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How Might & Magic X: Legacy is bringing back old school RPGing

Patrick Budmar | April 23, 2013
We talk to Ubisoft creative director, Erwan le Breton, about the return of the classic RPG series

RPGs, like most games, have undergone an evolution with the advent of powerful consoles and improved PC hardware. These days gamers are more likely to associate World of WarCraft and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with RPGing, but before that there was the Might & Magic series. A popular 3DO property, Might & Magic made the jump to Ubisoft in 2003, though the publisher has mainly focused on releasing titles under the spin-off banner, Heroes of Might & Magic. Unsurprisingly, this left many fans pining for a new instalment in the main series. Their prayers seem to have been finally answered in the form of Might & Magic X: Legacy, making it the first real addition to the franchise since 2002's Might and Magic IX. Early impressions indicate that the familiar Might & Magic gameplay is back, with enough adjustments to make it play like a modern title.

We had a chance to go hands-on with Might & Magic X: Legacy at Ubisoft Digital Days 2013, where Ubisoft creative director, Erwan le Breton, talked about the ins and outs of the epic RPG adventure.

Ubisoft is the first AAA publisher to venture into old school RPGs. What motivated this move?

Ubisoft creative director, Erwan le Breton (EB): To be honest, this title was in our minds for a long time. It was hard for us to be sure there was an audience for such titles, but many Kickstarter successes in all those old-school IPs and genres, and also the great interest aroused by old school games, have proved the audience is there.

What are the essential features of a Might & Magic game?

EB: To us, Might & Magic RPGs are about a party of adventurers exploring a large world in first-person view, meeting a variety of characters, visiting cities, and of course, exploring dungeons and fighting monsters in turn-based combat. The specifics may vary from one game to the next, for instance Might & Magic VI introduced free movement while the earlier games were grid-based, but these basic ingredients were always there and they are still at the core of Might & Magic X: Legacy.

Which of the previous Might & Magic games have influenced Might & Magic X the most?

EB: Since there have been several "eras" as far as the gameplay of the series is concerned, we had to think hard about the kind of game we wanted to make. Several pitches were made, more or less faithful to the original games, but we finally decided to go for a gameplay similar to the World of Xeen episodes. We still kept some ideas of the later games, notably our skill system is similar (though not identical) to the skill system featured in Might & Magic VI to VII.

 

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