From New World Computing now a division of 3DO.
Rejoice oh fans of Might and Magic. For lo, there is yet another adventure awaiting some heros. Your world is being invaded, and heros are the only hope for survival. The Temple of Baa seeks to remove kings from the world, and your only hope is to destroy the temple. You must seek out and consult the Oracle, for she alone holds the key.
This game is a multiple character, real-time-based rpg. You are in real time as you wander the world, but you can switch to turn-based play for combat. Older Might and Magic games have always been turn-based for everything.
This game starts with you creating a team of 4 characters that will roam the world solving quests. You can also hire two other characters to help you on the quests. You cannot control these hirelings, they will not directly fight for you. However, they also won't need help during a fight. Careful selection of your hirelings is vital, each hireling can increase your abilities in some way. You have to choose what enhancements are most vital for your party at the time.
As you wander the world, and talk to the inhabitants, you'll be asked to accomplish quests. Quests are usually requests to find an item or person and return it to a certain location to receive a bonus. There are also sometimes riddles to solve to open doors. Most quests can be completed in any length of time, there are a few things which are time-critical, but that is the exception and not the rule. Completing quests lead to bonuses; money rewards and experience ones. You'll need to complete many of these tasks to advance your characters. Completing a quest is usually far more profitable than many random fights.
You can either create a team of up to 4 characters or use the pre-built team. For each of the characters in Might and Magic 6, you can select a picture of the hero (men and women are both available). You can rename the characters, though they do have a name when you select them. Each character needs to be assigned a profession. Choices for new characters are Paladin, Knight, Archer, Sorcerer, Cleric and Druid. These classes will change, if your team survives long enough. You will also have 50 extra points to divide as you see fit amongst your characters. Use them wisely.
This game requires that characters develop skills. Skills include the use of armor (3 types plus shields), each type of magic is a separate skill (9 types of magic), weapons skill and miscellaneous skills. Skill points are usually awarded when you go up a level, so you must allocate the points with care. There are many skills available, you'll find some are useful to develop in quickly. You must get to skill level 4 before you can become an expert in a skill. You need a skill level of about 8 (this may vary) before you can master that skill. Mastering a skill gives you great bonuses though, so you should do it when you can. Unfortunately, only experts in a skill can become masters of it, so you can't skip the middle stage.
Hint: this is very important for you to learn. When in turn-based combat, you may need to spin around, switch to real-time mode and run for it (in other words, hold the shift key while you move away from the enemy). In the early stages of the game, this is necessary and you should be able to outrun most monsters quite easily. But start running when you notice the fight is going badly, otherwise you may kill your characters.
I prefer teams of six characters to develop, I find a mere 4 a bit limiting. But that's because I've been spoilt by previous games. And I wish I could tell the game to permanently automatically go to turn based combat once the enemy is in hand-fighting range. Having to switch to turn-based combat every time gets a bit old. There have been a few times where I forget then wonder why my characters aren't getting a turn at combat.
Given the monsters and the world are all computer graphics, why on earth are the faces of your team real people? I found it weird and disconcerting at first. I've gotten used to it, but a well-animated character would do just as well as real people.
Another fine game from New World Computing. I like the ease with which one can switch to turn-based combat. The world is reasonably big, you'll have a lot to do before you can even think about approaching the Oracle.
If you haven't tried them yet, return to the start of the legend and try the Might and Magic games 1-5. I have seen a boxed edition containing all those games, finding the Clouds of Xeen and Darkside of Xeen should be pretty easy.
Magic items seem to be a bit less common in this game thenin some of the previous ones. Which is good, I always thought that it was way too easy to find magic items in the previous M&M games.
One advantage these games have over some. When you've cleared an area of monsters, it will usually stay that way. There may be a few you have missed, but you will never find great hordes there again.