I grew up playing games that had “Might & Magic” in their title. I was and still am a huge fan of Heroes of Might and Magic 3 – a game that I still play today, every now and then, when nostalgia kicks in. The truth is that I have played every Might and Magic game in the franchise, excepting the very first ones in each series.
With this background, you can imagine that I was both extremely happy and terrified at the same time when I heard that Ubisoft is planning to launch a brand new Might & Magic game. For mobile! Dear Lord, I was hit with mixed feeling, high hopes, but I also knew that there’s a chance I will be completely and utterly disappointed.
And then, the game came: Might & Magic Elemental Guardians. A good name that sees you dream about roaming the dungeons, battling earth elementals, casting spells and building top teams of heroes.
Unfortunately, the actual game has absolutely nothing to do with the classic Might & Magic games. Maybe some of the creatures in the game have been used at one point or another in the franchise, but that’s about it when it comes to actual connections you can make between this game and past releases.
It was a shock and a massive disappointment at first. But then I decided to take my fanboy goggles off and give M&M: Elemental Guardians a try. And I am extremely happy I decided to do that and I even wrote a guide for the game in case you need some help.
Because if you look at it as a modern mobile RPG game that’s available as a free download all over the world and not as a regular Might and Magic game, you will be pleasantly surprised.
The first thing that hits you is that the Elemental Guardians is extremely polished and has a ton of content. There are also a lot of hardcore features, in depth stats, skills to unlock – each unique to the tens of heroes available in the game, glyphs to equip, sets to build, strategies to put into play.
In other words, although apparently just another freemium game that puts you in a constant battle to unlock more stuff and maybe spend some extra real life money for doing so, Might & Magic Elemental Guardians offers a lot of depth, surprisingly so having in mind the more casual audience that the game has in mind. But for me – this is pure gold!
As a student of the Akadimia school of magic, you are tasked to lead your creatures to victory, battling others in campaign missions and all kinds of other areas in the game.
The battles themselves look and play just like in any other mobile RPG: you select your strongest heroes, you start the battle and then go in turn based combat, choosing between various types of attacks and trying to strategise as best as you can in order to win each fight.
The battles are pretty challenging thanks to a decent AI and with the humongous variety offered in-game, you will never get bored. One big problem I have is that you don’t actually see the effects your attacks have over the enemy and how much of their health bar you’re going to drain. Therefore, this adds a bit of randomness into play – but hopefully it will be fixed in future updates.
The in-game art is amazing: everything in the game is polished and looks amazing, with attention paid to detail and animations. And even though the older players who have tried the previous games in the series will probably be a bit disappointed since the art style has changed, we must say that the level of eye candy is high in Elemental Guardians.
Being a free to play game, it suffers from the limitations and frustrations that every game of this type delivers. In other words, you will have energy that slowly refills over time, you will have microtransactions and level grinding that could drive you crazy. However, since it’s 2018 and you’ve seen this over and over again, I don’t think that it will matter that much. This is the business model nowadays and, believe it or not, it works best for most gamers who prefer it over paying a flat sum for playing a game.
Due to this model, it’s not extremely easy to unlock new creatures and progress in this game, but it’s exactly this mechanic that hooks you even further and sees you coming back to try over and over again. I don’t necessarily agree with this model, but this is the model that most companies follow.
The game is, overall, fun and addictive and those who have never played a game in the series will certainly enjoy it more than those who did. However, even the big fans of the previous Might and Magic games can find it highly enjoyable if they are open to the changes it brings – and the evolution of the gaming world, in the end.
Thanks to its beautiful graphics, tons of different heroes and basically limitless options when it comes to choosing your path and building your team up, Might & Magic Elemental Guardians is definitely worth playing. As a standalone mobile RPG, it’s really good. But it’s not a Might & Magic game.