For more than a decade and a half, the Heroes of Might & Magic series has offered players the chance to adventure through fantastical worlds while training heroes, developing towns, and building armies to explore the realm and conquer their enemies. The turn-based titan returns in Might & Magic Heroes VI with the same engrossing and rewarding gameplay that its predecessors served up so well. New creatures, spells, and a lovely new faction help make this visually vibrant game feel fresh, while the restructured skill tree and new dynasty mechanic make hero development more flexible. Progressing through the five lengthy campaigns can drag at times, which is something the new quick combat feature both ameliorates and exacerbates. And the diverse tactical considerations can outpace the game’s ability to explain them properly. But the addictive rhythm of building, fighting, and exploring is as powerful as ever, making Might & Magic Heroes VI another compelling entry in this storied series.
Whether you play one of the campaigns, a one-off game, or a multiplayer match, you must choose from one of the five factions. Each faction has a different town in which it can construct unique buildings and recruit seven faction-specific creature types. The medieval Haven, hellish Inferno, and ghoulish Necropolis factions will be instantly familiar to veterans of the series, as might the snarling Stronghold faction introduced in Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East. The Sanctuary faction, on the other hand, is entirely new and makes a great addition to the existing roster. The blue and green temples of a Sanctuary town feature the curved eaves of Japanese pagodas and sit atop flowing waterfalls. The creatures also draw on Eastern inspiration, including slithering, four-armed samurais (kenseis) and ethereal, kimono-clad water spirits (snow maidens).