Might and Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos Review | Screen Rant

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Might and Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos plays very much like a stereotypical mobile title, down to the existence of numerous microtransactions and an almost overbearing amount of different currencies, items, and status bars. While the game curiously sections off some of the most entertaining elements it features until players have reached a higher level, impressive sound design and a fantastic art style make this a title worth checking out for anyone who is both tangentially familiar with the Might and Magic series and also doesn’t mind leveling up multiple aspects of their characters through repetitive menu actions on a near-persistent basis.
Gameplay in Era of Chaos consists of players accumulating different units and placing them in the proper battle formations before sending them off to fight against a similar team of AI-controlled characters. Players are given the opportunity to review their opponent’s battle formation before each encounter and can adjust their own accordingly, then once fighting begins the majority of Might and Magic Heroes’ action is of the non-interactable variety, save for the casting of spells which is thankfully done manually. Outcomes of these battles are usually determined by a combination of the level of the player’s hero characters and their units, the quality of their positioning, and proper usage and timing of spells.
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The main line of missions which make up the majority of Might and Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos sees players traveling from one location in the game’s overworld to another, repeatedly moving from one fight to the next, interrupted occasionally by brief story segments which give context to the actions on screen. Each victory gives players experience points, money, and items used for leveling up their units, something which can only be done by backing out of the overworld map screen and heading back to the game’s main hub, a town area which links to multiple different locations that unlock slowly as players increase their level.
The sheer amount of different areas and menus available at any given moment is easily overwhelming, but thankfully Might and Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos displays a small red dot over any icons which lead to a menu currently requiring the player’s attention. The game offers rewards for logging in, rewards for completing certain actions a number of times, and rewards for completing story chapters in the game’s overworld, just to name a few. It always feels as if there is something new to unlock, which is always a nice thing to have in free-to-play games, but many of the rewards simply blur together after extended periods of play.
The battles in Might and Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos start off quite easy, with a tutorial segment amounting to “Just press here” lasting far longer than most players will probably enjoy. However, once the reigns are lifted and players have full control, there is actually a good bit of strategy to the fighting segments. Players must pay attention to the different types of units deployed by the enemy as well as their formations, and since the majority of the actual combat is delivered automatically a proper battle formation and appropriate use and timing of spells will serve players far better than simply leveling their units and letting the action continue without forethought.
The end result is that larger, more intense battles play out something like a chess match, albeit with the option to cast fireballs from the sky every so often. Players begin with only a few units and slots available and grow their armies over time, and the titular Heroes offer different types of spells and buffs in combat. Both leaders and units can be switched out before every battle, and each location within the world map also allows players to do a “Sweep” for extra items in exchange for more energy once they’ve been completed, thus ensuring there will always be a way to increase troop abilities in order to conquer the next challenge.
There are small touches which help to make Might and Magic Heroes a more enjoyable experience, and the game succeeds in its apparent goal of becoming slightly addictive. The sound design, from the bombastic Lord of the Rings-style background music to the fantastic character actors who are truly delivering quality performances, help immensely to create a sense of satisfaction both during and after battles, and the ever-present need to level something up, upgrade something, or open a chest hits the sensory satisfaction part of a user’s brain like a sledgehammer on a watermelon.
It’s unfortunate, then, that the flip side of this design philosophy sees so much of the game consisting of popping in and out of various menus in order to slowly and incrementally increase different statistics. The art style and character animations are all of superior quality, something not unexpected from a developer of Ubisoft’s caliber, and yet so much of it is either obscured or outright in service of these numerous and unnecessary menu screens filled with the usual plethora of different currency types prevalent in other free-to-play titles. The game’s most enjoyable mode, Guild Adventures, is as hidden in the game as its mention is here in this review, only unlockable after the player has reached level 22. In it, players can find a game which feels more like classic Might and Magic titles than anything else on offer, one which sees them moving across an open hexagonal map in conjunction with other players or alone in order to battle monsters and complete quests. It’s the best part of Era of Chaos and yet it feels as if the game would rather force players to forget it even exists.
As a free-to-play mobile title, Era of Chaos has plenty to offer. As a sequel to or continuation of the Might and Magic series, many longtime franchise players will likely find the linear story campaign and incessant menu screen hopping to be both intrusive and tedious, but if they can stick it out until level 22 then a little bit of the old magic starts to seep back through. Once unlocked, the variety of mission and battle types is enough to keep gameplay fresh over long periods, and although Might and Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos does feature a rather excessive amount of microtransactions at least the company didn’t ask for an upfront payment as well.
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Might and Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos is out now for Android and iOS devices. An Android version was supplied to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.