A week into Might & Magic: Dynasty and I still don’t see its appeal.

That’s basically it, really. While this beautiful-looking strategy game from Ubisoft Entertainment attempts to bring back the title’s nostalgia for both old and new players alike, I honestly don’t think it was able to get the job done. For me, personally, I have no prior experience or background on the classic franchise, but I was hoping the intricate artwork and its promise of a lush world to be explored would still lure me in as a new fan. Unfortunately, hopes were dashed and expectations crumbled the more I played the game, which is just a darn shame.

In Might & Magic: Dynasty, you play as a lord of the land in charge of fortifying your territory in Ashan. Your City Hall is your primary structure, and upgrading it unlocks upgrades for the rest of your buildings. There are three factions to choose from as you start playing the game, which also determines which hero you get to play at the beginning. You go on Expeditions to recruit more troops, gather lumber and other resources for your territory, and defeat enemies along the way. You also level up your hero as you go, as well as pick up some goodies like armor and weapons strewn across the map in every Expedition.

When you bump into an enemy, you enter the game’s battle mode, which is where the strategy aspect of this title comes in. You position your units based on their abilities, so naturally, melee fighters go in front while ranged units deal support fire from behind. You don’t actually get to play your hero on the battlefield, but he or she has unique abilities you can use to buff your units or basically turn the tide of the match in your favor. Your hero will also have a skill tree you can upgrade for better unit stats on the field. You can spend a lot of time figuring these things out, or you can just hit the Auto button (and the fast-forward speed) if you just want to get it over with, which is usually the case in my playthroughs.

You basically just go on Expeditions, level up, fortify your town with your loot, then head back out there and do the same thing over and over again. The guild system actually has a lot of stuff going for it in the World map, but you actually need to have active guild members and an active guild leader to have fun with these events and raids. Otherwise, your guildmates basically just help you speed up construction and stuff in your territory, and that’s it.

I tried really hard to like this game, but I mainly wanted my hero to be different. And while I did unlock someone interesting, she just didn’t appeal to me that much, and if I wanted someone else, I’d have to pay - and yes, the paywall is huge.

While the VIP system through free Dragon Coins does give you perks like speed-ups and boosts in experience, you can obviously get past faster if you’re willing to shell out actual IRL money. There’s a gacha element to the game too, as you can “summon” crystals that give you boosts and consumables for a limited number of free tries until you have to pay again. Throughout the game, I can see where Ubisoft tried to make it more free-to-play-friendly, but the efforts just weren’t enough. It doesn’t help that getting stronger relies too heavily on your territory’s ability to build stuff, and you can only deploy limited workers for free at a time.

If you’re an old fan of the Might & Magic franchise, then you might be more motivated to stick around a little longer, so your mileage may vary. For me, though, I’m sadly not going to wait until the official launch, because there are better things to play out there - and life’s too short to spend it on Ashan.