HOMM Sweet HOMM: Might & Magic Heroes VII Is Out

Heroes of Might & Magic (or Might & Magic Heroes) is one of those series that has been mediocre long enough that people who remember The Good Old Days cock an eyebrow at the irregular new releases but aren’t especially interested because to be honest they’d rather have a proper new King’s Bounty: Armored Princess. I may be projecting. Just a touch. I’m talking about me there.

So oh, Might & Magic Heroes VII [official site] is out today, is it? If I could figure how young people do those little face pictures, I’d do one half-smiling and a bit hopeful but quite wary and honestly thinking mostly about tea. Youths, how do you do that?

For folks not beautifully wizened like myself, MMH mixes turn-based strategy where a hero roams the world collecting resources and artifacts while building an a stronghold and army, then battling in turn-based tactical action on square grids.

HOMM/MMH has changed hands many times over the years, with a fair few different developers and publishers. This latest is made by Limbic Entertainment, the folks behind Might & Magic X: Legacy, and published by Ubisoft. Yes, this does mean Uplay.

MMH7 is out on Steam and whatnot for – oof! – £40. I wouldn’t say no to a demo, at that price. How is this one? Couldn’t tell you. I know some of you folks have played the pre-order beta, though, so perhaps you can enlighten the rest of us? Also, could you tell me how to do that face I was talking about?

Thank you very much,
Alice xxxxxx

google.com
google
search google
find google
open google
computer look for google please, thank you
Alice xxxxxx

55 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    tigerfort says:

    Dear Alice,

    You are very silly.
    Please never stop it.
    We love you,
    (On behalf of)
    The RPS Commentariat.

    • MajorManiac says:

      The game maybe dull, but Alice’s writing is brilliant.

  2. Kefren says:

    I would never play a HOMM game where Heroes is not the first word.
    Good day to you, Sirs and Ladies.

    • Kefren says:

      (Plus I still haven’t completed HoMM2, which I love and play almost every week, let alone HoMM3 – I can’t imagine I’d ever want another HoMM game. The series went downhill at 4 with its new-fangled perspective – side-view of my creatures or none at all, my good fellows!).

      • Graerth says:

        Eh, HoMM5 was pretty good.

        6 can fuck right off though (4 was really different though so it wasn’t for me and most other fans who just wanted another HoMM3, which 5 mostly is).

    • Kitsunin says:

      Of course not, because you’d be playing a mamhuh game.

    • pepperfez says:

      Hopeless Orangutans: Monkey Melancholy

  3. Myrdinn says:

    Checking out the Steam page, it seems like there’s quite a bit of discussion about the fact that the game utilizes both Steam’s DRM and Uplay’s. Another thing seems to be that the random map generator is a separate application, requiring you to leave the game, generating a map (potentially revealing information about that map) before being to able to play it. Since this seems like an oversight that could be fixed in a few months, I’ll wait for a bit.

    • Torgan says:

      VI had the same Uplay on a Steam game stuff so I doubt that part will change.

      • Cederic says:

        No, but it means two consecutive HOMM games I’d have bought but now wont.

  4. Phantasma says:

    Ok, i’ll keep it short.
    HoMM 2 had the best look and feel for me.
    HoMM 3 was the most well-rounded of the bunch.
    And i still miss the very powerful but nevertheless user-friendly editor of IV.

    I convinced myself to like the Ubisoft reboot V but ultimately the AI cheating was too obvious so that killed it for me.
    Oh, and the switch to an average Warhammer aesthetic didn’t help either.

    I won’t talk about VI, the only game in my memory where the release client was more buggy than the beta. And *shudder* Uplay integration even in the Si ngleplayer campaign.

    So my hopes and expectations for this new one?
    Absolutely none.

    • Bremze says:

      There’s an unofficial AI patch for Tribes of the East that hugely cuts down on the AI turn length and lets you disable the cheating.

      • GepardenK says:

        Yeah. The AI patch is impressive. It dosen’t cheat at all actually and still plays and performs much better than the vanilla AI. Makes the game much more dynamic and interesting

  5. mr.black says:

    Hm….
    (•ิ_•ิ)
    Should be about right…
    japaneseemoticons point me is your friend.
    Now how to use proper link code, that’s the conundrum.

  6. raiders says:

    I’ve only played VI. I have all the KB games (except the dark version) though. That being said, I have no time for either now. Guess I’ll check out the playthrough vids.

  7. Chris Cunningham says:

    It uses the same engine as VI and from my time with the beta (thanks RPS!) it basically plays like VI with the UI fixed up a bit, the skill tree revamped so as to not be completely terrible, and with the artwork pivoted back towards the III / IV style (which is, so far as I can tell, the primary reason that people wrongly believe III to be better than V).

    Whether that makes an eventual purchase justifiable (because, lol, forty pounds) depends on how much of an improvement there is in the bits I didn’t get to see. VI’s campaigns were abysmal slogfests against the most amateurish AI I’ve seen in a decade (literally reduced to teleporting in whole new armies twice a week in lieu of any strategy at all) and the general dumbing down of the resource / town system added nothing.

    Very much doubt it’ll knock V off top spot for me in any event.

    • Bremze says:

      V with the expansions is my favorite entry in the series, but I don’t really mind the change in art direction.

      • Chris Cunningham says:

        I genuinely thought people had just forgotten how frighteningly amateurish much of III’s artwork was until I tried to get some old pals that I’d played III with back in the day to try V and they recoiled in horror as if a vampire from daylight. People are weird.

        I will concede without question that III and IV are absolutely wonderfully scored. V isn’t bad in isolation but III and IV have truly magnificent music.

        • klops says:

          People preferring HoMM III’s appearance to any other HoMM (or MaMH) has also always confused me. The game was ugly the day it was published. The naive-medieval-whatever look with units worked wonderfully in I and especially in II but the 3D-esque look and the boring colour palette made III look really bad.

          I’ve always put the blame to the game. It was good, so it has twisted people’s memories and perspection as well. There has to be some explanation to this!

          • pepperfez says:

            It’s ugly like old D&D manuals or zero-budget fantasy novels. There’s a weirdness that somehow makes the ugliness feel like a stylistic choice.
            That said, II is about a million times prettier. It’s crazy to me that they would change away from that.

        • Ejmir says:

          Yeah it may sounds weird but the thing that made me play this game was the music.
          Of course it would probably not have been the same thing if the game had been bad, but that’s really the reason why I double-clicked on the icon of the game.

      • GepardenK says:

        I’ll take H3’s mix of plain romanticised medievalness and mythology over the edgy fantasy of H5 any day. Though my favourite is the more whimsical H2 and H4.

        I’m playing H3 and H5’s campaign right now, alternating between then. To be fair H5 is a pretty good heroes game, but it feels very slow-paced and grindy compared to H3.

        A few of my annoyances with (the otherwise excellent) H5:

        – What I do during my turn feels less important than in H3, there is not that many hard choices to make on the adventure map. I’m not second guessing every move I make as I do in H3.

        – Controlling multiple heroes feels a cumbersome, and having more than 2-3 is often unnecessary. I don’t know why this is, maybe because of the closer camera angle? H3 still plays like a dream with 5-6 Heroes all doing different things and playing their roles. Some of them have been gone for weeks slowly pushing further into enemy territory with a dwindling army. I’m contemplating if it’s worth it to have one of my runners waste time carrying much needed reinforcements of 40 archers and 12 upgraded griffins to them, or if they should press on without.

        – H5’s battles slows the pace incredibly. It’s really annoying to have several minor unimportant battles every turn. They take way to long to resolve and it makes exploration drag. In H3, minor battles only take a few seconds and I’m quickly back on the adventure map. Enemy turn time and opening town screens is also taking way too long.

        – Camera angle! Having to rotate the map too see specific treasure is a drag and slows the pace down even more. The underground especially is a mess. This can also lead to targeting issues during battles.

        • Chris Cunningham says:

          I think the issue with heroes seemingly having less to do is a valid one, and it’s because the devs compromised on map complexity in favour of visuals; there are simply fewer options available. The introduction of caravans in H4/H5 also means that it’s no longer necessary to have auxiliary heroes running around and hoovering up new troops every week like in H3. It’s possible that the graphics are also why you find using lots of heroes more coumbersome, as there is a requirement to shift the camera about a bit to get a good view. H6 stepped back from this by fixing the camera back in place, but IMO this loses a lot of the advantages that having 3D gives you in the first place.

          I don’t know why battles are taking you longer: by virtue of not having that ridiculous intro music before every fight, H5 creep battles seem quite a bit faster for me. I do jam combat speed up to maximum, but doesn’t everyone?

    • Jenks says:

      “rongly believe III to be better than V”

      LOL

  8. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Well, it’s acutally pretty easy to make those faces:

    1. Capture one of those little gnomes wot lives inside a computer and makes the pretty color.

    2. Get him to make the desired face, ply him with alcohol if need be.

    3. Stomp him flat.

    4. Glue him to the screen at the appropriate place.

    Disclaimer: This technique might not let others see your funny faces and will also make your screen less than clean.

  9. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    So long as Gog keeps selling HOMM III, I’m indifferent to these new-fangled misnamed sequels. Most entertaining game ever.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      This would seem to imply that you make a habit, perhaps even a hobby, of buying HOMM III from GOG on a regular basis. How exactly does that work?

      • DragonOfTime says:

        Well, I’ve personally bought HoMM3 at least 4 times and I have enjoyed it every time!

      • Premium User Badge

        teije says:

        It is indeed one of those games I’ve brought in multiple formats several times – JA2, HOMM III, BG2, Silent Storm. I got rid of my physical copy of HOMM III at least twice, maybe 3 times that I can recall – during one of those dark periods I refer as to “The Purging”.

  10. RuySan says:

    HOMM 1-3 might be among my most played games of all time. I hated the 5th mostly because of the terrible art style and awful level design (endless corridors!). HOMM 6 managed to be even worst, so my hopes aren’t really high for this one, even though i liked M&M X

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I honestly felt like V’s art style was a step in the right direction. The units are all very distinct from each-other and each faction has a style that’s meaningfully unique from the others. II and V basically compete for my top spot.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        V’s art style was basically to rip off WoW as much as possible, which everyone else was also doing at the time.

      • GepardenK says:

        V’s art is really well done for what it is (units have personality). But I dislike the edgy fantasy direction they went with. II did the fairytale approach and III leaned more in the direction of classical mythology (Both with a bit of fantasy sprinkled on top). I enjoy those styles much much more

  11. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    ORDER CORN

  12. mattevansc3 says:

    I enjoyed HoMM3 years ago but I’ve moved onto bigger things such as King’s Bounty, Eador and Age of Wonder 3. HoMM just seems too streamlined in comparison.

    • GepardenK says:

      I went through a phase like that (AoW3 is great). I don’t mean to offend but maybe you are playing Heores 3 wrong? I know I did. Heroes 3 may be streamlined as in simple to play, but the tactical depth and the weight of the choices you make each turn is actually incredible.

      The problem with Heroes is that it’s very hard to get out of the “casual” trap of waiting for troops to spawn and focusing on one or maybe two heroes. But if you play on Hard or higher (which the game is balanced for resource wise) this will get you nowhere fast.

      Consider this: You are not supposed to pick up everything you see (I know, my OCD hates it too). Even free unguarded gems half a turn away is a waste unless you need gems right now. You also need a lot of Heroes with different roles in your empire. Some should run off and explore the map with almost no units (To pick up free resources, and more importantly; scout so you know where to send your army focused heroes and not waste their turns). Some Heroes carry troops and reinforcements to others out on adventure, or they can focus on capturing mines and stuff after your army Heroes has cleared out the guards. Heroes can also switch roles based on their position on the map and what armies they have left, but this is often a though choice because it may not fit with their skillset and current level. It’s hard to have 5 dragons in your base when your best spellcaster is on the other side of the map with just 30 archers, but this is often the case and you can’t send your hero back of wait for reinforcements as this will more often than not loose you the game. Or what do you do if one hero finds an artifact that would be perfect for another, do you risk loosing time and two flanks just to meet up?

      This became a rant, sorry. My point is that once you think about Heroes (3) in terms of how to first and best exploit the map the tactical considerations starts snowballing on you. What games you enjoy is personal preference, but I just wanted to shed some light on how deep Heroes 3’s gameplay actually is. Pressing that end turn button can make you sweat with tension.

  13. Gothnak says:

    Best HOMM-like game series? Etherlords 1 & 2.

    • Superpat says:

      Loved those games! I was way too bad to finish the single player campaign in the second game though, those metal guys kept beating me up.

  14. Helmsguard says:

    (English is not my mother tongue pls be nice)
    Since no one here actually played that thing I will enlighten you. HeroesVII has Heroes VI written all over it. It looks the same, it plays the same right? WRONG! I can’t say much about the multiplayer but the campaign (though I only played the haven campaign and parts of the necro) is just AMAZING. It is highly dynamic and the 3rd haven mission is one of the best missions I ever saw in a turn based game. The Hero classes got a nice rework too and the skill trees are a lot less dull than in Heroes VI.
    The biggest flaw in my oppinion is the combat system and the battle maps. They do not feel much different than in Heroes V or VI but are not game-breaking bad. Overall the game feels like they tried to go back to the roots but did not want to throw everything overboard they build up in the last 2 installments of the series.
    I would recommend the game to anyone who really liked Heroes 3 and V and were not too disapointed of VI. (But eventually wait for christmas sale)

  15. wraithgr says:

    I stopped at the original king’s bounty. Don’t even mean the reboot. Don’t even mean stopped, I still play it on my phone sometimes…

    • GepardenK says:

      That was the first of them all, correct? I remember playing that and being horribly murdered, good times

  16. pepperfez says:

    Does anyone have an explanation for the move from hexes to squares? That change mystified me more than anything.

  17. Konservenknilch says:

    Goddamnit, and me without a gaming rig right now. First HoMM I’ll miss on release day since the original. Kinda wish I had missed VI though…

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      You need a hug? I’m in basically the same boat.

    • GepardenK says:

      You gotta give credit to IV for the campaign story and music. Some of the industries best. The adventure map looked nice too. But yeah, horribly unbalanced and boring/ugly combat

  18. airknots says:

    So, is it better than HoMM3 and Disciples II? Those were the last games I’ve played of this genre.

  19. Dread Quixadhal says:

    Meh, uplay…

    Sounds like a nice game to purchase next year, when it’s on a Steam sale for 80% off, assuming ubisoft’s DRM server is still running.

    • Hidoshi says:

      This one exactly. I tried HoMM VI too early and got disconnected by Uplay too many times.

      Unlike many I quite liked IV and V with the expansion, though VI did absolutely nothing for me. So I’m quite curious to see how VII will be, but not 40 pounds curious.

      • GepardenK says:

        I tried HoMM VI a few days ago (got it cheap in a bundle) and still got disconnected due to Uplay. Like game won’t even let me start. That’s a new level of incredible for me.

        I’m not ashamed to admit that for the first time in many years i torrented the hell out of that game (after buying of course). The illegal copy works flawlessly

        • jamesgecko says:

          I just run UPlay in offline mode. Same experience as the pirated version. You don’t get to use the nifty online-only dynasty system either way, but you’re also not dependent on the servers being up.

  20. Geewhizbatman says:

    40 money units of any currency is silly but that seems to be the norm for the “40,000 hours of the exact same thing” loosely defined strategy genre.

    I doubt I’ll actually pick it up, which is sad because I’ve always wanted to like the series. The only offshoot I ever finished was Clash of Heroes—and I didn’t even know I liked matching pixies of the same color together to defend against adorable zombies and cultists.

    Now if they made five sequels for that I would probably drop 40 blood tokens without a second thought so I can only hope that this iteration will make the fans happy (because it’s what, anywhere from 2-3 games worth of rage building up for some and all that has to cause some kind of cosmic feedback, right?)

  21. MasodikTiasma says:

    Dear RPSers, I quite liked HOMM5 when it came out, but unfortunately it kept crashing. I read it was an issue that had something to do with Win7 (this was a good 5 years ago, and on my previous machine). Anybody knows if this has been fixed? Maybe with unofficial patches, or the GOG version?