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Wanton Destruction is a three-scenario campaign I designed on a whim, and I hope it turned out OK. I modeled it after the Ensemble Studios' style of designing campaigns (in fact, the second scx is a direct homage to AoE's "Nineveh" scenario) except hopefully less boring. Wanton Destruction is HARD, and I should probably note that some parts may lag.
What you will find in Wanton Destruction:
- Hard FF and B&D gameplay, often made even tighter through time constraints
- Lots of strategic options and tactics that can be employed
- An emphasis on gameplay rather than trigger tricks and meaningless eye-candy
What you will not find in Wanton Destruction:
- Annoying, unskippable cutscenes that go for 5 minutes
- "Prologue" or "Epilogue" scenarios. Wanton Destruction is 100% gameplay.
- Elves, orcs, dwarves, or magic spells lifted straight out of D&D! Yay!! I like to think of this campaign as "pseudohistory", as there are elements of real-life conflict in central Asia here.
Play, and remember to review!!
[Edit] And my apologies if it sucks.
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Wanton destruction is a three scenario campaign intended to focus more on age of kings style gameplay rather than too much eye candy, trigger tricks etc. It lives up to it's name by providing a mix of FF and B&D for not much apparent reason than 'Wanton Destruction'
The campaign is rather enjoyable. The first scenario is rather different from anything I have seen earlier, indeed the initial dash of enemy troops killed off my entire army except for 6-7 villagers, Viruk and 3 monks (although I converted 3 knights later). Then you are told to collect wood and stone, ostentiably for making explosives. This would have been very hard if not for the presence of a large no. of gaia villagers who converted to me. Collecting stone by distracting the tower with cavalry was a pretty good idea.
The second scenario was a siege scenario, for which the author had envisaged several strategies for playing. I used a mix of all 3 strategies, and yes, it wasn't easy. There is no gold except in strategic areas which are scouted peridically by the enemy and if they discover you the whole army descends over there.
The 3rd scenario is a B&D which focuses more on FF aspect, though gathering resources is very important. I liked it that there was 200 pop limit, I really dislike 75 pop limit of ES campns. The marvellous strength of the post imperial Turkish army coupled with loads of gold and spies/treason researched ensured an inevitable victory. I enjoyed blowing up a dozen archers with a few bombards, or shooting dozens of champions/camels with janissaries & horse archers, which is something I haven't done for a while except in multiplayer with poor opponents. It ends with a bug though, no more than 1 unit (either Viruk or Memnon) could enter the part with Xanthos there, but not both . So I changed diplomacy and killed Xanthos, but from the winning messages I suppose there was to be an ambush, which I missed.
The F word and other 'profanities' are more amusing, not particularly offensive.
The campaign was overall fairly well balanced. The first was difficult and required some restarts. The second was a game where you had to think of good strategies, seizing control over resources etc. I focused on fishing and seized the area with lots of gold/stone and defended it with towers. The siege is compounded by the presence of rocks between the 2 layers of walls so that there are only few places you can break through.
The 3rd was a simple B&D in post imperial with Turkish civ. IMO the Turks are one of the strongest post imperial civs and especially when there is lots of gold. I used janissaries, camels, hussars, champions, cavalry archers and bomb cannons to destroy the enemy. I think it would have been more difficult if it had been , say , Aztecs instead.
Actually in the 2nd and 3rd scenario it is enough to realize that the enemy doesn't train troops, but you can. Therefore you will definitely win.
The campaign was creative, as it was rather different than most serious campaigns that are submitted here, the focus being rather on gameplay rather than map design and trigger tricks. The first campn was more creative, I liked the humor (first sign: you're in the middle of nowhere, second sign: you're still in the middle of nowhere) The first time I have heard of explosives being made of wood and stone ;) The other two are simple, a siege scenario and a battle, not particularly creative although I have not seen rocks between 2 layers of walls before. As the author intended, the emphasis is more on gameplay than on trigger tricks etc.
Map Design: 3
This is where I felt it was really lacking. The first was almost a blank map with some cliffs, although I later realized the importance of not having trees it could still have been done better. In the second, the city design is good and especially the farmland region, but the outside is poor, especially in the region with Viruk's troops. The third is a mostly grassy map with lots of elevation and cliffs. There is not much attempt at terrain mixing or eyecandy in any of the maps. I give it a 3
Full instructions were provided and copious amounts of history too, but they were boring IMHO, except the history for the first scenario. Reading the story I didn't particularly feel interested in it, or what would happen later, therefore I give this 4.
This game provides a break from, in the author's words 'annoying cutscenes, meaningless eyecandy , unnecessary trigger tricks' and rather focuses more on tactics and gameplay. If you want to improve your imperial age playing skills, you can try this game. 3.8 is maybe too harsh but then I would not give a much higher rating to most ES campaigns,which this game resembles.
[Edited on 03/01/07 @ 03:17 AM]
Wanton Destruction is a three-scenario campaign that treads the fine line between fixed force and build and destroy styles. The author has designed it “ES-style”; that is, without any new-fangled tricks or over attention to putting lots of stuff on the map. Instead, he’s focused on the game-play elements. In my opinion, he’s done so rather well.
Computer games are—all things considered—generally designed to be played. Fadawah has deliberately avoided “long, un-skippable cut-scenes”, and I like his philosophy. However, simply making the game actually playable does not necessarily guarantee playability.
Luckily, Fadawah seems have mastered the art of balancing action with thoughtfulness, and puzzle-style game-play with pure hack-and-slash action. Although all three scenarios were different in style, I truly enjoyed them all. I didn’t notice the reported bugs.
Balance is somewhat of a subjective category. Fadawah warned the game would be hard, and I found this to be true. I generally played on moderate, but tried standard for level two. To be honest, I didn’t notice a difference between the two.
Having said that, the game was challenging in just the right way. Once a suitable strategy was developed, the game was fun, and beatable—though never a walk over.
This is just how I believe it should be.
Fadawah has been careful to avoid the “new” tricks which are common in many of the blockbuster campaigns released these days. According to the review guidelines, “Probably the biggest creativity factors are the starting position and the victory conditions.” I thought Wanton Destruction was a truly refreshing change from both standard B & Ds, and also from Role-Playing Type scenarios. Fadawah took some simple ideas, and gave them just enough spin to make them completely fresh, and completely fun. Full marks from me.
Admittedly, the map design is a weaker part of the campaign. However, the maps are certainly better than random-maps, primarily because of their strategic elements. Obviously, map design involves a lot more than simply looking good; the very layout of a map can (and will) effect the way a game can be played. Fadawah has spent the time making sure maps have the right amount of resources, in the right places. While not beautiful, it is cunning and very practical.
Each scenario includes an introduction, accompanied by a map showing the fictional land of Khelidar, where the campaign is fought. To be honest, I’m seldom particularly interested in the stories that accompany computer games, and this was no exception. When I first played the campaign, I quickly skimmed through the stories, finding that the in-game instructions were more than enough to get me through the game play. Looking more closely, I can see that Fadawah has put some effort into the story, which I’ve no doubt many players will appreciate.
The hints, however, are something I often found myself reading, and I was a touch disappointed with these. For the first 2 scenarios, they generally took the form of a “walkthrough” and a list of different strategies. I would really have appreciated *less* exacting hints; sometimes a nudge in the right direction is enough to get a player through. Perhaps the unused scout tab could have been used for explicit walkthroughs and the hints for simply hints?
This was a really enjoyable campaign. To be honest, I tend to be ultra-critical of the things I download, and it’s a rare event that a game draws me into the game-play the way the Wanton Destruction has. It comes highly recommended from me.
[Edited on 03/14/07 @ 03:06 PM]