Might and Magic VII (7): For Blood and Honor by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
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Might and Magic VII (7): For Blood and Honor
In 1998, Jon Von Caneghem's New World Computing released Might and Magic VI (6): The Mandate of Heaven. The game focused on combat and we received dozens of letters from players who felt that several of the later dungeons were just simply unbeatable. The plot was virtually non-existant in an attempt to preserve the "go anywhere do anything and everything" philosophy of the designers. In fact the game kept automatic track of hundreds of subplots while the main plot melted into your subconscious.
Might and Magic VII is a computer role-playing game set in Erathia, a mystical land of magic and adventure. You will guide the actions of a group of four heroes - armored swordsmen, daring thieves, gifted archers and wielders of arcane sorcery - as they explore the land, sea and subterranean passages in search of treasure and glory. Your characters will begin their journey possessing only the most basic skills and equipment, and are barely deserving of the title "adventurer." As they continue, however, they will acquire personal abilities, enchanted artifacts, deadly weapons, and powerful knowledge, all of which they will need to face the greater challenges ahead... to one day epitomize a true adventurer.
Might and Magic VII features new support for 3D graphics acceleration, improved game play features, and special opportunities for new players to get involved.
The eleventh game set in the Might and Magic universe, Might and Magic VII is the sequel to the best-selling Might and Magic VI The Mandate of Heaven which went as high as No. 4 on the PC Data Top 100 list. Well over four million units have sold worldwide in the Might and Magic universe, and the games have been translated into over 12 languages.
Might and Magic VII features new 16 bit, 65,000 color graphics in a smooth-scrolling, high resolution environment and takes advantage of the latest 3D graphic accelerators. The game is also designed to look breathtaking while running without graphic acceleration as well. A new combat system allows players to choose whether they fight in real-time or turn-based mode, with movement possible in turn-based mode. The new set of 26 monsters provides ample opportunities for combat, but crafty adventurers can motivate monsters to turn against each other. The game uses the monster graphic set from Heroes of Might and Magic III, the most advanced Might and Magic monster graphics to date.
To introduce role-playing to novice players, Might and Magic VII features a training level where players can get their bearings, learn to purchase items, and even go a few rounds with some monsters to get accustomed to the game mechanics and interface before venturing out on a quest. Also included in the package is a special guide that introduces the basics of role-playing. The game features hundreds of completely new hand-tuned mini quests and the introduction of multi-dimensional quests. Might and Magic VII allows for more character development with a choice of four classes: elf, dwarf, human, and goblin. Players may develop their characters as either good or evil and still finish the game.
"We really listened to the players of Might and Magic VI when we designed this game, and this one is the best yet," says Jon Van Caneghem, founder and president of New World Computing. "We think the story in Might and Magic VII is even more compelling than the previous games. The game play improvements and the new character options should contribute to many sleepless nights for fans of the series."
"Role-playing is back and Might and Magic VII is poised to duplicate the incredible success of its predecessors," says Mark Caldwell, general manager and vice president of New World Computing. "The new features will keep the long-time fans enthralled, and the new training ground allows new players to see what all the excitement is about."
An aggressive marketing campaign for Might and Magic VII includes strong retail advertising partnerships and prominent in-store displays. Electronics Boutique will be giving away a mini strategy guide to purchasers of the game, and Babbage's customers will receive a limited edition poster of renowned fantasy artist Boris Vallejo's exclusive artwork that also graces the game box.
The predecessor to Might and Magic VII, Might and Magic VI The Mandate of Heaven was nominated as "Role-Playing Game of the Year" by PC Gamer and Computer Gaming World magazines. The game was also nominated for both "Best Adventure/RPG" and "Best Use of Audio" by the Computer Game Developers Association, as well as "Role-Playing Game of the Year" by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. Might and Magic VI debuted at No. 2 on the Computer Gaming World Top 100 readers' poll, and has spent over ten months on the list of top ten games being played by the magazine's readers.
The 3DO Company, headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software for personal computers, the Internet and advanced entertainment systems such as the PlayStation(R) game console and Nintendo(R) 64. 3DO markets and publishes its products worldwide under multiple brand names including New World Computing, Team .366 and 3DO. More information about 3DO's products can be found on the Internet at http://www.3do.com.
A nice feature is to encorporate the original "stepping mode" along with the fluid motion seen in most other contemporary games. The stepping mode was used extensively in the 1980s for computer role playing games, changing to the fluid motion mode also supported in this game with the Strategic Simulations Incorporated Dungeons and Dragons Games in the early 1990s.
One of the greatest advantages to playing this quest intensive game is its automatic notetaking and quest tracking system pioneered and almost perfected by New World Computing in this series. The new system is flawed in that your information is updated for conversations as to the locations of only the master and grandmaster level skill trainers. For some odd reason if you find these trainers on your own or if you are looking for the expert trainers you will not find their locations in the game tracking system.
The plot and the game are more related to the game play in this game when compared to the prior game. The plot is set in the time period after Heroes of Might and Magic III where Queen Catherine defeated her father and his undead legions. Queen Catherine returns home from her trials and tribulations only to find the the revelers in a treasure hunt held by Markham, a minor island lord, are disappearing. You are selected to go kill the dragon, wizard, or other evil minion and yet again save the world.
The graphics actually appear better and more detailed when you do not use the graphic accelerator modes such as 3Dfx.
Music ScoreMuch improved since ther prior game.
Sound EffectsSimilar to those in Might and Magic VI (6) with no discernable improvement or change.
UtilitiesOne of the best automapping, autonotetaking, and quest tracking systems in the business is somewhat flawed in this iteration of the game.
Multi-player FeaturesNone. It is sad that a game such as this does not supply cooperative play mode where you and your friends could live this adventure together over the internet or network.
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