Might and Magic: Heroes VII Beta Preview | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Might and Magic: Heroes VII Beta Preview





I’ll be honest- I suck at turn-based strategy games. I’m familiar with the challenge and understand the way the game is supposed to be played; I even took some extra time to look up strategies online- but it’s no use. I’m simply a noob, and I even struggle beating the computer on easy mode. It’s been 3 versions since I’ve last played the Heroes series, and when it was tossed on my desk, I knew I had one choice; it’s not easy commanding an army, but I would do my best.

This past weekend, Ubisoft opened a beta-build of Heroes of Might and Magic VII up to the public, and I dove headfirst into the series- a newbie trying my hand at it for the first time in many years. Overall, it’s very familiar to all of Limbic Entertainment’s previous outings, and fans of the series should feel very familiar with VII’s entry.

Set 200 years after Heroes VI’s Shades of Darkness storyline, it’s been a decade since the Holy Empress Maeve Falcon was assassinated. This game will feature Ivan Griffin, infamous Duke of Griffin Duchy, pursuing the crown after the Falcon Empire dissolved. As this is taking place before some of the previous entries, fans should already know the outcome of this 10 year war storyline, but it should be like jumping into the past.

Heroes 7 doesn’t change too much up, retaining it’s traditional form of gameplay and presentation. The biggest change is your heroes won’t spend points on learning new spells, but will rather learn them from shrines located across the world, with a system resembling V’s gameplay over VI’s. There’s also a larger amount of resources, seven in total; wood, ore, gold, dragonblood crystals, starsilver, shadowsteel and dragonsteel. Your primary skills will stay mostly the same (attack, defense, spell power and knowledge), but the hero skills will feature a blend of V and VI’s gameplay.

It’s a pretty simple stage- you start with a kingdom, and there’s other empires in your way to total domination over the land. Your goal is to navigate the world, killing hordes of monsters as you pillage small villages and towns in order to afford your campaign of destruction. During your turn, you’re able to build onto your empire’s resources and capabilities, such as barracks to recruit new soldiers, or a blacksmith to make even stronger weapons (only one building per turn). You can also buy new Heroes to move your army around the world map, collecting resources and discovering the lay of the land. In every new game, resources are moved around, so paying attention to where your supplies are located on the map is a must.

You must expand out, capturing towns and monuments in order to grow your empire’s strength, in order to crush your opponents. These opponents can be adjustable AI, lan-connected friends, or across an online network. The game is won when one player stands victorious over his adversary. The game offers a wide assortment of maps and play conditions, and you can even adjust the amount of resources one can find in the game.

Having sat down to play it over the weekend, the game is one you shouldn’t hover over; Especially when playing on a large map with up to five other would-be emperors. The time it takes for even AI opponents is something you don’t want to be staring at constantly. Like chess, the game requires you to keep your mind on it, but allows you to stretch your legs in between important decisive moves.

When you do enter into battle, the game jumps down onto a battlefield where you move your creatures on a standard turn-based strategy grid. Character animations are smooth, and the creatures are bizarre, all of them stemming from standard mythological tropes. Your Heroes can also bring in catapults and healers, along with their own spells to throw onto the battlefield.

We’ve included 15 minutes of gameplay below, so give it a watch if you can’t wait to enter the world of Ashan once again. Heroes VII’s release date is September 29th, so be on the lookout for our full review and future news, right here on Mouse N Joypad.