Consider the Boot. The Stalwart Companion of the Road. The Silent Sufferer of the Inevitable Sewer Level. Courageous Clinger of Ladder Rungs. Stoic, Sodden when Submerged. And yet, despite all these admirable feats, the Gracious Boot doesn't often get much of a look-in in games. Often, in fact, it won't even be rendered, its hard work all but ignored when you look downwards, only to find empty air between you and the floor.
Ubisoft has finally gotten around to the official unveiling of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic: Elements.
We've already told you it's the Xbox 360 port of the Source-powered fantasy action game on PC, but according to new information there are some teensy differences.
Because a pad isn't quite as adept as a mouse and keyboard combination, developer Arkane Studios is popping a lock-on feature in, along with tweaked level design and statistics to wrap your bearded chops around. We're also promised various technical improvements, which are presumably in-line with the numerous PC patches released so far.
Ubisoft has revealed at its event in Paris that Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Elements is an Xbox 360 title.
The brochure for Ubisoft's Ubidays event - happening right now in Paris - is flaunting a logo for Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Elements.
Having just sat through the initial conference, Tom tells us no mention was made of the game, although he expects it will be one of the titles being demonstrated tomorrow, during the second of Ubidays', um, days.
We expect it's either an expansion or a console port of the PC game.
Valve's vented that there's a new update available through Steam for Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, which aims to fix a host of online balancing issues as well as add a new mode and maps to the multiplayer experience.
So, those of you eager to fight amongst yourselves should be happy with the new Colosseum game mode, which lets a handful of players duke it out in a series of individual bouts. Or you could try your hand at one of the four new maps that have been added to the original fantasy roster.
Various abilities have also been fiddled with to make things a little bit fairer, meaning no menacing Mage with a full-fire alignment should now be able to instantly kill you with one spell. The pests.
Valve reports that there's a patch available through Steam for Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, which should sort out a number of tedious bugs. And if you bought the game in a box rather than an internet, you can download a patch for that too.
So what's sorted? Well, here are a few highlights: "Indestructible shields are now really indestructible." "Fixed teleporting that could occur when using lockpick." "Fixed invisible wall present on level 7." And "Fixed Percy getting stuck in a window."
Which reminds me - Rob moved house last week, and, well, if you couldn't get a sofa in through a front door, would your first instinct be to try and raise it through the first floor window using ropes? Somebody should patch him.
With Dark Messiah of Might & Magic out today on PC, Eurogamer TV is running a special exclusive introduction to the war-town land of Ashan, with a sneak peek at the game's opening story sequence, and a run through of all the game's key features.
I have a busty woman in my head, talking in an over-provocative voice telling me to do things I really shouldn't. At least in this, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic is terribly familiar.
But away from that, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic is familiar in a refreshing manner. It's a linear, fantasy first-person action-role-playing-game, with the stress on the "Action". It's completely accessible, while full of things which have only been occasionally done at worst, not done in ages more often and not done at all at best. There have been comparisons to Oblivion in casual net conversation, based upon screenshots with swords, which are worth mentioning if only to reject outright. An audience more familiar with Arkane's previous work has approached it as a demi-sequel to Arx Fatalis, which is closer, but will just leave you disappointed if you play it. However there is a resemblance here. Where Arx Fatalis was the French developer's knowing tribute to the initial Looking Glass Software (née Blue Sky) triumph of Ultima Underworlds, this seems more of a riff off Thief: The Dark Project. There are sections which seem to be terribly knowing nods towards the exploration/thief action of the late, great developer's work, except with a lead character who has the customisation straight out of System Shock 2 inserted. Imagine a character who's infinitely more capable of rending his opponents limb from limb than terribly cool, terribly puny Garrett, and you've got its measure.
Well, most of its measure. In your string of ten linear (or mostly linear) levels you gain experience points and equipment, which allows considerable personalisation of your character down three statistic trees. These basically amount to combat, magic and stealth/various skills, with more abilities unlocked as you progress along each tree. The latter makes the option of being jack of all and master of all attractive until you get particularly addicted to back-stabbing/decapitating opponents/setting people aflame, depending upon your inclination. Combat skills generally increase the damage you do with melee or ranged weapons, magic ones open up new ways to unleash things Man Was Not Meant To Know on your foes and the stealth ones let you try and turn the whole game into Thief IV (with generally useful health, mana or stamina bonuses available along the trees).
Splinter Cell: Double Agent and Dark Messiah of Might & Magic will headline Ubisoft's line-up at the Leipzig Games Convention later this month.
Ubisoft and Arkane Studios have released a playable single-player demo of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic.
I'll go a long way to spare bandwidth. In fact, I'll go to Surrey. It's the day before the Dark Messiah demo's being released and I've trekked down to the wreckage of Ubisoft's HQ to spend some quality time with Arkane's forthcoming fantasy-first-person action-RPG, so Eurogamer can be the first with their impressions. Not that it's quite the same code as the demo that's been released, with access to a few more weapons and skills than what's available to you if you download it, but the tone and timbre's the same. So get it downloading and read this while you're waiting.
The producer of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic has revealed what we can expect from the game's multiplayer modes when it arrives on PC this autumn.
According to excellently named producer Romain de Waubert de Genlis, Dark Messiah will feature deathmatch, team match and an all-new Crusade mode, and will support up to 32 players on the same map.
De Waubert de Genlis said the deathmatch and the team deathmatch modes "Will be very similar to what you can find in most online first-person shooters, like Quake, UT or Doom," while the Crusade mode "will be more of a mix between Battlefield and WOW Battlegrounds."
Arkane's Lyon Headquarters. We're looking at a videogame and wondering how on Earth we're still having to go all the way back to Heretic in the early nineties to think of a first-person action game in a fantasy setting. Bloody developers.