Might and Magic X Legacy returns to the series' roots with a modern development process

Might and Magic X Legacy will be the first entry in the original Might and Magic series since Might and Magic 9, which the now-defunct 3DO released in 2001. Its developers are looking to bring back the old games' classic feel, but they're doing it in a modern way.

Their main goal is "being truly faithful to the series," said Erwan Le Breton, Might and Magic series creative director, in an interview with Polygon at PAX East 2013.

According to Le Breton, the word "legacy" in the title is meant to signal that intention to fans of the franchise, which consisted of traditional turn-based RPGs. Might and Magic X Legacy is being designed in that vein. You move through the world one pace at a time, and with each step, something may or may not happen — an enemy might attack, or a character might give you a quest. Everything takes place from a first-person view.

Of course, you're not alone: You control a four-member party chosen from 12 typical fantasy classes like elves, dwarves, orcs and mages, and you can switch between them on the fly — even within a turn — to attack foes in multiple ways. The first time Le Breton came across a group of enemies in the world, he started off by hurling a few fireballs from his mage. Then he crept closer to the group so his dwarf, a melee-focused character, could hit them directly. Then he finished them off with a lightning bolt from the mage. Combat offers experience so you can level up, which unlocks skill points that can be spent on class upgrades.

Dungeons are also available to explore, and Le Breton estimated that Might and Magic X Legacy will take about 25 hours to complete. The game world itself is a setting that's new to the original series: the planet of Ashan.

"It's not a true sequel to [Might and Magic 9], but it's really a tribute to the series of old," said Le Breton.

Might and Magic X Legacy is being co-developed by Limbic Entertainment and Ubisoft Paris. Limbic has experience with the franchise, having made two adventure packs for Might and Magic Heroes 6. But while Legacy is a decidedly old-school game, it is being developed with extensive community input — a relatively new method of making games.

For Heroes 6, Ubisoft offered private, VIP forums to the game's most dedicated players. Like Heroes 6, Might and Magic X Legacy is being developed with an "actively involved" community, said Le Breton. Limbic and Ubisoft showed their fans early concept art and design ideas, and solicited their feedback by letting them vote on features.

Le Breton noted that involving fans is a double-edged sword, because while they have a deep knowledge of the games themselves, they often don't know what they want unless it's put in front of them. They tend to be much better at commenting on something that's presented to them than at coming up with ideas themselves.

"You need to come up with a strong vision at first, and you need to be ready for that vision to be challenged," explained Le Breton.

Might and Magic X Legacy is set for release in September as a downloadable title on Windows PC. You can watch Ubisoft's reveal trailer here.

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