Posted on 08/17/08 @ 12:27 PM (updated 08/25/08
Are you an expert playing Age of Empire II? Like bloody battling? You think it’s boring collecting resources and want to start batting right away? Are you fan of Death Match challenges? Well, this campaign it’s for you.
||Build and Destroy
|Number of scenarios:
Here you drive a new civilization named The Defilers from their humble beginnings and reach the glory as a fictitious civilization. This seven-scenario campaign will test you in strategy and gust.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Fall of the Empire is a 7 scenario campaign that promises deathmatch style gameplay. However i found lag combined with sure-win maps dragged down the enjoyment a great deal for me. Only one scenario is what i would call difficult, despite it being for experts;im no expert, im only 16xx on voobly.
The games mostly offer standard B&D with deathmatch style settings. Scenario2 is the most interesting with the player surrounded with enemies, needing to capture all 4 relics to win. The relics can be obtained without entirely killing all enemies so its actually viable to pursue this winning condition.
Scenario One: Immense lag when the triggers to defend the relic islands fired made it impossible to progress. Its easy enough to build bombard towers ahead of time or simply 40 galleons can clear out the enemy troops easily. Land troops trapped on shallows are very vulnerable to boat attack.
Scenario Four:The triggers for gaining villagers dont seem to work. Luckily i could just set my own ally as a neutral and steal his villagers with a monk. You dont need to follow the objectives to win;just keep all the relics and go conquer the enemy quickly. After crippling the enemy, you can then fulfill the objectives as you please.
This game is sometimes balanced and some scenarios are even pretty tough and interesting. The campaign is wildly inconsistent on difficulty, however. The thing is, the author stated the campaign would test you "in strategy and gust";There are a few freebie scenarios that offer no challenge, and some that cripple the AI functionally.
Scenario Five:The sole AI in a B&D has multiple walls intersecting their base which the AI cannot cope with. Their economy is crippled and they cant make much units to fight with. Their entire core base area is within cannon galleon range.
Scenario Six: Its a B&D deathmath on oasis with 5k resources all, imperial age, and a single enemy who covers the entire map in towers and walls. Thats a slow grind to a sure player win.
Scenario Seven:Its a 2v1 B&D, but the player and an ally is the 2 in the 2v1. Its a sure win, with huge resource, and massive fortress for the player and his ally, and all there is to do is setup and begin pulverizing the enemy base.
These scenarios seem well enough differentiated from a random map build and destroy, as the author mixes it up with new concepts and ideas everytime. Even so it has too much in common with the ES campaign to get any higher of a rating, as its kind of simplistic and relies on the games base gameplay to carry the day for the most part. There is no sign of the community tricks and gameplay mechanics developed over the years, and i wouldnt be surprised to have seen this campaign come with a 2000 release date. The author has played maps like Ingo van Thiel's The Broken Wheel so he has seen some ideas for sure.
Map Design 2
The maps are underwhelming, and some random maps are used. The custom maps struggle to compete with random maps. No eyecandy, no detail work, solid block forests, monotone cobblestone interior on bases.
There are nice bitmaps on every scenario. The objectives, hints, scouts, etc are well filled in. The instructions are perfectly clear. The intro, winning messages, etc are something many scenarios should aspire to achieve. The story isnt like an RPG, but more like an ES campaign story. Its told before and after each game, and then you play.
The contents of hints is quite underwhelming. In one scenario i was advised to place units in ctrl-x groups to navigate through a map better. No offense to the author, but thats some basic competitive gameplay knowledge;the author advertises the game as being for experts so i would expect him to realize what an expert is at AoC in 2009. The entire hints advice is filled with things any moderately experienced player should know from playing other blacksmith submissions.
Final thoughts: Its a B&D campaign with some interesting story elements, but technical issues and some really poor late scenarios weigh it down.