Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms
Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms Overview
Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms is a web based strategy game published by Ubisoft based on the Heroes of Might & Magic franchise. In its core it plays much like Evony, The Seventh Dragon, Lord of Ultima and every other browser based strategy game out there – except with one difference. The game’s Hero customization and progression system is remarkably in-depth. The game also looks a bit different, but not in a good way. The graphics look older and the interface is a bit clumsy. Players start with a small town and must gradually build it up into a thriving city. Players have the option of forging alliances with nearby players or conquering them. As mentioned earlier, The gameplay mechanics, interface, and visuals are very similar to prior strategy games. Gameplay is a bit slow paced, but players have the option of spending additional resources on any construction to speed things up. That’s in-game resources, not premium currency. This game should not be confused for Heroes of Might and Magic Online from TQ Digital. That’s an actual MMORPG. This is a browser based strategy MMO.
Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms Screenshots
Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms Featured Video
Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms Full Review
By, Jamie Skelton
In recent years, more browser-based strategy games have been appearing as the genre becomes more popular with both hardcore and casual gamers. Ubisoft’s first MMO, Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms, capitalizes on both the popularity of browser-based strategy games and the strong following of Might & Magic to bring the game series to players for free. Unlike other browser-based games like Evony or Three Kingdoms Online, Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms uses its own unique game engine with a strong familiarity to the Heroes of Might & Magic game series. It must also be said that the game shares very few similarities with Heroes of Might and Magic Online except for sharing the same background.
A Land Torn By War
Like any good strategy game, Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms begins with a land torn by war. There are four factions fighting for dominance in this land, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and unique units, buildings, and heroes. The Haven, a Holy Empire, has a strong army but weak magic and expensive building cost. The Academy is a magic-based empire, with a weak economy and weaker units. Inferno is the kingdom of demons, with strong units and powerful but expensive magic. Finally, the Necropolis is the kingdom of undeath, with weak units but fast early development and a fairly balanced power between the power of their troops and their magic. Whichever your choice, it becomes permanent, and while it will reflect and adapt to your personal play style, it makes no effect on where you are placed in the land or who you can ally with.
Once a kingdom is chosen, players also get to select their name, a special player icon (combination of color, pattern, and icon), name their city, and then choose their first hero’s portrait and name. Placement on the world map is random, although new players will be placed in newer areas where they won’t be under direct threat from more powerful players once their newbie protection wears off.
A Steady Foot Forward
While some browser-based strategy games offer meager tutorials, usually in the form of a huge series of quests dumped into a quest log, Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms tries a little harder to incorporate the tutorial through the natural beginning game-play. Your guide will take you through freeing your city from a siege, mastering basic combat techniques, and building the foundations of your city as well as expanding into nearby territories. A practice server is also available to play on, which has accelerated growth, but a maximum time limit.
To Battle in the Wilderness
Players begin in a starter city surrounded by wilderness and the four basic resource nodes (gold, lumber, ore, and sulfur). Everything, including resources, must be captured through battling NPCs that dwell there. This means that a strong hero, and a strong army, are important to beginning strategy. Heroes must be equipped with units, and then sent out on missions to fight and hopefully conquer each piece of territory.
Combat is a rock-paper-scissors, turn-based combat that the player does not directly control. Ranged units best infantry, which bests cavalry, which in turn bests ranged. Units fight in an ordered succession, listed from top to bottom, and will get bonuses if placed against units that they are strong against. However, if the first player unit wins against the first enemy unit with survivors, they will go on to match the second unit, possibly with bonuses against them instead. Combat strategy, therefore, requires careful balancing of unit numbers and stacks to avoid heavy losses against the enemies.
Heroes Matter Too
While you begin with a single hero, more heroes are easily available to be hired for a moderate sum of gold. After building a tavern (part of the introductory quest), a new hero can be hired from a selection of two random types and portraits. Each hero has strengths and weaknesses, and styles of growth (how quickly or slowly they grow in their powers), so a balance of hero types as you expand your kingdom’s arsenal is key, as is considering what each hero will be used for.
In addition to leveling, gaining stats, and equipping items, heroes also can specialize in up to three different classes/careers. There are several of these to choose from, some with bonuses for combat, while others have bonuses for city building, trade, scouting, and more. Each class also has several specializations they can put skill points into, as defined by their class, and some actions – like building research buildings – can only be done by specific classes. A good grasp of all required roles, and the best way to specialize each hero, is also key to success.
A Little Empty Outside
One of the key problems with Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms as an MMO isn’t the depth of strategy required to succeed, it’s the pace of the gameplay itself. Each action taken has a certain time which it will take to complete, whether it’s building something new, recruiting a hero, training a hero in a new class, or heading off to battle. This is typical of all browser-based strategy games, except that in this case, actions take hours to complete even when they’re adjacent to the city a hero is in. The design is intentional: the developers wanted the game to be played for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day. Unfortunately, the design leads to a very slow paced game, resulting in little social interaction between players other than messages for joining alliances, and other diplomatic mail. Despite being massively multiplayer, the game generally feels like a single-player game.
Final Verdict: Good
Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms requires a great depth of strategy for success, something that tends to be rare in browser-based strategy games. With a real difference between kingdoms, units, and classes, and little evidence of a push for a “cash shop” strategy, the gameplay is incredibly rewarding. However, the slow pace and decreased social aspect may also deter some from enjoying the game to its full potential. If you enjoy strategy games but don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on becoming the best or socializing, Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms is a sure winner; for those who want to spend more time playing and less time waiting, other strategy games may be a better choice.