Posted on 06/26/10 @ 08:47 AM (updated 01/13/19
Gwyndlegard was a peaceful country until two and a half years ago when it's jealous neighbour to the north-west, Xioché, invaded it with a force of thirty thousand led by the military geniuses Count Tengil and the witch Queen Xaphira. After the peace treaty two years ago, Xioché holds most of Gwyndlegard under occupation, save for the last free city to the east, Pumpkindon, where the country's leader Lord Mezenghi now lives.
In the country's southernmost province, Gwynhill, tension is now growing. A sergeant called Immanuel has long wanted to ambush the local Xiochan governor and start a rebellion, and when said governor takes slaves from Gwynhill village, a clear violation of the peace treaty, he gets his chance. Unfortunately his girlfriend is among the ones taken as slaves so the quest becomes quite personal.
You will take the role as Immanuel and his close friends to criss-cross the country, save your girlfriend Emily and free Gwyndlegard from the evil witch's claws in this humorous epic!
• A giant map with great variety, from green green forests to open plains and snow-covered mountain tops,
• A mix of playing styles including AI-driven Build & Destroy, stealth mission in RPS and criss-crossing Fixed Force,
• A rather epic scenario that doesn't end after an hour or two,
• 965 triggers, for those who want to know
• Partially spoken dialogue (not self-made though, be thankful for that!),
• Focus on story and gameplay; no mods, data changes or overly complicated trigger tricks,
• An overdose of weird Basse humour!
Brought to you by StormWind Studios.
The story continues in The Rockspring Revolution.
Want to see what happened to Marvin and Rob after they left you in this scenario? Check out The Epic Adventures of Marvin and Rob!
The final act of the story can be found in The Relics of Athalën
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Gydndelgard is a fictitious campaign, the characters lives to this point are explained in the introduction and the history, Immanuel & Daru, our protagonists, along with Felicity and Emily. Our story starts with a force of armed men, led by a man known as Maruvian, taking a third of the villagers away into slavery, this act, is also the first step in our heroes story. They are angry that things were allowed to come to this point, but the very act of the forces of Xaphira also mean that our heroes can finally fight back, to do this they must enlist an ally, Menzenghi.
The game begins with a search for ally, thanks to a well designed hint section the player knows who to bring, but the game can’t continue until all the possible allies are collected. From there we continue on our quest to recover Emily and the other villagers. The taking of Selinir and the travel to Pumpikdon are brief but dangerous fights which may take more than one attempt for the player, these are tough enough and without micromanagement the player can lose a lot of units. The next stage adjusts to a B&D style, it’s a great switch and is probably the best part of the scenario. I had one issue in that I went over the tribute amount for a certain section and didn’t receive the item in return, I can’t be sure if this was a fluke or something I did wrong. I also felt the allied units would have better served being given to the player, rather than left to attack as they did.
There are a few brief issues, collecting the allies and talking to the some other characters (you have to bring every main character into them) are both minor annoyances rather than enjoyable experiences, I felt these hurt the playability/enjoyability of the campaign. I should also point out there is an issue with villagers in the game, the enemy doesn’t attack them, this allows the player to “turtle” the main fortress and can be abused easily during the latter part of the game.
The game real challenge is offered in trying to keep your main characters alive, some of them are weak and it is required to keep them alive and out of the battle, the addition of Fr. Garrus eases some of the pressure as it allows you to heal both after and during combat. It can still be quite easy to lose a unit and some time to lose to great a part of your force, this makes the game oddly well balanced and the underpowered heroes is a nice touch. The ‘War’ stage of the scenario involves defence of your town and if you don’t act quick you can lose the town centre, if this happens in the Feudal Age there’s little chance for the player. Taking down the enemy camps is a real challenge and with limited resources the player has to be cautious, I feel if the player misses out on some units through a lack of scouting it’s near impossible.
There are some great moments of creative map design such as the plants on the farms, the mines, ruined fortresses and so on. In terms of triggers there’s nothing revolutionary but there’s a great use of sound throughout the campaign and a lot of character’s for the player to ‘speak’ to. The jail is probably the most impressive area of the map in terms of the creativity by the designer. I was impressed by the idea of ‘using’ the old abandoned town as source of material was a nice touch. The magic effects were a nice touch but I felt the spawning of enemies was a cheap touch as it generally meant the player HAD to follow the instructions rather than try actually defeat the enemy.
Map Design: 5
Great use of terrain and some parts of the map are well designed and thoughtful, for example an old ruined city which hints at the past of the region. There’s a great use of a variety of trees and the towns and villages are well designed. There is great use of rocks and gold mines among the mountains. For a map this size it’s impressive how pleasing it is to the eye, though later on the player might be forced to remove a lot of the nicer sections!
The story is a straightforward enough one, an evil overlord who must be taken down, the player seeks to regain his lost “girlfriend,” from there he gains many allies in his quest, both local and from towns far away. The story lacks somewhat and some of the dialogue and scenes are weaker than other parts, but there is no doubt that it is entertaining. There are also some moments with humour that are dealt with fantastically, and they really make the game fun to play. The instructions are top notch, containing many hints and the objectives are normally very clear, perhaps some more straightforward hints concerning where to find particular items might be useful if the player is struggling (though they should scout!).
Attacking Sarachrion felt like an artificial extension of the length of the game I also noticed if the player goes for a quick attack on this part they can quickly get their heroes into then enemy and have the city handed over. A big problem is that when the player is aware of what will occur, they can quickly negate the problem by building castles or blocking spawn points, this is of course against the designers wishes and intentions, but at times I felt forced to use this tactic. The B&D section is probably overlong and not as enjoyable as the first half, but this is really down to the personal preference of the player!
All round this is an enjoyable game and I’m sure the player will have a lot of fun and save points! When will we see Xaphira again?
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