1. Wait, no sci-fi in my fantasy... is a bad thing???
No sci-fi in your long-running science fantasy series is a bad thing. Or at least an inconsistent thing. Either way, it's no reason to celebrate. Might and Magic had a very fair share of science-fiction undertones series until 2006, like/believe it or not. It was always hidden well in the Heroes series, so it's acceptable for Heroes to lack it, but the entire new universe
refuses to accommodate it in any game.
Disallowing the sci-fi and essentially saying "sorry, but there'll no more of that from here on" is a direct conceptual restraint which leads to a setting with less freedom for storytelling. It's even worse because the "fantasy worlds with a sci-fi origin" concept was among Might and Magic's main truly unique aspects. Even its predecessor, the Wizardry series, drew inspiration from it.
I hear the older HOMMs gameworld have UFOs??? WTF is that stupid crap? I'm so glad I'm playing in Ashan and not some medieval fantasy world that somehow has UFOs
I wanted to avoid commenting on this, but I'm sorry, I just can't resist. The irony of your statement here is actually causing me physical pain.
3. Cheese is bad? I always thought that it's an essential tone for HOMM. There was certainly plenty of it in HOMM2, the last HOMM I played.
Bad? Well it isn't great when avoiding cheese and creating a mature, epic tone was the explicit and fundamental intent and promise of the writers (as outlined in dev diary 1
). It certainly isn't an essential tone. In fact it was made doubly regrettable with H5 since the prequel, Heroes IV, had the darkest and best-written campaigns in the series for it to live up to.
4. I never encountered the bad/dull writing or typos. Or they weren't bad enough that I remember them.
Well I'm not quite sure how I'm expected to respond when you try to use your inattention or opinion to prove a point. The argument from ignorance isn't really a valid one. It sounds to me, and probably the others who dissed the H5 storyline, as though a) you didn't play through it or b) you haven't played it in one hell of a long time.
I mean, I guess if somebody tied me to a chair and forced me to watch Tommy Wisseau's The Room, I could just as well insist that it wasn't a bad film and that I encountered no problems with it, or even that it's genius and merits an Oscar. I'm entitled to that opinion and can never be proven "wrong". That doesn't mean I shouldn't expect to be laughed out of the room if I insist as such to my friends and family, let alone strangers.
There are objective and subjective flaws in any storyline. You claim you've heard more than enough of the latter, so let's discuss the former (and I'm only addressing the flaws in the campaigns' storyline here, not the gameplay):
1) Countless story elements are directly plagiarised from Heroes I-IV. I could devote an entire post to this (and have, in the past). The game is NOT, however, declared a tribute or remake - rather the opposite, one seeking to "move away from the [previous worlds'] light-hearted fantasy" - and there is no indication that the writers realised they were mashing together one previous story after another.
2) Map design barely adheres whatsoever
to the official map of Ashan - for instance the surroundings of Talonguard City are mutated and warped at least three times over.
3) Storyline barely applies to gameplay in several instances, such as Markal's hunt for the "Vampire's Garment" artifact which never existed and is never obtained. Internal plotholes such as the miraculous resurrection of Freyda and Duncan.
4) Not a single one of the voice actors reprised their roles in the expansions due to a voice director change, which created poor consistency. Not even Geoffrey Bateman returned as Arantir. In contrast, characters like Catherine or Archibald or Gelu retained the same actors in previous games.
5) There is no connection to the preceding games beyond four half-hearted name-drops. This is objectively a continuity flaw/fault. Inventing a new setting with absolutely no connection to the previous one means as a given that there is no storyline continuity with the rest of the series, which is intrinsically unwelcome in a saga.
6) Unintentionally-deleted scenes. Bugs in the vanilla and HoF expansion ensured that two pivotal cutscenes (Raelag revealing his identity and Biara discoursing with the Sovereign) were omitted and therefore unseen by 90% of players, resulting in unwarranted loose threads and red herrings which required interviews to "fix".
7) Elrath killed Laszlo
5. No connection to the preceding games... You do remember this is set in a completely new universe
Yes, I think everyone remembers. As addressed above, this is, objectively, a problem in itself. There was continuity between Heroes II and Heroes III. There was continuity between Heroes III and Heroes IV. etc, etc. There was no continuity between Heroes IV and Heroes V. The Heroes saga had unblemished continuity and then all of a sudden had none. H5 was out of line. That is a problem.
6. I never had a problem with the voice acting. It fit the graphics perfectly. Like 80's adventure cartoons.
It may be consistent with the graphics but it does not fit the authors' intent. According to them, the highest praise possible was "Ashan feels real". The awful, cartoonish voice acting couldn't possibly have run more contrary to that goal.
As I previously said, though, there's not much more I can do to counteract an opinion like this beyond asking you to listen again to some of it and see if you reconsider.
"I was just about to put the kettle on
"Fatha / Lazslooooo
"the thing that came out
Also, inconsistent voice actors.
I don't know what you expected, exactly. I expected something in the tradition of HOMM2, but with better graphics and more complex game rules. That's exactly what I got and I'm very happy with it.
I don't think I'm unfair to Ashan (any more, at least), let alone abusing it. But I do have reasonable expectations. There's no reason not to enjoy it if it improves - and I can see that it is improving. Heroes VI has competent storytelling, and somebody who knows the entire series is working on it. The thing is, you say that people criticise Heroes V
's story for no reason and that you can't seen any justification in the belief that it was sub-par.
I've played the entire Might and Magic series, I have no prejudice against Ubisoft, yet my opinion is still that Heroes V has, on the whole, a bad storyline. Can I ask that you at least be fair to us and have a read of the Heroes IV storylines
, then tell us your opinion of them - particularly Half-Dead, A Pirate's Daughter or The Price of Peace. Maybe if you see what Heroes V was up against you can formulate a better-informed picture of the reasons behind our enduring consensus on its low quality, at least more so than "WTF is this stupid crap" and "I don't know what you expect".