Might and Magic III is an old school open ended RPG set in the Isles of Terra. The game comes with an adventurer’s journal from the mysterious wizard Corak who states that the real goal is to stop his nemesis; a man named Sheltem from destroying the Isles. The game comes with a pretty involved and well written back story to add to the lore. I love the good old days when developers spent a lot of time on manuals and back ground story. New developers take note! The game is only as deep as the story behind it! Might and Magic III was released by new world computing in 1991.
You start the game with a pre made party of six adventurers outside of the inn in the starting city of fountain head. Who wants to use a prebuilt party? I know I didn’t, so I went into the inn and removed all of them and created my own party. It does take a bit of time to create a party but like all great RPG's that you are going to soak a long amount of your life into, you want the characters to be your own so creating a party of your own is quite enjoyable. Your party will adventure through many towns, castles, outdoor forests, dungeons, caverns and more interesting places in MMIII. Once nice aspect of the game is the use of mirrors that will teleport you from town to town once you know the password. Not much fun having to walk back and forth once you have already explored that area.
The interface is very similar to many other first person RPG's, with some nice additional features. First off, the art work and graphics are very colorful and well done for the time. Your characters faces react to what affliction they are suffering from. If they are hit bad enough that their hit points drop below zero then their eye's will close to show they are unconcious, and if they are poisoned they have a look at if they are about to vomit, this aspect adds quite a bit of realism to the game. The interface also has some gargoyles to notify you if you have a levitate spell active, or if there is a secret door in front of you. I found the secret door gargoyle quite helpful as well as the always handy Wizard eye spell that allows you to see your immediate map area in the upper right of the interface screen.
This game does require quite a lot of exploration to discover what is going on, and those of you who need to be led around on a leash might want to skip this game as there are times when it’s not obvious what you are supposed to do next. However, those of you who love to explore an open ended world old school style should love this game. MMIII can be rather hard at first if you venture into areas to advanced for your characters, I did die quite a lot of times in the early parts of the game. I have to admit, I did reference a clue book walkthrough for this game a few times!
The game has a very good musical score and each song changes to fit the mood of the environment you are in. About the only negative aspects are the lack of multiple save games, and I did find one peculiar bug at the end of the quest that I was not able to find a solution for, however for the most part the game is solid.
Bottom line; if you are a fan of the old school opened ended deep role playing games of the past, you should love this game.
Part of the Might and Magic Series