect the depths from which they are trying to rise to power.
Their unique abilities open up a number of interesting tactics during battle and, even after all these years, the basic formula of Might & Magic Heroes is solid as a rock, delivering interesting strategic puzzles to solve and nail-biting moments of tension when the fate of the entire campaign rests on two units and their luck in a duel.
The problem is that the new game introduces too many difficulty spikes at all the wrong moments and rarely offers players a way to regroup and win after initially being defeated by an enemy force.
Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness is somewhat impaired when it comes to imagination, and I feel that the campaign is too stretched out to be truly interesting.
Dedicated players will find a lot to love in the game, but I wanted a more classic structure, more clashes with enemy heroes rather than with neutral forces.
The story is only average, even by the standards of recent Heroes titles, and the characters attempt dry humor and intelligence but rarely manage to deliver it.
The entire experience is very similar to that of Might & Magic: Heroes VI and it’s unclear what the development team worked on for the past two years.
The game also manages to look good, and the work put into character models and the various battlefields is clear when zooming in or when a unit gets a Lucky attack, which comes complete with its own distinct animation.
The campaign map is also beautiful and clearly developed by artists who love both high fantasy and the unique elements of the Heroes franchise.
But no discussion of Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness can be complete without talking about the launch process.
The game was billed as a standalone expansion and was supposed to be easily downloadable via the much lauded Uplay service from Ubisoft.
As soon as the new content was launched, players who bought it started complaining that they could not access it at all or that it was only playable in its most basic form, with no sound and no cutscenes.
The team behind Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness announced that all problems would be dealt with quickly but, at the moment, there still are significant issues with the game despite the fact that one patch was launched.
It’s hard to recommend a video game that fails to perform its most basic functions, from a company that is willing to take players' without giving them a quick and simple way of running the purchased product.
If we ignore the launch problems, which might be solved at some point in the future, Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness fails to deliver any sort of important innovation for the series and delivers a rather bland, over-developed campaign and tactical battles that are spectacular at times but rarely capture the magic of the series.
Heroes of Might & Magic fans should pick up and replay the second and third games in the series and their expansions to get their dose of turn-based tactics and strategy.