Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Elements

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.

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements

Finally putting Dark Messiah to rest at 2.15am this morning was a mighty relief. Apart from being tetchy and desperately in need of some sleep, I was grateful I wouldn't have to endure another day of draining exasperation. For its considerable flaws and its ability to wind you up, you'll want to kick Dark Messiah: Elements into the inky abyss.

Yet there's so much to love about Arkane's brutal fantasy-action RPG - not least the humour coursing through the veins of every undead encounter. The ability to be so routinely violent helps you keep your head when others are, inevitably, losing theirs in great globs of blood. It's a game of simple, repetitive and often wicked pleasures: booting unwary enemies to their doom; into the abyss, against a wall of spikes or flame. If none of those are options, then you can always see if you can slash a rope and send a massive stone statue tumbling onto their heads, or dispense some lightning justice into a pool of water and electrocute the whole lot.

Despite its RPG leanings, Dark Messiah: Elements is an unapologetically linear, story-based affair, set over ten medium-sized chapters, and in some ways all the better for it. Like a more focused, action-oriented take on Oblivion, it strips out most of the padding associated with fantasy RPGs and just lets you get on with the business of fighting an awful lot of ugly monsters in a plethora of familiar fantasy haunts (think dungeons, sewers, castles). Admittedly, the story isn't exactly its strong point (thanks to wooden voice acting and uninspired dialogue), but you can't help smirk at, for instance, the way the game plays evil brunette Xana off against wholesome, simpering Leanna. Xana's jealous reaction is good value even if you do spurn her rather predatory advances. All the stuff about you, Sareth, going after Shantirir Crystal and the Skull of Shadows is pure fantasy fluff, but innocuous enough.

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Dark Messiah 360 demo

Get a Handel on it.

Ubisoft and Microsoft have stopped getting off under the mistletoe (sorry, money hat) long enough to upload an Xbox 360 demo of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic: Elements - or DMoMaME, as everyone calls it.

Dark Messiah 360 slips

But only a little.

Ubisoft has moved the release date for Dark Messiah of Might & Magic: Elements, moving it back a few weeks to 7th December.

Dark Messiah Elements details

Dark Messiah Elements details

Extra bits and bobs for 360.

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.

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Dark Messiah for 360

New Elements game is port.

Ubisoft has revealed at its event in Paris that Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Elements is an Xbox 360 title.