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After the defeat and near-annihilation of the Latin Crusaders at Hattin, 1187AD, the Church called for a new Crusade to recapture the "Christian heritage" in the East.
The result was the largest Crusade ever to take place: all the major monarchs of Europe took up the cross, left their countries and their people behind and marched on the Holy Land. Among them was one of England's most legendary kings, Richard the Lionheart. The battle of wills that took place between him and Saladin over the course of 1191-92 was among the greatest and most epic confrontations of all time.
Take on Richard’s role and command him and his army to victory as the most famous events of the Third Crusade unfold...
~Play through the Third Crusade using a wide variety of play styles from Fixed Force to Build and Destroy.
~Informative cutscenes and the scenario instructions fill you in on what happens in between the missions while the history of the Third Crusade is covered in more depth in the History section.
~Experience the part-bountiful, part-desolate Middle-Eastern landscape in its full splendour.
~A varied and exotic soundtrack from a wide variety of sources creates the perfect Medieval/Middle-Eastern atmosphere and helps you to fill the shoes of a 12th century Crusader.
~Missions allow for varied strategies for enhanced replayability.
The .zip contains a .doc Readme, a .cpx campaign and many .mp3 files. If you need more detailed installation instructions, see the enclosed Readme file.
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I have to say, I was looking forward to this one. I am a big fan of medieval scenarios, and I am a huge fan of the Crusades in general, second only to my love of Constantinople. (Now if I would only get off my rear and make that perfect Constantinople scenario that has been bouncing around in my head for a year or so now...) But I digress.
Nothing at all bad about this. I enjoyed playing this scenario from beginning to end. I did not find it at all a chore to play this scenario. The lost point? Of course, a large part of this stems from the fact that I wrapped it up in the better part of 3 hours, beginning to end. This leads me to my next section.
This is the scenario's largest failing. Quite simply, this scenario was way, way to easy. I'm not at all an expert at AoE, and I wrapped this up in less then three hours. On hard! Most of the single-scenario campaigns I play aren't that quick. Of course, a large part of this stems from a serious problem. There are two huge shortcuts available that cut an enormous part of the game out. One of these, in the second scenario, might be intended, I can't tell. But in the first scenario, you can
win the scenario without ever knocking down the Accursed Tower or activating the Navy! I know you kept this one under tight wraps as far as playtesing goes, but letting a huge mistake like that slip past is not good at all. Of course, I am assuming this was unintended, after all. If it was not, please let me know. This was a real-let down, I was hoping this would give me something to do for at least the weekend.
Top points here, no argument. Considering you had to keep within the constraints of history, a job very well done!
Map Design: 5
Full marks again. Excellent use of eye candy and other tricks (0 HP walls were very nice). Only slight problem was that the maps were small, as far as area used. There was a lot of dead space there. But a minor problem taken against the sum of the whole.
Story was excellently told, especially the cutscenes. I really appreciated that, when you had a large amount of text, YOU PUT THE VIEW OVER FOG OF WAR!!! Thank god! I can't tell you how many times my view has been stuck over a busy background, and I have tried to read text with a few houses, trees, units etc. underneath. Any instructions were easily understandable, with the possible exemption of the boat-finding one in the first scenario. I have always had problems with cardinal directions in AoE. The point loss comes from a continuity issue. Although Richard himself could not die without game loss, his Lieutenent could. This leads to a problem when you consider that, hey, he is in all the scenarios. If he dies at Acre, how can he be at Jeffe?
Additional Comments: This scenario definatly rates a download. Intresting characters and challenges. However, the ease with which the scenarios can be finished (I didn't die once after the first scenario. It shouldn't get easier as you go) take away from this otherwise excellent campaign. A little more diffculty, and that whole Lazarus impression on the part of the lieutenent being fixed, and this would get top marks with little to no difficulty. Keep up with the designing!