Heroes of Might and Magic V

a game by Nival, Inc.
Platform: PC
User Rating: 9.3/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Heroes of Might and Magic Series, Tactical RPG

With four games already previously released in the franchise, it’s safe to say that Heroes of Might and Magic V already has a lot of ground to stand on. For many years before, players were already getting used to the Might and Magic Universe, and exploring the world and fighting the battles of Ubisoft’s self proclaimed “generation defining” strategy game. While built on the four games that came before it, Might and Magic V still has its own quirks and charms with a few unique tricks up its sleeve, and in a world dominated with popular strategy games on multiple platforms like World of Warcraft, it has a lot of strong competition to face.

The Low Down

Much like the previous games in the franchise, Might and Magic V follows a familiar formula. The game is full of “hero” characters and various armies that you as the player will control. You can send these characters out to explore the different environments on the game’s large map where you can find treasure, claim castles and most importantly, battle enemies! The more battles you win the more experience points you gain, allowing you to level up and gain new skills and abilities that make your armies even more formidable! If you’re familiar with other strategy and fantasy games, many of the tropes and features should be familiar. There are demons, elves, undead creatures, wizards, knights and all kinds of orcs and ogres in between.

Things I Liked

There is a dense, deeply constructed and fascinating world made here. Each character and faction is separated into different types, each with their own distinct abilities. For example, any demonic characters have the power to summon hellish reinforcements that swarm enemies in great numbers and surge to victory. While most of this is standard in the series by this stage, Might and Magic V introduces more skills and abilities into the fold, giving you an almost endless choice in how to develop your characters and make your army stronger. There are two things I strongly value in any game; one is replay value and the other is a logical, decent AI that knows how to respond. I’m happy to say that Might and Magic V has both. The huge selection of characters, castle types, items and abilities you can choose whilst roaming the map means there are hours upon hours of gameplay here, and that’s without any downloadable content attached. If you love playing strategy games, you’ll find it extremely hard to become tired of this.

Things I Didn’t

It isn’t as much of a criticism from me as it is an observation, but with it being the fifth game in the series, some fans may be tiring of the format or are looking for a significant change in game play to spice things up. That can’t really be found in this instalment. Overall

Five games in, and the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise shows no signs of slowing down and no shortages of ideas. Yes, it’s largely just using what came before it, but if it’s working, then so what? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Pros

  • Wonderful variety of maps and characters
  • AI is quite smart and animations are smooth
  • Almost endless hours of gameplay if you’re into it!

Cons

  • Old or diehard fans are likely to nitpick the lack of changes

8/10

Download Heroes of Might and Magic V

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

If You Began your association with Might And Magic around 2002 when the last Heroes game emerged, you were probably left wondering what all the fuss was about. It wasn't that the game was bad, far from it, but there was the distinct feeling that the financially-beleaguered developers were running on goblin vapours. Two lacklustre expansions later (plus an abominable last chapter to the venerable Might And Magic itself), and 3D0 were no more.

Whatever the original developers are up to now. bankruptcy has clearly done wonders for the 12-year-old series. Self-confessed HOMM fans Nival (partially famous for WWII RTS Blitzkrieg) have been in the developer's seat since 2003, prior to which they garnered some well-deserved critical acclaim for their shortlived Etherlords series. Clearly, these guys were the perfect choice to drag the series kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Ostensibly, gameplay-wise, very little appears to have changed: you explore each map, hoard resources, build up cities, raise armies and level-up against various stock fantasy beasties until the campaign or your multiplayer session is done. As hinted at in the title however. Heroes Of Might And Magic is about your heroes rather than the armies themselves, with gameplay akin to a grand boardgame rather than some frenzied RTS.

From Zero To Hero

Without wanting to state the obvious, graphically we're generations ahead of the last game. But even though we have detailed 3D models wielding swords, the garish - some might say camp - vibrancy of the series has not been lost.

Best of all, gone are the tiny icons that befuddled the previous games, and impatient newcomers can happily toss the manual aside thanks to extensive tooltips and a learning curve that seems pitched damn-near perfectly. Committed fans shouldn't fret however; the storyline minces along in typical Might And Magic style and the range of multiplayer options are such that the game will linger on your hard drive way past the summer months. Truthfully, HOMMV is better in every department than its predecessor. It's grittier, funnier, prettier, more accessible, more strategic and rammed full of multiplayer goodness. Did I mention it's also turn-based? Don't let that put you off. Fantasy warmongering is rarely this good.

Its Strange To think that Hemes of Might & Magic V came out just four years ago. The Might & Magic brand has been around for 24 years, and despite reinventing itself every now and then - Dark Messiah was an enjoyable distraction, for starters - the brand still feels slightly tainted by the dusty associations of old-school fantasy role-playing.

We didn't rate it so highly at launch, but the fifth edition of the real-time strategy arm of M&M ages surprisingly well. Perhaps it's because the bugs have been patched. Perhaps it's because the budget price lowers your expectations. Perhaps it's just a plain trick of the mind - but with a pinch of nostalgia and such a minimal cash outlay, HOMMV becomes a pleasure to re-explore.

As you'd expect from a mature universe, the game is set in a well-imagined and detailed fantasy world, that has six factions: the decent and corrupt wizards of Academy and Necropolis, high and dark elves from the Sylvan and Dungeon factions, with humans and demons taking their opposite places in the same way Human and Chaos do in Warhammer. (How vain are we, that wizards and elves can be pitted against evil versions of themselves, but humans need to cast themselves against something dead poetic?)

Each faction plays differently enough to make their own campaigns interesting, and there are dozens of hours of satisfying Warcraftm strategy to be wrung from the single-player game.

On top of that, the game's looks and musical score have withstood the test of time. That is, if you can call four years any kind of a serious test of time.

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

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