A Hero Awakens is a fictional tale of a man named Belisarius, who wishes to construct an empire. The player's objective is to find and garrison three relics in the monastery of his ally, the Byzantines. One relic is already possessed by the Byzantines, one is held by the Turks, and another by the Gauls.
The scenario starts you off alone, and you must find some help. The Turks are directly to the south, the Byzantines are on the opposite corner of the map, and the Gauls are to the west. I started looking for help, scouring the desert with my one cavalry unit. I followed the edge of the map east (not realising that I had completely missed the bunch of gaia troops I was supposed to capture by going south), and spent a few fruitless minutes looking before I marco/polo'd to discover what I was supposed to do.
The player has to convert a villager of the Turk player to build a base, so I completely eradicated the weak Turks with onagers, and converted a villager. The scenario is B&D from then on, trying to build up a base to defeat the Gauls and recover the final relic. It is basically the same as most of the ES campaigns, with not a lot to its credit. The map is rather plain, and there isn't much wood or gold. You have 10,000 of each resource to start with, but it takes a while to get going.
There are some problems regarding the Gauls. When played on difficulties Moderate or Hard, they build up insanely fast, as they have almost unlimited resources. Soon they'll be in post-imperial, and attacking other players with a powerful army as soon as 12 minutes into the game. They attack your allies, the Byzantines who are in the feudal age (I'm not sure how historically accurate it is to have the Gauls fighting with paladins, trebuchets, cavalry archers and heavy scorpions against the Byzantine army of militia, spearmen and skirmishers :S ). Your ally stands no chance, and soon is completely wiped out (including the monastery the relics are supposed to go in, making the scenario impossible). My suggestions are to limit how quickly the Gauls can expand, add some more resources, and make it so that the player doesn't miss out on his reinforcements. 3
The scenario is far too difficult on hard, since your allies are normally destroyed before you can grow strong enough to save them and their linchpin monastery (either that or the Gauls attack you, and kill you easily). Gaul can also build a wonder that is almost impossible for you to destroy, further stacking the deck against you. On moderate the scenario is easier. The player is given hidden aces to work with -- there are small groups of gaia units scattered on the map that can be captured if you search for them. 4
Uncreative. Nothing in this scenario is new, and it is not executed particularly well. The story is almost nonexistant, the map is bland, this is the sort of scenario that doesn't stay in your mind for very long. Add some eye-candy, a better story, and possibly multiple objectives to increase the rating. 1
Below average. Resources are pretty scanty, there isn't much wood to get your town going, and gold is extremely scarce. Visually the map is worse than a random map. There is no eye-candy, and little terrain mixing. Some things look downright absurd, like the Stormy Dogs and macaws flying around the map. 2
Both the victory and loss description fields are completely blank, but the player is given a brief synopsis of the story as well as some hints. 4
Far from a bad campaign, but it outstands in no particular area. To the author, you are on the right track. Work on more originality in the gameplay, and technical issues in the gameplay. Make Gaul weaker and the Turks stronger, and playtest at all difficulty levels.