Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
Buy On
  1. The core first-person melee combat is incredibly solid and the exploration, storytelling, and character growth are integrated brilliantly to create a unique and compelling experience.
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    Truly a great fantasy adventure! Lose or modify the healing spell, then the difficulty level would be right. [Dec 2006, p.82]
  3. PC Gamer UK
    There's really nothing that can match Dark Messiah's combat. The mixture of weaponry and convincingly cause-and-effect physics really does take first-person fighting to new places. [Nov 2006, p.62]
  4. PC Format
    An outstanding experience. It manages to create a constant sense of threat, includes some stunning set-pieces, and introduces a cast of breathtaking beasts, all within a combat system that is one of the most versatile and violent we have ever seen. [Dec 2006, p.98]
  5. Not a run-of-the-mill RPG, if it is an RPG at all! It is a graphically glorious, murderously marvelous first-person fantasy action game that no self-respecting FPS fan should overlook.
  6. Play Magazine
    While a bit unbalanced in its current incarnation, the MP Crusade mode is a nice bonus that should improve over time. [Dec. 2006, p.100]
  7. Everything about Dark Messiah oozes quality and there are multitudes of ways around every obstacle.
  8. If the game suffers, it's from over-explanation, the occasional lapse in the combat, and the repetitive nature of the environmental weaponry. But I was kept entertained all the way through, and I've never felt so directy responsible for chopping off a goblin's arm. [Dec 2006, p.70]
  9. Dark Messiah is a prime choice for action lovers, but keep in mind the little letdowns and possible performance issues before you put down the cash to buy it.
  10. Toss in a multiplayer mode that’s basically "Unreal Tournament" for fantasy fans.
  11. You won't remember Dark Messiah's busty-woman character guide, but you will remember the sheer joy of mutilating the orcish, undead and assorted monstrous hordes in a variety of imaginative ways. When mass slaughter is as imaginative as this, it can't help but be memorable.
  12. The only real beef we have is that the XP system means it's never long before a few veteran players have pumped up their characters and become virtually untouchable, clubbing everyone else like baby seals. But it's empowering if you're one of the vets, to be sure.
  13. The game will probably be patched in the future, but for now, you will have to prey to the dragons of Ashan each time a multiplayer map is loading and why not, when playing. Thumbs up for Arkane, thumbs down for Kuju!
  14. games(TM)
    Dark Messiah has the uncanny ability to tap into the primeval bloodlust of anyone that devotes more than a few minutes to it. A resounding success. [Dec 2006, p.102]
  15. 80
    A superb game, but not without its problems. There are a few unfinished graphical holes, the length of the game is a tad disappointing and the multiplayer isn’t quite attractive – especially with those dreadful load times.
  16. Think of it as a combination of "Deus Ex" and "Half-Life 2," wrapped within a fantasy feast for the eyes.
  17. Arkane's previous offering, Arx Fatalis, shares many general similarities but lacks Dark Messiah's energetic, if somewhat ill-fated, attempts to bring physics, stealth and a variety of combat options into the mix of a game that may not live up to all of its potential but still delivers the goods where they count.
  18. Between the bugs and lack of originality during the single player campaign, Dark Messiah is a great idea for a game that was executed only somewhat well.
  19. Games Master UK
    Not quite an epic but still a grand adventure with character, impact, and kickable heads. [Christmas 2006, p.76]
  20. Action fans will revel in as much recycled intensity as they can squeeze out, and it’s for them that Arkane Studios built Dark Messiah.
  21. The addition of the physics adds some depth to the combat, and the multiplayer gives a reason to play after the story has been played. A flawed game, but a very decent one nonetheless.
  22. Dark Messiah of Might and Magic can either be an incredible fantasy romp, or a grueling, dissatisfying venture depending on what you’re expecting.
  23. 70
    Though the first-person combat isn't as precise as it could be, this one's still a good choice for some online magic blasting fun. Just don't expect a memorable story or characters if you're more interested in the single player content.
  24. 70
    Dark Messiah gets points for being unique among shooters, but it loses points for not being unique enough. It's the same old dungeons, the same generic monsters, and some uninspired gameplay that doesn't make for a very memorable game.
  25. There's no denying that Dark Messiah has a certain bloody charm, with battles against numerous enemies being both challenging and rather gory. By the end though, things do become a little repetitive, and this prevents the game from being anything truly special.
  26. Dark Messiah feels like a missed opportunity, with some huge ideas but a definite lack of polish.
  27. Edge Magazine
    Sareth’s adventure does tire, however, during later moments when the game leaves you with neither an objective nor waypoint, but instead an arduous hunt for the next NPC trigger or gateway. [Christmas 2006, p.84]
  28. Far from perfect but Dark Messiah has entertaining fantasy action. Dispatching foes in imaginative ways is the highlight.
  29. While it doesn't pull off everything perfectly, it injects enough originality into a familiar framework to make it one of the more enjoyable releases since the release of its more auspicious Source engine cousin.
  30. Like an angry Orc, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic feels unbalanced, with all of the focus going into the melee action and everything else feeling a little forlorn and unloved.
  31. It's painfully obvious that the Half-Life 2 engine caused many problems, which weren't ironed out in time by the programming team. Consequently, players with modest rigs won't be able to experience the game in its true visual potential.
  32. Dark Messiah wraps a dull story around repetitive combat. It's not a bad game, but its technical glitches really bring it down.
  33. A let down; not a terrible game, but disappointingly short of its potential.
  34. Easy to get and get into, with a slick engine (and only a few nitpicky problems) but clearly lacking a really creative story team.
  35. With more action and more engaging levels and storyline, Dark Messiah may have been a great game. As it stands though, it feels like a demo in search of a full game or a game brought to market a year before its time.
  36. 60
    It's hard to deny that the game has some immensely enjoyable moments. It's just too bad that they're too often surrounded by so much clutter.
  37. 60
    A broken game - which is a shame, because with a bit more effort it could have been something rather intriguing. It takes some significant gameplay risks and attempts innovation in both its single player and multiplayer modes.
  38. Short of rewriting the entire story and redrawing the whole dungeon, the single player isn’t going to get any better. I do genuinely hope that this combat system appears in some future, hopefully better, game.
  39. When I previewed the game in September it oozed potential greatness, but somewhere along the line Arkane and Ubisoft have lost their way and we're left with what I can only deem as half a game.
  40. Computer Games Magazine
    It's so schizophrenic that it almost feels as if two developers of wildly different skill levels worked on the game at the same time, and everything was sort of thrown together at the last second. [Feb. 2007, p.72]
  41. AceGamez
    I am very disappointed with Dark Messiah Might and Magic, yet I will leave it installed on my system for some time. It is a deeply flawed game and one of the worst launches in recent history - certainly the worst Steam launch to date. Yet it is a blast; the visual effects and combat system and, yes, kicking Orcs off ledges and ghouls into spikes are all a lot of fun, if not particularly satisfying beyond the short term.
  42. The game has bugs, so drag out the bug spray.
  43. PC Gamer
    But it's the game's many bugs and glitches, not mere repetition, which sap Dark Messiah's might and magic. [Feb. 2007, p.77]
  44. 40
    It's quickly clear that Dark Messiah is a "Half-Life 2"-style rail ride, but with "Deus Ex"-style character development.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1091 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Mar 3, 2011
    This is possibly the funnest game i have ever played due the casual violence, hilarious AI and brilliant one liners the enemies come out withThis is possibly the funnest game i have ever played due the casual violence, hilarious AI and brilliant one liners the enemies come out with the best being "HEY PAL!" Black guard "DEFILLER" Necromancer and "ABOMINATION" Orc when you get the game or if you have it you will know why it is so funny. Other hilarious components include spazzing corpes, people slipping on ice (especially off cliffs) and of course pinning a orc to a swinging ham if you find this it will make your day (i was in stiches). The AI on this game is incredible if you kick a enemy down the stairs he runs straight back up for more! oh yes and this game has a rich combat and skill upgrade system (btw avoid poison resistance) a very good game buy it now! Full Review »
  2. Oct 10, 2012
    This game is, without a doubt, containing one of the funnest fighting systems I have ever played in an RPG with its flawless physics, trapsThis game is, without a doubt, containing one of the funnest fighting systems I have ever played in an RPG with its flawless physics, traps and balanced bows, swords, staves, and knives. The story is, believable in a fantasy setting but isn't great but holds the game well enough to sending you into battle against evil foes! The graphics are quite good for a game that was made when it was but the real strong point for me was the magic! Every spell is completely unique in its own way, fireballs being like homing missiles while frost spells could freeze enemies or terrain. They all add a very fun twist to the game that no other game has ever succeeded at before now! Definitely recommended if you're looking for an RPG with combat a cut above the rest! Full Review »
  3. Nov 13, 2011
    Simply an amazing game... definitely worth your money if you're looking for a fun FP melee game.