Might & Magic 25th Anniversary Trailer, Beta

By Jim Rossignol on June 29th, 2011 at 11:00 am.


QUESTION: Steam claims you can “play the beta now” but it LIES. Is it US only or something?

The Might & Magic series is twenty-five years old. That is a fact that makes me as Old As Time. To celebrate the series’ agedness Ubisoft (for they own the name these days) have put out a trailer, which you can see below. There’s also word that the Might & Magic Heroes 6 beta kicks off this week. It doesn’t look like you can still get a beta key, but that might change. Ooh, I’ll poke Ubi and see if we can get some.

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50 Comments »

  1. Auspex says:

    I thought the word was that beta was already available:

    https://twitter.com/#!/steam_games/status/85773066805854208

  2. Premium User Badge

    bglamb says:

    From their webby:

    “The official Beta starts on June 28th. Players who have pre-ordered the game will receive their Beta Key on June 28th. Depending on the country/retailer, it will be either via email or pre-order pack or even on a flyer.”

    But I trust you Jim! Ask them for a key for me pls!

    • Chalky says:

      Yep, their site speaks the truth – I preordered this on steam and got access to the beta yesterday.

      I was somewhat afraid it would be buggy as hell (we’re still several months from release after all) but so far it all seems extremely polished and functional. Granted, I’ve only played a bit of the tutorial mission last night and I’ve had one situation where I’ve needed to reload the game ’cause my character refused to move anywhere, but I’m very pleased with the quality.

      They seem to have some sort of log-in requirement to start the game though, which surprised me since it is a game with a significant singleplayer component. I hope they’re not going for some sort of DRM dressed as “social gaming” requirement to be always online. The log-in prompt when running a single player game does smell a bit fishy.

      Oh, and apparently I have a limit of 10 save game slots. Someone on the development team was under the impression they were designing this for a 15 year old console platform or something.

      But over all, looking good :)

    • Premium User Badge

      bglamb says:

      I’m not suprised it’s polished. It has the look of something that’s been done for a long time. It’s been sitting on the front page of Steam for 3 months already. Kinda ridiculous.

      What with the beta, it makes me wonder if it’s one of those games that they try and squeeze all the pre-orders out of, because they know it will be badly reviewed.

    • diebroken says:

      “Heroes Chronicles is on GOG. It’s one of the front page news stories ATM.”

      Thanks also for the info. :)

  3. CaspianRoach says:

    25 years and no good games since HoMM3, HURR HURR

    • d32 says:

      Well HoMaM V had at least pretty graphics and nostalgic value! And it kind of led to the King’s Bounty, which is one of my best games in last years.

    • diebroken says:

      The Heroes Chronicles were great fun too! Hard to find copies of them now as well, like they’ve been forgotton about (don’t recall them being listed in the HOMM Complete Collection)…

      Also, good to see Romero in action for Heroes VI: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOKzr3F7JsU :)

      P.S. WTH is up with the RPS edit comment script moving words around?

    • Xocrates says:

      I never quite got the hate for HoMM IV. Sure, it did things a bit differently, but I never felt any of it was particularly bad.

      Heck, I probably had more issues with HoMM V

    • cuc says:

      >Heroes Chronicles hard to find
      GOG.COM has all of them in one bundle.

    • diebroken says:

      “GOG.COM has all of them in one bundle.”

      YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! Thanks for the heads up – this is what happens when you don’t visit GOG regularly enough!

      Now I can finally finish the series. :)

  4. Premium User Badge

    Schaulustiger says:

    From the Steam RSS Newsfeed yesterday:

    “The beta is now available to pre-purchasers of Might & Magic Heroes VI.”

    It seems like the beta has already started and – not surprisingly – HoMM VI took a spot in Steam’s top 10 bestselling list.

  5. Gundrea says:

    Why is it that the first thing I saw was a typo, since rectified by deadly killbots.

    Dark Messiah was great, HoMM III was great. The rest ehhh

    • KauhuK says:

      Too bad that Bethesda bought arkane studios. I had hoped for more dark messiah but I doupt we will have more. It was such a great game imo.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Dark Messiah is great, but I’d rather get more Arx Fatalis than more Dark Messiah.

  6. Dominic White says:

    HoMM5 was pretty rough at launch, but the expansions improved things massively, and now there’s a fan-patch that reworks AI and optimizes things so that larger maps run far better.

    The expansions were standalone, but (apparently with Ubisofts blessings), fans ported the content from the first two campaigns into the third. I’ve assembled all of this, and a slightly older version of the fan-patch into this pack here:
    http://www.multiupload.com/NF6CZZQEE9 (I usually find Megaupload the fastest of the mirrors)

    You can get the very latest fan-patch build (you should – it generally makes it run and play better) here:
    http://www.bonddisc.com/ref/h5/index.htm

    To reiterate: You ONLY need HoMM5: Tribes of The East ($10 on Steam) for this. This will get you all the content from the three games, with all the new features of ToTE added to the earlier campaigns, which makes them far more fun. Recruiting smaller units is SO much faster using the caravan system.

    HoMM5 is pretty amazing now. I doubt HoMM6 can live up to it.

    • Vinraith says:

      I was aware of the “run everything under ToE” mod, but not the fan patch. Thanks for the heads-up, Dominic.

    • Dominic White says:

      The pack I assembled also includes all the standalone scenarios from the first two games, which are missing from the raw campaign ports. It’s an enormous game now.

  7. FakeAssName says:

    uggh, why is Ubisoft making these games look more and more like HD versions Warcraft 3?
    (talking about the look of the art, not the gameplay)

    I really want a “Dark Messiah 2″ …. but only if it’s not built using the Source engine and consequently locked into Steamworks.

    • FakeAssName says:

      uhm … I’m honestly not real big on these games, so forgive me if this is a dumb question, but why hasn’t Ubisoft produced a straight up “might & magic” game?

      as in Might and Magic X.

    • Premium User Badge

      Anthile says:

      Because Might and Magic IX was a disaster, not unlike Ultima IX.

    • Unaco says:

      Might and Magic X was being worked on… by 3DO, just before they went kaput. It was at a very early stage, and only existed ‘on paper’ prior to 3DO’s collapse. When UBI got hold of the rights, they showed no intention of picking up M&M itself and making number 10… and they’ve since stated that they’ll never make Might and Magic X. Something to do with ‘branding’ or something… Might and Magic is an umbrella brand, incorporating all of the X of Might and Magic. They haven’t ruled out a possible M&M RPG in the future, just that it won’t be called M&M X.

  8. RenegadeRed says:

    Happy birthday Heroes you are now 25, same as me. Heroes III, V, and Dark Messiah were great. Better than that other franchise that’s turning 25 (Zelda).

  9. Kdansky says:

    Get off my lawn! World of Xeen (4+5) was awesome, and HoMM 3 was great too.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Think what you want but HoMM IV had some very interesting stories to tell. A very underrated game.

  11. Sidorovich says:

    M&M has had its peaks and troughs as a series, but I’m really looking forward to HOMM VI. The ability to choose your heros skills (rather than random assign) and new option to ‘transform’ captured towns to your faction sound great. Please be good.

  12. BurningPet says:

    I still play HoMM 5, although, Kings Bounty is much better (the new games). looking forward to see what they have learned from KB.

    • lorddon says:

      I love HOMM V so very very much. Nival has some fantastic artists on their team.

    • jalf says:

      Yep, I really liked it as well. Lovely art style, nifty combat and skill systems, super cheesy story!

      A few weeks ago, I found both expansions in the bargain bin, but haven’t had a chance to try them yet. Looking forward to it though.

  13. Wizardry says:

    What a shitty little trailer. Spends 2 seconds showing the first ever Might and Magic game and then skips right past all of the other RPGs to focus on the Heroes series and other spin-offs. This, people, is why RPGs are dead. I’m sure the guy who put that video together hasn’t actually played any of the Might and Magic games before. Rest in peace.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      “This [trailer] is why RPGs are dead”.

    • Unaco says:

      Yes… RPG’s are dead. We all know this. They’ll never be resurrected. They are done… gone, into the sands of time. Their passing has been mourned. Now stop bleating about it.

  14. spruce says:

    Has anyone played this Heroes Kingdoms browser game I saw briefly in the trailer? Reading about it, it sounds okay… maybe?

    • Ridnarhtim says:

      I did play it for a while, but unfortunately the free to play version has some severe drawbacks. I was having a great time, and started an alliance that ended up with about 12 other players. Then a group of people who had been paying for the game completely destroyed us =/ We were all limited to three towns and heroes while some of them had 5 or more.

  15. jalf says:

    So what do we know about the game?

    Is it more HOMM1-4 or 5?

    I don’t have a problem with either option per se. I’ve always liked the series, but I think 5 made some pretty significant improvements to the old formula. Mainly just curious how 6 is going to fit in. Anyone know?

    • Namos says:

      Well, it’s main inspirations appear to be 3 and 5 (for example, each faction has both a might and a magic hero type, but combat still takes place on a square grid ala 5), as well as drawing from Clash of Heroes (3 unit ranks). It also has a Bioware-esque morality system. Overall, it seems to be making large changes to the overall gameplay dynamic – I’m actually looking forward to it quite a bit.

    • jalf says:

      Thanks, exactly the info I was looking for.

      Sounds very promising. If I had my computer, I’d probably preorder it, but seeing as it’s in a cardboard box in storage somewhere, I think I might as well wait a bit.

  16. Namos says:

    I’ve been following this one quite closely (HoMM 1 & 2 are “games that made me”). I’d say the the art direction is on par with or even better than the fifth entry in the series, and they’re making enough changes to the game to pique my interest. Possibly, the biggest test for this game is whether the new water-based Sanctuary (Japanese Naga) faction will stick. HoMM has been stuck with the same 8 factions since HoMM 3 (although there is quite a gap between HoMM 3′s Fortress and the HoMM 5 one), so if they actually manage to insert a new one, I think it will cement Ubisoft’s ownership of the franchise.

  17. MythArcana says:

    I played the beta and was surprised at how remarkably detailed the world is graphically and I think they did a great job so far. But with new versions comes new problems and this game is filled with them.

    For some strange reason, Black Hole claims you will never need to rotate the map view due to their item placement techniques…so they took away mouse rotation and only give you two momentary keys to spin the camera around. Why not just put mouse rotation back on Mouse2 like Heroes V? Believe me, there are PLENTY of visually blocked items that require rotation.

    The Town screen is now a simple window which doesn’t really give depth to your city – in fact, it’s just a friggin Quicktime movie that plays in a window. Unacceptable.

    Your heroes are tied to Ubi$oft’s online servers. You can play offline, but won’t have a very robust experience unless you play into their lame-assed online DRM scam. This might be the reason why I won’t purchase this title.

    Heroes is one of my favorite franchises, but there is apparently too much thinking going on in other facets to tackle simple gameplay mechanics.

  18. neems says:

    Supposedly the beta requires an internet connection, but the full retail release will be fully playable offline.

    • Leo says:

      Don’t be surprised if they decide to shove HOMM 6 under the same ridiculous online umbrella as they did with Settlers 7. The latter was a fun game but the awful DRM/online community app was junk (can’t quite remember the name of it).

  19. Leo says:

    I just recently replayed M&Ms 7 and 8 – and still can’t get enough of them. I think I spent more time playing Arcomage than the game itself :P.

    I’m pretty excited for HOMM 6 as i enjoyed all of the other installments (loved HOMM 5). I really wish they were willing/able to release a continuation of the M&M series, but let’s all admit that we know they would dick it all up with silly nonsese (a la checkpoints, QTEs and all that other modern RPG ruin ).

    • Excalibur101 says:

      Might and Magic 6/7 (Maybe 8 if it didn’t crash so much) reign supreme on my list of favorite games of all time. Maybe it’s just a nostalgia thing, but they just never get old.

      Also, someone took Arcomage, gave it a different name, and made a flash game out of it. No idea what it is called. I can’t say whether it was fun or not, but it definitely was Arcomage.

  20. MrEvilGuy says:

    Might and Magic Made Me

    Happy 25th old pal

  21. imperialus says:

    I thought it was quite funny that they didn’t have any gameplay footage of Might and Magic IX…
    That said, I started with the M&M series with Might and Magic 3 Isles of Terra, played the Xeen series, Heroes 1-4, Might and Magic 6, 7 and 8…
    It’s weird though, HoMM5 just never grabbed me and I just can’t put my finger on why. All the pieces are there, it should be an awesome game, but for the life of me I could not get into it. I think it might be the graphics… they’re all 3d and shiny and in high definition. It just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.
    That said, there are 3 games that have (one way or another) been on every single computer I have owned since they came out. X-Com, Might and Magic 3, and Heroes of Might and Magic 3.

    I probably won’t end up buying HoMM 6, at least not until its pretty cheap but it looks like a very nice game.

  22. Tams80 says:

    I only played Heroes of Might and Magic III and despite putting many hours into it, found it too scary. There was something about the art style.

    Having forgotten about it until now, I may have to revisit it. Especially with better graphics.

  23. Demiath says:

    I don’t necessarily need Ubisoft to make Might & Magic X because I’m not sure anyone who works at their studios even knows anything about that very specific (and wonderful) kind of RPGs…but I wish any of the zillions of fan-made attempts at producing a M&M-like game actually got finished. It shouldn’t exactly be rocket science to make a game like M&M6: Mandate of Heaven (and I know there were some Total Conversion-esque mods for that game and MM7) in 2011. Can’t we Kickstart something, as that’s supposedly the way things get done in this day and age?