HEROES V Of Might and Magic

Published Date
01 - Sep - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Sep - 2006
HEROES V Of Might and Magic
Set in a fantasy world full of Humans, Elves, Pixies, Demons and other strange regurgitations of Nature, Heroes of Might and Magic V (HOMMV) is Nival Interactive's resurrection of the immensely popular turn-based strategy franchise that almost faded into the darkness. As with the previous games, you will be commanding heroes, building armies, developing your cities, and yes, waging battle against those who dare cross you.

You can either play the game's campaign, or indulge in one of the custom games which ought to keep you busy for hours at a stretch. As you go about your business, you will be recruiting for your army, and gain combat experience every time you battle a foe. As you get more experience, you can learn new skills, and progressively mould your hero into anything you wish-from all-powerful sorcerer to brutal warrior or even suave diplomat, adept at attracting new troops to your cause. The number of skills and abilities you can learn runs into the hundreds, so you could play the game ten times over and never repeat a set of skills.

Rating : 7/10
Developer : Nival Interactive
Publisher : Ubisoft
Price : Rs 1299
Distributor : E-Xpress Interactive
Contact : 022-28850245
Minimum System Requirements :Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 1.5 Ghz, 512 MB RAM, DirectX® 9 compliant graphics card with 64MB RAM

The story starts off with celebration in the Griffin Empire on the day of Emperor Nikolai's wedding to Isabel. The party is crashed by demons, and in the onset of war, Isabel is sent off to hiding while Nikolai goes off to fight. You start the game as Isabel, who isn't content with sitting and waiting, and must build an army that will aid Nikolai. The campaign mode is linear, and you must complete the first mission before moving on to the next, and so on. It spans the stories of each of the six factions-Haven, Inferno, Dungeon, Necropolis, Sylvan and Academy.

The game features a chess-style battlefield, and while your initial battles don't require much in the way of strategy, you'll feel the need to push your cranial capabilities as you encounter more skilled and deadly creatures. Entering a battle takes you from the standard overland view to a much closer-up battlefield view, and it's interesting to note that due attention has been given to making it seem like you've zoomed into the overland view itself: if you're fighting for control of an ore pit, for example, you can see it in the background while you battle it out.

The element of strategy is optional, sadly-while you can use your head and take down a bigger army with a handful of creatures, the enemy AI rarely displays this level of complexity. So generally, if you have a bigger army, you're going to win even if you go for a full-frontal assault. For such times, there is the Auto fight feature that saves you some tedium if you outnumber the foe.

As with any turn-based game, HOMMV is likely to get boring for those who aren't fans of the genre. If you have the patience, though, you can enjoy the concept, the eye-candy and the amazing soundtrack as well. The story isn't much, but it's enough to keep you going through the campaign, though the voice-acting is appalling (not even the so-bad-it's-good kind).

One nagging gameplay annoyance is the fact that you can't multi-task: if you're in control of two heroes, you can only make one of them move at any given time. So if you're thinking "I'll send this guy here, and while he trundles along, let's send that guy there", cease doing so immediately.

Overall, HOMMV owes its accolades more to its already-strong legacy than the innovations of the new developers. Still, it's definitely one you should try out.

Team DigitTeam Digit

All of us are better than one of us.