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$9.95 (Win95/98/Me/2000/XP) (Retail) (ARTOFMAGPR)

Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Virgin Interactive

- Animated violence and blood

Ratings:

90% from Total Games

Prepare To Be Spellbound As The Epic Storyline Is Revealed...

Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic is a unique blend of strategy, tactical combat, and role-playing brought to life with full 3D graphics and an epic storyline. As a Wizard, you have the power to conjure terrifying creatures and devestating spells against you opponent. Before each battle, you choose which spells you will bring with you, and then use the spells in real-time tactical combat against your opponent. You'll create archers and knights, griffons and harpies, Demons and Dragons...each with a distinct tactical advantage. You can also cast a wide variety of spells on both your creatures and your opponents'. Strengthen your forces with bloodlust or iron skin spells, or crush your enemy with meteor shower, apocalypse, or bury. You can even morph your Wizard into the form of a creature, or raise creatures from the dead to fight for you.

Single-Player

In the single-player campaign, your character's skills and abilities develop as the game progresses through items found in scenarios and experience gained from successfully completing tasks. You can choose how you want to develop your character as the game progresses, focusing on a particular type of magic (chaos, neutral, or law) or combat strategy. Do you want your Wizard far away from the lines of battles, conjuring up creatures to do the fighting for you, or do you want to be on the front lines, destroying the enemy with your attack spells? The choice is up to you, and you can change your strategy from mission to mission.

Multiplayer

Robust multiplayer support allows gamers to battle hand-to-hand with up to eight friends or computer opponents over LAN or the Internet, including hand-to-hand and team play. Create a team with your friends and engage in titanic battles with enemy Wizards as you work together to form the perfect alliance. Or, jump into a skirmish with one or more computer-controlled Wizards on a wide variety of maps for a quick fix.

A simple interface ensures that spell selection is never cumbersome or tedious. The gameplay screen allows you to remove buildings and trees from sight whenever they obstruct your view of the action. With numerous levels of zoom and 360 freedom to rotate around the map, you'll always be able to see every bit of the action anywhere on the map

Key Features

  • Master of an arsenal of more than 50 different spells, including Meteor Shower and Judgment
  • Robust multiplayer support for up to 8 players over LAN and Internet, including GameSpy Arcade support
  • Summon 22 different types of creatures
  • A rich 3D environment offers unrivalled realism with 360-degree movement and an unobstructed view of the action
  • Single-player campaign offers more than 30 epic confrontations before you reach the ultimate challenge.

Requirements:

Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP:Pentium II 300 or AMD Athlon 64 MB RAM DirectX 8-compatible 3D Accelerator Card with 8 MB of memory 1 GB of space on hard drive

Reviews:

TotalGames.net by Mike O'Sullivan

"The original Art Of Magic was quite a muted release back in 1999 - although it had some very impressive features, it never really got too much critical acclaim and went largely unnoticed. With this much more polished sequel, the game is clearly looking to try and fulfill that early potential - and the good news is that it appears to have done so with a very solid RTS / RPG mix."

"This is without a doubt one of the strongest elements of Magic & Mayhem; the way in which it successfully combines the two types of game to produce an end result that is satisfying to play whatever your preference. This is a game that should appeal to strategy and role-playing fans alike, and may well even encourage strategy gamers to experiment with the occasional RPG and vice versa.

"Graphically the game is impressive, with a solid engine allowing the player to zoom in and out, and view the action from different angles without ever really slowing down (though there was a little bit of slowdown when zoomed right in on large numbers of units; nothing we wouldn't expect though). The units are all well drawn and recognisable instantly, even from a distance, while the colour coding approach means you know which units are yours and which belong to your enemy straight away. Soundwise things are also good as the game utilises a pseaudo surround-sound system that will alert you to things that you might be able to hear but not see. Running water to your left, for example will mean you hear the water coming out of your left speaker, which can be handy should you hear someone crashing through the undergrowth in that direction. The sound is also related to the viewpoint - zoom right in and you will hear every grunt and groan, while viewing from a distance keeps sounds a lot quieter."

"All things considered, this is one of the best games to try and merge two genres, and it does so very successfully - despite a few minor flaws that don't detract too much from the gameplay."



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