The Rise of the Byzantine Empire –533 A.D.- is a campaign based around the Byzantine Empire as you might have already deduced. You take control of Belasarius, fighting against the Vandals, Ostrogoths and many others trying to become dominant in the area.
Playability: This campaign has many choices as you play, its interesting and the ai is great making it really a challenge defending Malta whilst still attacking at the same time. There are many objectives, which are different and challenge the player in many ways making the playability of this campaign great fun.
Balance: The balance was good, it had a good ai , which definitely helped this campaign. The computer was challenging to begin with and the choices you make definitely affect how hard this campaign is. The ai makes for a strong opponent, which helps to make this campaign, an enjoyable experience.
Creativity: This campaign’s creativity was average. It featured some ok features as shipwrecked troops, Saxon troops and many things. It was an average part, which helps to make the playability as great as it was.
Map Design: Wow! The map design was magnificent and it really captured the beauty of the areas. It had waterfalls; mountainous terrain and the areas you played across really were beautiful. The scenery was constantly changing and the map looked great, well done author!
Story/Instructions: The story was good, it had a lot of detailed instructions, history and reasonable hints section which helped. A good bitmap made you feel a little more like an explorer and Belasarius pointing on the map was a nice feature. The instructions however were fine in the introductory section but in the game went by too fast even when you paused the game.
Overall: One of the best of the recent scenarios and campaigns released to the blacksmith. The beauty of this map makes this a download all by itself despite having good other features as well. A recommended download.