Posted on 11/28/02 @ 12:00 AM (updated 01/17/03
The Byzantine War campaign is the most complex campaign I have ever made.It is based on a territorial war between the Byzantines, the Mongols, the Turks, and the Celts has been going on non stop for almost a century. (This campaign dose not start at the beginning of the war and dose not have anything to do with real history. A lot of the triggers in this campaign were found by other people. All their names are in the history section of the instrucions.)
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"The Byzantine War" is a file selected for a review by merit of having been commented on by the reviewers younger self a long time ago. Its a wacky campaign with all the usual traits of the low rated games.
Scenario one is just a random map fortress game with the customary 400+ unit army with a mega fortress covering half the map. The objectives tell you to defend, but you will be spending your time quickly blitzing the enemy forts. The game also gives you a choice between a 20,000 attack Joan or a 20,000 HP Joan, although only the attack relic works, among other rather useless stuff. Oh yeah, how about between 50k+ and 99k+ resources with free Spies tossed in just incase you need backup if you lose that army.
Scenario two saw the player chasing down an escape ship from the previous missions, as the mongol invaders flee across an icy sea to..norway? After killing the turtle ship and acquiring a massive gaia fleet, your task is to smash the enemy base. They have a fixed force on a teeny tiny island and you have ample resources and a good military;its not much fun to sit around pounding them with cannon galleons. And why oh why is the player limited to building two docks? Great fun it is to mass up enough ships to break up the enemy turtles with this limitation. Once this particular map lowered my FPS to less than zero (that is, only 1 frame per second or two in real life, i could sip my coffee waiting for movement) not sure where this insane stuttering is coming from. CPU\GPU disclaimer;got a quad core 3.3ghz and 1060 6gb.
Scenario three gave the player 15 castles, 200+ powerful cavalry units, and 99,000+ resources. Sigh;this is exceptionally boring! Its just a deathmatch with infinite resources. At least the enemy has the same setup with a strong fortress, but the human is alot better at levying large forces and will easily leverage this into a win. The AI cannot even train bombard towers like the human can.
Scenario four gives you a win in 4:38 after you run a king across a map, dodging some assassins;its just some random units placed in your path that have no special AI directives and they dont stand a chance against your elite troops.
Scenario five: "The Mongolian Resistance is not very strong. It will not take much to destroy them" What?! This is not how to design a good scenario. If you realize its too easy, then make it harder and more complicated! Guess what:its a random map game with 99,000 resources, a big gaia army, and like 30 enemy units with some kings.
The player has a surefire ticket to victory at all times, with insane resources, huge armies, or passive enemies.
There is often signs of effort from the author, but perhaps he didnt quite know how to go about making a proper campaign. The story is creative but it doesnt help much, and too often the gameplay is like a random map with 99,999 resources.
Map Design 2
With four random maps and a custom map that was just ice and water, there isnt much to praise. There were gaia objects used in scenario one, and by used i mean spammed to infinity.
Never thought id be saying this, but this campaign has far too much story in it relative to the amount of content in other area. The campaign does spin a tale over its 5 scenarios, but its pretty random and doesnt correlate well to the random maps used. There is poor grammar and spelling present, but its passable for the most part.
Final thoughts: Not much to see here.
[Edited on 03/15/17 @ 11:55 AM]