Fight through hordes of enemies as you try to escort a very special package through hostile territory in this defend the spot scenario.
||Age of Empires II: DE
* A defend the spot where the spot is moving! Your surroundings are constantly changing and so should your strategy
* Five distinct hero units to control, each with different strengths and weaknessses, as well as a unique special ability
* Two difficulty levels and a story mode where your units are immortal
* Custom enemy units with a wide range of stats, make sure to counter effectively
Standard: your units are immortal, this option is not recommended as it removes all challenge.
Moderate: weaker enemies, this difficulty is meant for those rather new to micro and can otherwise be pretty easy.
Hard: stronger enemies, recommended for anyone familiar with the game or looking for a challenge.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Playability: 5 The game played smoothly, without any gamebreaking bugs or problems. The gang of five characters are unique and fun to play around with. This is the ultimate micro mission, requiring a close eye as you match up your team's attacks against the enemies who are susceptible to them.
I made use of the checkpoints a few more times than I'm willing to admit. Survival depends on very careful micro and losing a man is nearly always disastrous (even though they do respawn at the end of each encounter. At the end of the journey, the player can expect to feel a genuine sense of accomplishment.
Creativity: 5 This adventure felt like a breath of fresh air. After a great opening cutscene that introduces the player to a ragtag team of very dedicated caravan guards, you are tasked with escorting a cart on a long meandering path across the map. The trip is interspersed with various spots where the player is tasked to defend a spot while under attack from all sides. Thanathor has thoughtfully introduced his own Checkpoints and saving system (a great boon for anyone whose computer takes a long time to reload a previous save).
Map Design: 4
The gang has to travel through a quaint and well decorated countryside, with good use of terrain variation and objects.There are hills to gain an attack bonus on and obstacles to run around in circles while whittling down hefty foes, and it all feels natural for the environment.
Story: 4 The story is simple, but it does a great job of giving the player a reason to engage with the narrative and see what happens to this crew. Both the player's units and the enemies have been tweaked significantly, and this is all well explained in the mission notes. I would have liked just a tad more story flavour to spice up the situation, especially at the end.
Take command of the 7th Spada, a mercenary band tasked with delivering a most unusual package--a fugitive princess--to her homeland and safety. The playing experience benefits greatly from its unique concept: to protect a moving cart as it slowly rolls along a meandering path through the countryside. Constant pressure combined with the strategic value of individual units with diverse strengths and weaknesses make for an action-packed and enjoyable experience, but where the gameplay suffers is in its lack of diversity: the player grows accustomed to facing the same units over and over again while traveling throughout the countryside, and even the occasional stationary defenses, while cosmetically different, did not change the strategic approach particularly much. The best approach remained to place the overpowered hero units in a manner so as to block enemy units from harassing the cart while a ranged unit kited the occasional elephant around until it was dispatched.
At the risk of reiterating the above, the mission was challenging owing to the constant pressure, but somewhat monotonous in its relative lack of strategic depth. The changing scenery made the player adapt to differing conditions at least visually, but in practice did little more than that: the rising level of challenge was due more to the increased volume of enemy units attempting to take the cart. Still, the overall impression, considering the specialized hero units, changing locations, and increasing enemy threats, was quite above average--but did not quite fulfill its potential.
This factor was another strong point, and runs from the overarching concept of the moving defense location to the details of the map design and the ample unit customization. As aforementioned, the modified player units contributed to strategic depth, and the manner in which the cart was dealt with here was also a plus. However, the immense amount of customization was also a weakness: with little explanation behind it, it is somewhat difficult for the player to grasp, and it can be daunting--and perhaps not particularly necessary or contributory to the gameplay experience--for a player to suddenly be forced to relearn the functions of standard units by experience on the fly. That said, this sphere was nevertheless far above average, and a credit to the overall effort.
Map Design: 5
This was without a doubt the strongest point of the entry. The map design is downright gorgeous from an aesthetic perspective, and the manner in which the gameplay was scripted to progress was such that it essentially served as a showcase of the map design. Players will look on in delight as the scenery shifts from gorgeous and detailed towns and settlements to colorful forests, rushing rivers, stinking bogs, and verdant grassland. The author has made ample usage of the new Definitive Edition features to create an attractive experience and spared no detail. The only criticism that can be levied is related to the aforementioned strength of constant movement: while this is appealing and groundbreaking visually, functionally it did not serve to provide the degree of strategic variety that one might expect from such a setup, and in that regard has somewhat unrealized potential as well.
Generally speaking, the story was a positive here. The introductory cutscene partially compensated for the lack of proper introductory material, and did a good job of setting the stage for the gameplay. Nevertheless, the player is left entirely without context as to who the characters are and who the major players and their motives are, and feels somewhat lost. The narrative effort is clearly concentrated in the gameplay, so in that regard it is relatively easy to follow, but the lack of a proper conclusion leaves the player further wanting here.
A very strong effort by a relatively new designer, this entry benefits greatly from a creative approach and immense technical skill in the map design. It is by all means a must-download!