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Fantasy fun and games
This is the fourth entry in a very popular series of roleplaying games which are a spinoff from the equally popular Might and Magic titles, and feature similar monsters, characters and so on. This title follows the formula laid down by its predecessors quite closely but also adds in enough new features to make it worth a look by newcomers and old-hands alike. This time around you're exploring a whole new fantasy-style world, after escaping your usual one in some prophecy-related fun and games. Gameplay-wise though it's still pretty much business as usual, and you'll find yourself in the company of a bunch of rogues, exploring the land, building up armies, battling monsters and all the other sorts of things these games usually feature. Differences here include a shift in perspective to an isometric one, while your heroes now play a much bigger role in combat, offering many more tactical opportunities. Coming after the much-loved Heroes of Might and Magic 3, this was always going to be a tough sell, and while it doesn't quite live up to its immediate predecessor, it remains an enjoyable bit of fantasy entertainment. There's a fairly interesting campaign to play through, with plenty of quests and so on to keep you hooked, while the change in perspective does actually mix things up quite nicely. The visuals are decent enough, showing their age a bit now but with some nice design work and lush environments, while the gameplay is solid and rarely less than entertaining, making this a good choice for fantasy RPG fans, if not a great one.
Innovative in the early period of the series
Compared to Heroes of Might & Magic Heroes VI, maybe Might & Magic Heroes 4 isn't really the gold standard for innovation ,but, then again, this game came out in 2004, and besides that, the older titles weren't really known for their leaps and bound in gameplay novelties. That's however something that Might & Magic Heroes 4 did, it brought quite a few novel elements. It was the first to introduce the caravan as a type of game unit, which allowed more than one hero to participate in a battle, thus creating much more diverse turn based matches (which didn't require, again, for the first time in the series, as large an army as some of the older titles). Also, and while this might not interest people as much, I think it still has a level of relevance; Might & Magic Heroes 4 was the last in the series to actually be developed by the same people that worked on the series from the beginning. That, for hardcore fans, can really be felt, as the later titles would surely lose a bit of their, well, spirit, and kind of lose their track and traction, though the series will pick up again later on towards the very late 2000s. So yeah, a great looking game, innovative enough, the last on in 2D, and a great experience for lovers of Heroes!
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