Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Might & Magic Hereos VI: Shades of Darkness

Review: Might & Magic Heroes VI: Shades of Darkness

5:00 PM on 05.23.2013 // Joshua Derocher

More of the same for those who want it

I like the Heroes of Might & Magic series, but it has never been perfect. It's a very niche set of games that aren't quite role-playing titles or full-fledged strategy games. They are almost their own weird hybrid genre, and while I always applaud games for being their own thing, the Might & Magic series has become increasingly insular. If you played the last one, you will probably play the next one. If you haven't played them before, you probably don't know anything about them and chances are you won't play them tomorrow.

Lore and new campaigns aside, Shades of Darkness makes an attempt to be the "ideal way to discover the critically acclaimed gameplay of Might & Magic Heroes VI," according to its page on Steam. What it is more Might & Magic, and I don't think it's the best place to jump into this intimidating series.

Developed by professional outsourcing company Virtuos, this installment feels like a cookie-cutter entry in a series that has been growing stale to its fans for years. If you are looking for exactly the same gameplay and bugs as previous titles, then you are in for a treat.

Might & Magic Heroes VI: Shades of Darkness (PC)
Developer: Virtuos
Publisher: Ubisoft

Released: May 2, 2013
MSRP: $29.99

Shades of Darkness is a standalone expansion pack for Might & Magic Heroes VI and it brings two new campaigns to the game. The first campaign adds a new playable race, the Dark Elves, and the second campaign lets you take control of the Dungeon faction. The entire premise here is that you get to play as the bad guys for a change, but the weak story doesn't really let me feel like the villain. It actually seems like they went out of there way to try and humanize the characters and give them a reason for why they were evil. That's all well and good, but if you want me to play as a skeleton-faced lord of death, don't try and make anyone feel compassionate about it.

The story and writing overall are fantasy-ass fantasy, filled with winded tropes and worn-out cliches. If you are a fan of the genre, you'll just roll your eyes and carry on; otherwise, don't even bother trying to follow the story -- it is very boiler plate with generic characters. It's just enough to propel the game forward with new objectives and maps.

The gameplay is the same as previous Might & Magics, which is a turn-based hybrid of a giant role-playing game and a tactics-based strategy game. The only real additions here are the new abilities and units that you control with the new factions. These factions are enjoyable to play as, and if you play a lot of Might & Magic the new stuff is a good breath of fresh air. The maps are huge, especially in the dark elf campaign which has above-ground and underground sections, making them effectively twice as large. Each map can last anywhere from two to five hours, depending on the difficulty and your play style. 

There are a lot of bugs here. I had issues with the sprites loading correctly and I had to alt-tab out of the game, and then alt-tab back in every time I launched it. The Steam forums are filled with other people experiencing crashes to desktop and other game-breaking glitches, but there have already been patches to fix a lot of the major issues. For me, it was playable with a few minor glitches, but be prepared to spend some time digging in forums for a weird fix on a forum. 

Another major annoyance requires you to have a Uplay account with Ubisoft, and you have to be constantly connected to the Internet to play Shades of Darkness. Save games are synced with the publisher's servers, causing a delay when launching and closing the game. It's an unnecessary pain in the ass, and it doesn't function correctly. I have seen a lot of forum posts and comments from people who have been unable to get the game to work at all because of issues connecting to Uplay.

This isn't a good place to start in the series. I know they are trying to sell it off as that, but it's simply not true. The tutorial is still very basic, spells and abilities are poorly explained, and there is always a general feeling of not really understanding what the hell you're actually doing in combat. Even as someone who has played a fair amount of the series, I was still confused. I don't particularly care if the developers try and make it easier, but they are saying that this is the game to start with and I need to clearly express that it's not. If you really want to start playing Might & Magic Heroes, get the new complete pack for VI.

There are many games that will only appeal to "fans of the genre," but this goes farther than that and becomes a game that appeals to "fans of the series." It's not really a terrible thing, but it's not a great thing, either. If you like Might & Magic, you should definitely play Shades of Darkness. It's a solid expansion with an insane amount of new content; you'll be giddy for dozens of hours. If you don't play the series, however, this doesn't provide a great reason to check it out. There need to be more tool-tips with information and an introduction to the factions, lore, units, and abilities -- none of that happens here.



Might & Magic Hereos VI: Shades of Darkness - Reviewed by Joshua Derocher
Disappointing - I feel sorry for this one. It came close to being passable, but dropped the ball too many times to prevent itself from being an embarrassment.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Joshua Derocher, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Josh_Derocher Tips
Josh is a PC gamer. He can usually be found flying around in EVE Online. He's been known to enjoy playing role-playing games like Dragon Age: Origins, Skyrim, and Planescape Torment. He starte... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Might & Magic Hereos VI: Shades of Darkness

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Cblogs of 11/29/15 + Scott Pilgrim You Nefarious Swine!

Sexism in video games culture: social science says it’s real

How YOU can save DOAX3 (with diagrams)

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 2

Backward Compatibility Is More Important Than Ever (Maybe)

My beef with Sony

It's beginning to look a lot like censorship.

Solar Pony Django's Review on: Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

Steam Controller Review

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Today's kids will never know the struggle of putting an encyclopedia on top of an NES Max to auto-buy 99 potions before heading into Terra Cavern
CblogRecaps avatarCblogRecaps
Sometimes, on more dreary days, I make a smiley face with sliced-pickle eyes and bacon grin in my lunch-burger. It fills me up all the same, but I feel a warm sense of accomplishment, achievement and satisfaction on top of it.
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube][/youtube] Isn't this the greatest thing ever?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Well, my Bloggers Wanted post is up, but it timetraveled back to Sunday behind Zetta's blog or will only post two days from now otherwise. Mrgrgr.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Yeah I still can't take the new Batman and Superman seriously, Batman just looks so stupid with his cowl lol.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
This near final build of Nuclear Throne is going to bring back my eye twitch.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
When I was a lad, I loved this game something fierce. [img][/img] Anyone else ever play the tie in Small Soldiers games? Maybe it's nostalgia, but I remember them being not too bad.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Finally got my surface pro 3. Holy shit I love this little guy. And Windows 10 is better than I thought.
Putting more effort into iOS game review than African American history book report. This is not what Dr. King died for. Or maybe he did, I wouldn't know because I'm not doing the book report. Wha-hey!!
Lawman avatarLawman
More info and footage on that cancelled first-person THQ Avengers game is shown. The heartache's still real.
Archelon avatarArchelon
DailyFloze avatarDailyFloze
So just dropping in, just finished my first hands on with the new Bloodborne DLC..... in one word...Potatoes!!? #theoldhunters #dropitlikeitsyarnham #aintnothinglikeafromsoftwarething
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Indivisible's campaign just made it to $1.300.000! if you can back it please consider doing it.
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Slow day at work. [IMG][/IMG]
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
22/31 missions completed on Prototype, fun game with a ton of destruction but crashes on my desktop PC and barely runs on my dad's laptop. And it's distracting me from playing more Fallout 4. But hey, I can slice+disguise as tank commanders and that's fun
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
Virtua Fighter month begins tomorrow! First blog will be coming sometime this week (mostly Wednesday).
voex avatarvoex
*Sigh* time to figure out how much a Fallout 4 capable PC upgrade is gonna cost me...
ooktar avatarooktar
Ordered this on Thanksgiving and surprisingly got here today. The case is amazing and Now I got all the Persona Cards. [img][/img] [img][/
Jiraya avatarJiraya
You probably already saw this - but it is gold - Fallout 4 One Punch Man Mod [youtube][/youtube]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I just got my new Mega64 Blu-Ray! But now I have a problem... Do I watch that or keep watching Claymore...
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -