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Downloads Home » Campaigns » Middle East Chronicles

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Middle East Chronicles

Author File Description
iloveaok
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
Style: Build and Destroy
Number of scenarios: 4
This is a very Simple Campaign about
the future in the Middle East
don\'t expect something sophisticated
but it\'s a really nice game to play.
You Should read in History.
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Lord_Fadawah
Rating
1.8
Breakdown
Playability2.0
Balance2.0
Creativity2.0
Map Design1.0
Story/Instructions2.0
PLAYABILITY

When I downloaded this campaign I was expecting a real blast of an experience -- an epic retelling of the Crusades, perhaps. Well, here I am now, somewhat disenchanted. With four scenarios, Middle East Chronicles (MEC) should promise hours of absorbing gameplay, but it doesn't. What we have here is a very simple B&D campaign -- build up an army, find your enemies on a bland map, and destroy them with your army. Its no better then a random map... worse then a random map, come to that. At least on a random map you get to choose your settings.

Surprisingly, this campaign is supposed to retell modern-day events (namely, the Israel-Palestinian war). You take the side of Israel, and must aid Ariel Sharon in defeating various Arab right-wing groups. That sounds like a pretty weird idea for a campaign, especially when you take into account that you begin in the dark ages.

This campaign is sheer waste of bandwidth -- there is nothing here that a random map doesn't have. Sure, in the fourth scenario you start with control of the city of Jerusalen and a sizeable army, but its unlikely you'll want to play this campaign twice -- you might even give up on it before the end.

The scenarios all start you with 1000 of every resource, a few villagers and large numbers of turkeys and sheep, and you must build up from that. On the brighter side, at least the campaign has a 200 pop limit -- a typical atrocious limit of 75 is the worst thing that ever happened to the B&D genre -- but overall it is sheer misery to play.

For this: I dispense a 2.

CREATIVITY

What creativity? As I've said, its just a random map game in essence. Clearly no effort was taken to ensure that this campaign is anything near original, "Build & Destroy" is all there is too it. Also, all of the scenarios are just carbon copies of one another -- you start off in roughly the same location with a Town Center and a couple of villagers -- except for the last scenario, where you start off with walls and some soldiers. It is this problem which has doomed it to recieving a low score. There is not enough variety.

Maybe if the author had included a scenario in which you must retake the annexed city of Aqaba with a FF army, or led an spying expedition into PLO headquarters, things could have turned out OK. But having four practically-the-same scenarios really is a problem. If you have a lot of patience, a lot of tolerance, and a lot of time on your hands, then give MEC a whirl. If not, don't bother with this campaign.

For this: I dispense a 2.

BALANCE

Balance is nonexistant, it depends entirely upon the difficulty setting. If you play on "Standard" its a walkover victory, while if you play on "Hard" its literally impossible. Custom AIs somehow never found their way into MEC, so the standard one is used. And since the computers players are given huge armies, its a bit unfair for the player who only has a town center and a few villagers and plays on hard. Ever seen 30+ camels attacking a dark-age town center? You will know that it is not a fun experience.

On "Standard" the opposite is true. The computer never, ever attacks, and you can just turtle in until you have a gigantic army and mop the map with them.

On "Moderate" the computer attacks less frequently, but still hard enough too overwhelm you unless you are a very good player (which I am not).

For this: I dispense a 2.

MAP DESIGN

MEC features grating, ugly terrain, geometric forests, and out-of-place objects (the turkeys were a bit much). Most of the map is Grass1, and the map looks pretty similar throughout the campaign. At least half of it is water -- with a bumper supply of fish -- and usually a few islands. The repeditiveness hurts, as well as the fact that you have to explore the whole map to find all of your many enemies. Often the computer resigns, not being made to cope with the map.

You can bet your bottom dollar that the poor map degrades gameplay. I would might have even enjoyed it if the author had even taken the time to generate a random map. It is in the rough shape of Israel, but I would never have noticed except when I took a peek with marco/polo (heh heh) later.

For this: I dispense a 2.

STORY/INSTRUCTIONS

MEC's storyline -- based on the current and future situation of the middle-east -- is very difficult to follow, mainly because of abysmal spelling and sentence construction. Sometimes it is indecipherable. When I completed the final scenario, I expected a sort of "whew, we did it" or "thanks for playing" end message. What I got, word for word, was this:

"the Empire of jerusalem has won
the National chaos has over, and the Empire
Is curently contorles the hole country
P.M ariel Sharon exiles Mitzna to Albania
for unknown time period"

Hmm.... I was expecting something a bit more triumphant and uplifting then that. It puts me in mind of those old AoE, RoR victory messages, where you would get a few lines of text on the historical outcome without you actually feeling that sense of accomplishment.

The scenario instructions are very simple, but sufficient for a campaign of MEC's simplicity. They mainly tell you where to find extra resources and "watch out for Hizbolla terror group". Frankly, the campaign could have been completed without any hints at all, but hey, so can many other campaigns.

For this: I dispense a 2.

END NOTES

MEC is a poor effort at a campaign, all in all. Campaigns with modern themes are often difficult to pull off, but near impossible without the aid of triggers, of which MEC has none. However, the main complaint I have with this campaign is its sheer mediocrity. Four practicly identicle B&D scenarios kills gameplay, pure and simple. Perhaps the author should take this into account, and in a second campaign put a bit more variety into it.

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Rating
1.8
Breakdown
Playability2.0
Balance2.0
Creativity2.0
Map Design1.0
Story/Instructions2.0
Statistics
Downloads:1,691
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:145.33 KB
Added:10/24/03