(Updated on 11/24/03
|Ingo van Thiel
|Number of scenarios:
In this campaign you will step into a dead man's shoes.
You will be part of a mad hermit's tale. A tale of hatred and vendetta, of schemes and noble motives... and of guilt.
Not only will your battle skills be challenged. You will be challenged to follow Ulio on his way into his downfall, and to only leave him behind at the very end. You'll be the actor, you'll be the spectator. And you'll be the judge.
No radiant victory waits at the end... only clarity about Ulio's fate.
Important: Sound files are a must for this campaign, unless you want to miss a lot of the experience. They are divided into zips of roughly 1,3 MB each, so that each of them fits on one floppy disk. You can get the music files here:
Sound File 1
Sound File 2
Sound File 3
Sound File 4
Sound File 5
Ulio 3.0 also has new sound files for the 3rd person narrator. Those files are optional:
The other sound files (1-5) have not changed. If you already downloaded them earlier, you don't need to download them again. If you wonder whether to download the voice files or not, the Ulio 3.0 zip contains one voice sample, which plays after the first battle in the Foundling.
The campaign also plays the Attack on Murron soundfile that comes along with Mark Stoker's classic "Tamerlane, Prince of Destruction" campaign. If you haven't got that campaign yet, I can heartily recommend it. Thanks to Mark for allowing me to use that file!
The campaign contains two cutscene scenarios and four playable scenarios. Style: "Storyteller campaign". A mix of Cutscene/Fixed Force/Role Playing. B&D elements are minimal, you won't build a single building - only train units at existing ones.
The playable scenarios are difficulty-level-dynamic. You should have at least some gaming experience even if you play on Standard. If you are quite familiar with the game and experienced at battle tactics and micromanagement, Moderate will offer you a good challenge. If you like to test your gaming skills to the maximum, check out the Hard level.
INSTALLING THE FILES
Unzip the campaign file and all soundfiles into your Age of Empires II folder. They should go into the right directories.
CHANGES IN ULIO 3.0
- Sound files for narrator are included as extra zips (see above).
- New soundfiles for the dream in the Lion & Cat scenario are in the Ulio 3.0 zip file.
- Some typos have been fixed.
- Foundling: The "Barracks with Child inside" gets renamed again after the battle.
- Lion & Cat: Punishment for Ulio if he walks away from the village (-10 hp).
- Triangle: Fast players who went North could still end up with the general circling in the arena. Fixed.
- Epilogue: Younger and elder traveler got mixed up at the beginning. Fixed.
Here are some things which were new to me when I made them: Probably the first movie-like scrolling text on the screen; a developed version of the Pyromaniac's rain trick; thunder & lightning and other effects with light and shadow; a well; some slightly altered town centers; a touchy general; armies moving, stopping and moving again in formations; an armed villager (static); impaled people; sneaking up upon a guard; a stampede; sea gates and sea towers on solid ground; alert watchtowers with fast-footed watchmen; a slippery hill; a nightmare sequence with burning ghosts and lost souls; entering an enemy castle, and a couple more.
This campaign has been tested by many people, so most bugs should have been found and fixed. However, if you do encounter any more bugs, please email me at email@example.com, so that I can look into them.
Thanks again to everyone who playtested the campaign for me! The names of the playtesters are listed in the Aftermath message of the Epilogue scenario.
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|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Ulio needs little introduction, and neither does Ingo, the man that created it. The release of Ulio, ,seems like a suitably momentous occasion, given that the Campaign itself is both so highly anticipated and has been such a long time in the making. Considering that many are likely to download Ulio It's like trying to convince someone whether or not to go see a movie like Star Wars. Fortunately for those who intend to play it no matter what anyone says, they'll find their time with Ulio to be very well spent
Ulio has all the necessary components: good characters enlightening us to the mystery of the campaign, puzzles, a complex story that unfolds over the course of the game, and no standard way for the character to be brought to light.(There are many ways to loose the game not just by being killed). Ulio tells the story of, a young man who is faced with a great many of troubles well wandering the country side.
As well as Ingo’s campaign giving an interesting story he does a good job of giving his puzzles real context and giving you real motivation to solve them--if you don't, you will never be able to get clarity.
The story starts with a short well engineered cut scene. With no extensive opening sequence this makes it all not overly dramatic. Ingo deserves credit for taking such a cinematic approach and succeeding, no problems mar the storytelling. The cut scene direction in the story look’s great. The scenes themselves don’t suffer from being overly lengthy to the point of tedium.
It has fine-tuned, well-balanced game play, it's got a quick pace, it's got some new game play twists that should surprise even the most hard-core Ager’s, and it's simply a lot of fun.
The candy in the campaign is wonderful, and adds to the game as it is well designed you won’t be grumbling about it. Ingo has assured us that everything is exactly where he wants it.
The campaign is not a resource hog and it is very easy to get into. I found it very addicting to say the least I could not stop until I had completed all of the scenarios. Ingo’s creativity flourishes with new ideas on every turn including a very well done marching army.
If you like this sort of campaign point your mouse over to the download button(Now). After all it is free :-) .
I have been anticipating this campaign since it was first mentioned on the forums; god only knows how long ago that was. It's been well worth the wait, to say the very least, and if any campaign deserves a 5.0, this is the one.
The playability was nearly perfect! I didn't find any bugs whatsoever and everything flowed smoothly from start to finish, begining with a short intro. The only gripe I have is that its often hard to make it load the right scenario and takes four or five times through clicking and quitting out before it works. It's a bug in the game and there's nothing to be done about it.
This campaign was very hard, but still beatable. I honestly never made it past the battle in The Lion and the Cat on moderate difficlulty, but I standard I had no trouble. Many fights are also nearly impossible to win with brute force. For example, in the last scenario, there is a slippery hill. You can spike your boots and then lure your enemies to fall down the hill. I once managed to win that fight with no caualties until I had to deal with the siege weapon and tower.
You will see all kinds of creative elements in this campaign such as sneaking up on a guard, a horse stampeede, a joust, a nightmare, a slippery hill which people break their necks on if they fall down, a new way of doing enterable buildings without having to change the view, an army that moves in formation, and various other things (play it and see for yourself, I'm not spoiling the fun).
The map degisn in this campaign is ashtonishinly good. The snow terrains are ok, but the temperate areas are very pleasing to the eye, though not too complicated and cluttered, like many campaigns.
STORY / INSTRUCTIONS:
This campaign has one of the best stories I've ever seen in AOK. Unlike most, there is no glory waiting for you at the end, when you discover the truth about everyhting. The instructions were detailed, but still left some things for you to figure out yourelf.
~Many new creative elements
~Ummm...I didn't find any of these! :-)
This is a must download for those who like RPGs and FFs, with a few small B&D elements. Nevermind, this is a must download no matter what. Even if you don't like playing, (I don't see how that's possible, though) you can learn a lot of new and creative ideas just from looking at the scearios, or even extracting them and examiing the triggers.
I will end with one final comment: Get downloading and don't forget the sound packs!
As an old player of AOK, I must say, Ingo has done it again. This has certainly cemented Ingo's place in the AOK Scenario Designers Hall of Fame once and for all.
The playability is great. There are so many things you have to see that playing it once is not enough - certainly at least two or three more times for the average player would be required to see everything.
Ulio is also more balanced than The King's Best Men - all scenarios are easily winnable if you think hard and don't become too lazy. There is always a way out of every difficulty - if you remember to save often enough.
Creativity? Anyone who claims such a thing is lacking here is out of his/her wits. Ingo exhibits his usual ingenuity with many new tricks, as well as revised ones.
The maps were gorgeous. Simply beautiful and terrific. They are undescribable - play it for yourself.
I will personally attend to the execution of anyone who claims the story and/or instructions do not deserve a score of 5. The story was marvellous, with so many twists and turns. Although slightly predictable at the end, and seemingly foreshadowed from the beginning, the presentation and execution of this story ensured it's brilliance. The instructions also help you out, and ensure you don't get stuck. Anything you can't figure out by going to the Hints or Scouts probably means you need to keep trying the obvious approach.
ok. it is just two weeks after i have finished ulio2.1. and it still remained in my mind...as if i have played it now. go on the marks.
playability> yes, yes. i am just remembering that difficult obstacles at your way in second scenario... two cut-scenes which tunes your mood and you are hot to play it...and all the others. this was first time, that i really enjoyed EVERY moment in the game. i was never bored (because of lots of difficult and funny quests), i have looked at scenario's design and wondered how could somebody develop something like just this.
balance> ok. on moderate it was very hard - but these campaigns are for skilled players, not for childs which have just completed learning campaign.... but this campaign WAS something like learning campaign - some high tactics school or right tactical academy.
creativity> every scenario was miles and miles away from the other - but in the same story plot. in every scenario you have been encountered (or faced by) something, which weren't in that previous. e.g. building a camp where you must clear the way of yeri, building a dam on the river, avalanche and reconquering of Brother Thomas....
map design> i have seen never before that amount of triicks, eyecandies, effects with birds, lightnings and rain....in one campaign (or in each scenario). great (but pedant) job of real king in programming of campaigns...
story and instructions> great story - i dont believe that Ingo have got that many stories (original!!!) in his head... but play the campaign. good system of hints and "walkthrough hints", history and instructions for that game was great too...
overall>>> Ingo, you have done one really good work, but when i think, that yoou have programmed it for years and we have cracked it for weeks - you are ironman.
How can you describe Ulio? The typical "Greatest campaign ever" still seems like an understatement to me.
Ingo van Thiel, the creator of smash hit campaign after smash hit campaign, has done it again. Ulio is so addictive it should come in a syringe.
Ulio starts off with two rainsoaked travellers searching for shelter against the downpour, and are invited inside the house of an insane hermit. While waiting for the rain to cessate, the hermit tells them the chilling tale of Prince Ulio.
The player is then transported into an absorbing land torn by war, and by hatred. The two contestants are King Aguric and King Ulug, who wage a war against one another that has gone on for decades. All the while, a few peasants and renegades try to flee to a safer location -- and with them is a baby with a destiny no-one could have guessed. I'm not going to spoil it for you, but let is suffice to say that the plot takes a few interesting twists!
The playability of Ulio is unmatched. Incredible feats of triggerwork, tough yet winnable challenges, and amazing depth and storyline are all hallmarks of Ulio. The four playable scenarios are a combination of B&D (Triangle of Hate) FF (The Foundling, and The Birthmark) and RPG (The Lion and the Cat), but they all so well done that its difficult to tell which is best. The thing I like about Ingo's work is the depth and length of it, you can be sure that you will have criss-crossed the map several times before the scenario ends. Take "The Lion and the Cat". You must escape from Ulug's village, rescue a town, find the battlefield, lead the army to victory, cut down a tree, defeat an enemy paladin, and return to Ulug's village all in the one scenario. I think that most scenario designers would be hard pressed to put so much length and detail into one scenario, but Ingo makes it look easy.
For this: I dispense a 5.
I was absolutely blown away by this campaign, its very fresh and original. Although creative objectives certainly help, I found the atmosphere was what made it so original. Imagine how irritated I was in the second scenario when the monks were forcing me to cut down an errant tree, while I was longing to hear what the mysterious visitor was saying inside the monastery. If I had been in Ulio's shoes for real at that moment I would have felt like slashing something other then the tree with my axe! :)
Another thing I like about Ulio is how everything is made convienient for you. No, I don't mean easy, its anything but. What I mean is that its user-friendly with no boring bits. In Ulio you will never have to trudge to the other side of the map (snore) without something to alleviate the tedium -- like luring enemy soldiers down the slippery hill in "The Birthmark". The "Triangle of Hate" scenario was probably the most creative, where you had to set up a camp with some preliminary troops, without letting the King's nosy commander see what you are doing. I especially liked it how you could choose which soldiers could accompany you on your journey.
For this: I dispense a 5.
I have already addressed the fact that the scenarios are tough, but not unbeatably tough, just like all of Ingo van Thiel's campaigns. If you are skilled, you should be able to make it. In Ulio, nothing is left to chance or luck. Note that the scenarios are difficulty dynamic, which means that the higher the difficulty level, the harder the game. While an obvious concept, very few designers bother to do it. Ingo, however, has turned it into an art form. Like in the first scenario, "The Foundling", you must defend a small camp against enemy attacks. If you play it on easy, all of your units recieve increased armor, HP, and attack. You also recieve a knight. On hard, you get none of these little luxuries, but must make do with the bare bones of an attack force. No matter what the difficulty level, its tough. But hey, who said that Ingo's campaigns were for beginners anyway?
Heheh, I remember when I first tried to play Ulio on hard. I had to restart several times to win, but that just made it more fun. As you face a defeat message you think, "hey, I could have won if only I had done so-and-so different", and then you find yourself restarting and playing again.
For this: I dispense a 5.
The map design of Ulio is insane! Through the scenarios, you see pattering rain, slippery ice, beta units, armies that move and stop on command, terrifying beasts, castles that automatically disappear revealing scenes inside them and more! But its not just this, its the general atmosphere. One thing that never ceases to annoy me is how many scenario designers think that good map design means throwing all the tricks in the book together without any regard to placement or theme. No so Ulio. The scenario takes place in eastern europe, so scrubby grass and marshland is the go.
For this: I dispense a 5.
All of these things are great, and without a bug in sight. However, I'm inclined to say that the high-water-mark of Ulio is its storyline. For me, hooked wasn't the word. Even if the gameplay had been total crap, I would have kept playing just to find out what happened next to Ulio, Aguric, Luanna and Ulug.
Frankly, I have never seen a better storywriter ANYWHERE (except perhaps for Stephen King and maybe Dean Koontz). Fantasy storylines are normally paper thin -- both in books and in custom campaigns. I'd like to register a complaint on that score. They all seem to follow the shopworn formula of evil-threatens-the-world-and-hero-swoops-in-to-save-the-day. Not Ulio.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow (and there is even a walkthrough if you get REALLY stuck!). In all, perfect.
For this: I dispense a 5.
REVIEW of ULIO v3.0 dated November 24, 2003
The campaign contains six scenarios, two cut-scenes and four playable ones; the game style is a cut-scene supported mix of RPS, RPG and FF with few B&D elements. With the update to Ulio v3.0 new sound files for the 3rd person narrator are added, which give a new feel and experience to the storyteller campaign. The aspect of a third person narration has not changed, new is the designer's voice in five of the scenarios. Shortly after its release, the campaign became the Blacksmith Feature on September 10th, 2002 and won the Orion Award 2002 for best-balanced scenario, best map design and best campaign. It has its place in my personal hall of fame since I first played the beta version from the SD forum and after more versions, more testing and improvements, Ingo van Thiel presented a perfect campaign.
History, story, places and people are fiction; the events take place in the middle of a long war, somewhere in Eastern Europe, during the Middle Ages. It is a personal war, its outbreak not remembered and the war objective long forgotten. There were intrigues, conspiracy and evil plots reported, nobody recalls the details. Hatred and vendetta have fuelled the pugnacity since years. This war has no noble cause, many deserted and renegades infest the vicinity. Killing people is everyday life in times of war and civilian casualties routine, until one cold winter day soldiers found a baby after a skirmish, between dead corpses, men and women alike. You play Arun, the commander of a subunit, and war confronts him with a new, unusual responsibility. Be prepared for great entertainment, a campaign on the highest imaginable level and a story, a tragedy inspired by an antique myth. Witness the war of the two Lions, a war that lasted thirty-five years, a war between two kingdoms, two kings, whose children fell in love.
PLAYABILITY: The campaign grabs you right from the start, without loosening its firm grip until the very end, like the old hermit when he grabbed the shoulder of the young traveller. The pace is excellent and I enjoyed every fraction of the campaign, the astounding scene with a slippery hill; challenging battles requiring micromanagement like the attack on the camp, Ulio’s first battle, conquering, defending or destroying a castle; exciting tasks like sneaking around patrols, a river crossing and destroying watch towers. Very creative the multiple options, to take different paths, varied challenges, diverse outcomes, which are all intended and this is one, not the only reason for the campaigns high replay value. In every game, you can play parts different, in The Foundling confront the patrols or avoid them; run fast or lure some enemies from Aguric's castle to the southeast. In The Lion and the Cat fight the wolves, run to Ulug or to the castle; on your escape task Ulio on the mini map, pass the blacksmith or seek refuge at the monastery. In The Birthmark follow Luanna before and check the ruin after the battle; dismantle the onager or use it for the rest of the scenario. I refer to more options in the other categories, but some secrets will remain for you to find out yourself. I encountered no bug, all triggers and taunts are perfect to the game play. 5+
BALANCE: The campaigns balance is not only challenging and perfect on all levels, but also very creative. For Standard, Moderate and Hard the scenarios had units added or spared with less or more hit points or even different units and upgrades. Good examples for the perfect balance are the three options to reach Aguric's castle after you razed the Yeri north camp in The Triangle of Hate. You arrive by boat, through a narrow path and onager fire for the north route or with a frontal attack through the main camp for the southern option. I always arrived with four to six survivors. In the Birthmark, you can take possession of the gate from land or sea; raze the castle and docks arriving by boat, through the gate or by a combined land and sea attack. To win on Hard, you have to use every known tactic. You cannot just wait for the enemy to become weaker or try to overpower him; this would lead to a sure loosing situation. You have to think, plan with restricted resources, look for elevations, lead more than one attack at the same time, avoid enemies, be fast, hit and run, use living shields and choose the right units for counterattacks throughout the game. After you finished the campaign on standard or moderate, hard is a new game, another experience. 5+
CREATIVITY: It is amazing how many new things "Ulio v3.0" offers with AoK in its fourth year. Sounds, music, noises, voices, the Mp3 and wav sounds bring this campaign to another level of AoK scenario design. Impressive, a castle being removed and without view change you see the inside at the same place; frightening, a nightmare with phantoms and a burning ghost; stunning, armies stopping and moving in formations repeatedly. There are impaled people; a horse stampede; a villager armed with a spear; a new colour type for bitmaps; the movie-like scrolling text on screen; entering an enemy castle; thunder and lightning; effects with light and shadow; a well with splashing water; an iced slippery hill; alert watch towers; an advanced version of the rain trick; random unit reaction; counting survivors; sea gates and sea towers on solid ground and town centres variations. Astounding how the author anticipates the various moves of players, in the Foundling conquer Aguric's castle, attack the camp at the sea first, the swordsmen will arrest Brother Thomas wherever more enemies survived. Check a blocked path before you leave that area and save game In The Lion and the Cat when you walk away from the screams; when you seek terrain advantage between the spectators or kill the stable lad. I am referring to more creativity aspects in the related categories. 5+
MAP DESIGN: The map design is far above average and deserves its high rating. Different seasons, many elevations, detailed terrain mix, not overloaded with Gaia, which is a strong plus-point to suit well the story that takes place in the middle ages during a long war. The creative design features attracted my attention, like the bushes, which look good in that surrounding and you doubt the designation jungle tree in the editor. The berries of the Pyracantha, raw uneatable for humans, serve birds throughout the winter as forage bushes so to speak and are another evidence of the creative map design. Mind you, you cannot rename those trees and most plants in the editor. Creative also the blacksmiths, the appealing town centres, I spotted town centres with walls, palisades and broken carts or haycocks. The sea gates, tall walls and sea towers fit perfectly into the sometimes-mysterious landscape. 5+
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: Rain, thunder and lightning, the excellent, surprising prologue cut-scene brings you well into the story. Cut-scenes explain your objectives, serve as introduction or support the story. You always have clear objectives; enough hints and the player can scroll down to use some spoilers if stuck. The campaign includes a new type of bitmap and there is one for every playable scenario. The story, supported by the narrator sound files, develops in game and between the scenarios, is definitely one of the best of AoK, well told with twists and has a surprising, dramatic ending. Do we really know the truth? Did it happen as we are told? After all, it was a mad hermit’s tale. 5+
OVERALL: Ulio v3 is like a new era for AoK; it is the campaign to witness what level scenario design reached after four years.
OBSERVATION: Ingo van Thiel is not only a designer with talent, skill and experience but also an extraordinary perfectionist. With three years in the making, Ulio was already a classic before it came out; and even after reviews with an overall rating of 5.0, Ingo made the effort to improve his campaign to perfection.
SUGGESTIONS: With the approval of the author, I recommend two mod packs for Ulio v3, East European Castle v2, by neinnunb and Monastery, by BullsWool; to install you will need Mod Pack Studio 2.0, by JC Alsup, aka j_c_a.
IN CLOSING: I also recommend Gyda’s Challenge, a historical scenario from the same author as well as The Quest and The King’s Best Men, which are challenging, funny and entertaining; you will love Charles and Siegfried. Ulio v.3.0 is the campaign every skilled player should have, so download and do not forget the sound files.
Was Ulio the last campaign of the author? Definitely not, his most recent campaign is Chou Kung for AE:RoR uploaded at Heaven Game's Granary.
How do you describe such a remarkable campaign as Ulio? “The Best Campaign Ever” seems like a bit of an understatement, perhaps because that’s such a clichéd phrase. But, perhaps I can shed some light onto how outstanding this campaign really is: After playing Ulio, I can’t stop thinking about it. At school, at work, at the dinner table, while playing sports, the story keeps running over and over in my mind. Ulio is a campaign that will change the way you look at AoK, and storytelling in general.
This campaign contains two enticing cutscenes and four action-packed, meticulously-constructed playable scenarios. The opening prologue, “A Grave in the Rain,” literally sent chills down my spine as I watched the travelers venture through the rain into the old hermit’s house as the music of Ulio played through my speakers. “The Foundling” was a fun scenario that helped establish the plot, and I enjoyed the challenge of preserving the few units I had from frequent raids along the road. In “The Lion and the Cat,” I particularly enjoyed the joust sequence and the ride back to Ulug’s castle while under hot pursuit. The “Triangle of Hate” scenario was undoubtedly my favorite. The multitasking, reliance on micromanagement of units and importance of every minor skirmish all enhanced the plot not only in this scenario, but in the entire campaign. I loved the final battle of defending Alguric’s castle from the Yeri tribesmen. “The Birthmark” was an exceedingly challenging, frustrating scenario, but the highlights included the “slippery slope” (a great trick), the campfire scene and the return to Ulug’s castle, climaxed by a gripping conclusion. The final epilogue would be enough to bring tears to the eyes of a more emotional person, and I particularly appreciated your voice-acting. The Music and sound effects in this entire campaign further enhance the quality and playability. All in all I believe there are over 75 sounds total.
I almost would’ve considered giving you a “4” because this was such a challenging campaign (and I consider myself an experienced player), but the difficulty-dynamic feature was fabulous and you did provide ample hints and even walk-throughs on the scouts section if the player gets stuck. The main battle in “The Birthmark” took me at least 4-5 tries to finally win, and you really do have to save your game often, which means that you’re being adequately challenged! There’s never an easy moment in this campaign!
Campaigns don’t get more creative than this. From the opening prologue to the slippery slope to the intricate, mysterious plot to the joust to the campfire scene and battle to the cutscene in the “Lion and the Cat” with the monestary, this campaign was abundant with creative plots and ideas that I haven’t seen in scenario design before. This, along with playability and storyline, are your three strongest categories.
Map Design: 5
Yes! Lots of eye-candy (but not too much, after all, it’s a war-torn land). You designed rural villages, poor towns, grandiose castles, ancient strongholds and an abundance of terrain types. Your use of differing seasons was nice. The rain in your prologue and epilogue with thunder and rain sounds included also enhanced this category. Plenty of elevation, terrain and forest mixing. No reason to not give you a “5” for this category.
WOW! Campaigns storylines do not get more intricate and complex than this. This story belongs in a Tolkien-esque novel or a movie, and I’m not kidding. The story of Ulio is one of sadness and of triumph, and though we knew of his fate all along, you threw in a major curveball in the epilogue—all I can say is that I predicted something along the lines of that, but I was still amazed to see the story unfold in its entirety. (To those who haven’t played Ulio, I won’t give this away). This is ultimately a chilling and mysterious tale about the life of a doomed man. Your scenario instructions were detailed and explicit, your hints were helpful and organized, you provided walkthrough scouts for those who needed it, and the victory message after each scenario helped tell the story. One of the great things about Ulio is that after playing the campaign, we still aren’t sure if we know the whole story…we only heard it through the eyes of an “old hermit,” how do we know his account is an objective one?
Conclusion: You’d have to be a downright fool to not download this campaign. It took me a year of scenario designing until I finally decided to download and play it, and I regret taking so long. Ingo Van Thiel has established himself with this campaign as the divinity of scenario design with this campaign, and I strongly urge all who enjoy an exciting, action-packed, intricate and emotional story to download this ASAP. Great job, Ingo!
I came to AOKH about a month ago. I started looking around the forums, and there was this campaign that everyone was talking about. Something called "Ulio" created by a person named Ingo van Thiel. Everyone said it was the best campaign ever created for AOK, so I decided to download it and give it a shot. Let me just say that I am so glad that this was the first campaign I ever downloaded. All of you have probably heard this a million times over, but Ulio is a masterpiece. A brilliant masterpiece.
This campaign has virtually perfect playability. No lag and great battles. Doesn't crash either. Not to mention that everything did as it was supposed to and nothing ever got cluttered. Excellent. Very excellent.
This campaign was very hard, yet still possible; the exact definition of balance. I'm still a noob at AOK, but even Standard was pretty difficult for me. (Yes yes... You can all laugh at me now.) That being said, every single battle required strategy. You couldn't just go up to the enemy and beat the living daylights out of him. (Believe me, I learned the hard way.) You had to factor environment and elevation into the battles, and you had to use hit-and-run tactics to win most of your battles. Very nice balance.
Sneaking up on guards, escaping from locked towns, lots of cool battles, killing watchmen, protecting generals, impaled troops and jumping fish as splattering rain. Do you know of any other campaigns that have all of these? I don't think so. Not only are these ideas well executed, but they are original and creative. A definite 5.
Map Design: 5
The maps were excellent. Very plain looking in the region of eye candy, but very realistic. Besides, a map cluttered with eye candy isn't my idea of a great map. The true eye candy in these maps lies in the subtle things. The eye candy isn't big enough to be distracting, but it is still big enough for the player to notice and appreciate. Besides, the maps fit the scenarios like a latex glove fits a hand. I couldn't think of any other map styles that could fit this campaign other than these. Great job with map design. Very great job.
Not only is the story the most complex that I have ever seen in a campaign, but the execution of it is perfect. You never feel like you NEED to do something, as the game lets you do whatever you want and waits patiently for you to continue with the story. The instructions were also very clear and precise, and just like the story, you never feel like you are forced to do something. The instructions are very understandable and you know exactly what to do. The story is very complex and yet very simple, always feeding you in a little bit at a time. Perfect execution of the story.
Ulio is THE best campaign I have ever played on AOK. Not only is the execution of the entire campaign perfect, but I know that Ingo van Thiel cares about his scenarios and wants to make them as great as possible. He spends time working on his campaigns and spends time making it perfect. Ulio is one of the main reasons why AOKH is such a great site and AOK is such an enjoyable game. There are no other words I can say besides: Great job Ingo. Excellent and perfect job.
Download?: Download this as if your life depends on it. You will not be sorry. In fact, why are you reading this? Go up to that shiny "Download File" button and download this masterpiece! And as for those of you that have already downloaded it, well, :).
Excellent. In my own campaigns I wouldn't be able to do anywhere close to this much! Wow!
Balance is superb. Though some-what tricky. Like on the second scenario when you need to lure the bandits. But overall balance is this games best attributes.
I've played Tannenburg 1410AD and all I can say is that I stopped playing it immediately after I downloaded this. Very interesting bit of gameplay let me tell you. And this plot has intriuged me more than any other so far.
Map Design: 5
Slippery Hills(Credit is given to the true creator though I forget his name at the moment), awesome placement of buildings, and different seasons. Has anyone ever came close to doing better than this? This could also be passed as a wonderfull EyeCandy.
I absolutely hate it when I play campaigns made by people who think that 'ain't' is a word. In short I played this campaign four more times just for the word choice and storyline.
Hall of Fame. You are the missing piece to Ensemble studios. Your story execution. Trigger use. Even the names used in the campaign. You should be every campaign and scenario makers idol, for you certainly have captured my inspiration.
I didn't find any bugs on any of the scenarios...Excelent playability...
It was a little on the hard side, even on standard, but I liked the challenge. It seemed like it was perfectly balanced every time. On a good, well balanced campaign, you must occasionally be compelled to use a different strategy or go about the task or battle(whatever) in different way. I had to save a lot, which is good.
The creativity was absolutly astounding. I especialy liked jumping out of the tower part and the slippery hill. Many trigger tricks...Inspiring creativity...Maybe it will inspire those with little creativity (like me),
to try new things and think more...It was as though I was in the game. Once I started,I could'nt stop playing!
Map Design: 5+
Certainly a map design wonder. All the space on the maps was used eficiently. The Maps were creatively linked together. Maps were not too crowded, nor to empty. Also, there was good terrian mixing, and had an ever changing enviroment. It made you feel like you were in a different world. It was like I was in the game...Another thing, the maps were'nt to crowded with eye-candy, as some maps are.
The storyline is the Jewel of this campaign...amazing storyline.The instructions are the best I've ever seen. You were sometimes left to figger stuff out yourself, which is very good. But, most of the time it was straightforward enough for me to figger out with out any help. I had to use the 'hints' often though. Very interesting story. The plot is twisted, but very interesting. But, the storyline is what makes a campaign great. The eye-candy, map design, trigger effects,ect. is just a way to tell the story...
Overall: If any campaign deserves a 5.0, its this one. Ulio is in its own class. = 5+
Comments: Be sure to download the sound files :P.
Additional Comments:Ingo, you have the patience and determination (not to mention the talent and genius) that few others have. Thanks for this wonderful campaign.
[Edited on 02/19/06 @ 09:13 PM]
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