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Legend of Shang - Episode IV
The fourth episode about Khan and his search after the one that destroyed his hometown. He decides to return to his hometown of Xi'an so he can find out what has happened since he left the town. What he doesn't know is that The Unknown Lord is planning something big. The "Day of Darkness" is approaching...
||Age of Kings
|Number of scenarios:
This is the darkest episode in Khan's life...
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This is a nice simple Campaign. You Play as two Chracters Khan and a nameless Chracter Known as the Unknown Lord, in this campaign, Khan is a traveller you looks around europe for the 28 Lords, The Former Leaders of the world, As The Unknown Lord Fights Rebels in his homeland. That's the basic story but it much better than that; Probably one of the best in the blacksmith, I really felt like I was helping the chrachters in their quests. The Instructions were clear too.
Playability - This is a nice mix of an FF, B&D and RPS, Since I prefer Mixs than just one type for a campaign, I would give this a 5 But....
Balance - This was far too easy. In some scenario I got villagers which I did not need, Since the army I got was good enough to win that scenario, But as the campaign went on it got harder so I give it a 3.
Creativity - Hmmmm.... I liked nightmares for a cutscene and ideas like ferries I had seen before but not often so this gets a 4.
Map Design - The map was nice with good use of flowers, trees and cliffs but it always the same so it got a bit boring after a while.
A Good Mix of game Types
Good Map Design
The campaign contains six scenarios, one cut-scene and five playable ones. The game style is a mix of RPS, FF and B&D. The story is fiction, the places real and all similarities with people living or dead intended. The events take place on three continents, during the hundred year war (1339 - 1453), around 1429/30.
After destroying the English fortification at the channel Joan and Khan are on the run in a nearby forest. Khan wants to return to Xi'an to research the events of its destruction, during the rule of the Roman Empire. Xi'an, his home town, the capital of the 28 Lords that used to rule the world... almost all are gone, The Day of Darkness approaching...
PLAYABILITY: Perfect game play, I couldn't pause and played through the campaign in one go. I enjoyed playing the different game styles, characters and civilisations in one campaign. The story was interesting, well told, but with an open end. All scenarios where up to a high level, no boredom; reasonable difficult, no frustration and for a six scenario campaign it is well thought that there are easy and challenging parts. 5
BALANCE: The campaign was played on hard difficulty setting and the scenarios overall balance was good. The RPG/RPS parts sole purpose was to develop the story. We have to take the authors intend into account, rating the balance. Maria Ljung: "we believe that this campaign will be a good change from all those hard and tough campaigns that exist out there." Scenarios three, four, five and six gave me at least one replay from a saved game each. 4
CREATIVITY: Every aspect of a scenario factors into creativity and this is excellent. I liked the epic story and the mix off all game styles. You play four different civilisations, well chosen according to region or hero you're playing, as well as different characters including your enemy. With the language dlII included in the download, several units were renamed for original AoK. The campaign has some well placed triggers, like blowing up rocks and bridges and a nightmare sequence as cut-scene. 5
MAP DESIGN: The weakest category, certainly better than random maps, but not enough terrain mix, trees with a big brush, one kind of trees, like an oak map or a pine map and many cliffs, the desert map was kind of refreshing, but overall effort was missing. 4
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: A world map, showing the locations for each scenario, you play on three continents, as bmp; clear objectives, never lost and a good story developing in game with dialogues also between the scenarios. 5
OVERALL: A great campaign with a fantastic, unfinished story.
OBSERVATIONS: The Legends of Shang series seem to be the blueprint for some other epic fantasy tale series, like The Swallowed Realms, The Underworld, and The Last Samurai, planned for many downloads with a good story but never finished.
SUGGESTIONS: Before you download the language dlII, put your original file into a folder, otherwise you will be asked if you want to replace the original, well, you obviously don't want that. ;)
IN CLOSING: For the sake of the brilliant story, play ID 7 Legend of Shang - Episode III first.