"The Third Crusade" is a simple game consisting mostly of the B&D persuasion with some fixed force. Its more on the level of the ES learning campaign in complexity.
While the two B&D missions were fun enough, the three FF missions dragged it down to a 2. These missions involved destroying a mill, market and barracks with only cavalry, destroying a monastery with only cavalry, and finally assaulting a huge fortress city with a massive army. That sounds good on paper but the enemy force seems too strong to break and its not fun taking down massive bombard tower arrays.
Most of the missions were quite easy to beat, while not presenting much a challenge beyond what you would expect to find in a random map. The resources on the B&D maps were mind boggling, with enough gold and stone to fill your monitor if played on the old display resolutions. The FF missions were won in a few minutes, with just the time it takes to smash some buildings being the obstacle. The final FF mission may very well be impossible, with a huge nest of bombard towers with the defenders training many camels while the player fields a pure fixed force army. It is a very strong army, but you only have feudal age upgrades vs a maxed out imperial enemy who can train units continually. This may well be impossible and I quickly gave up as its not worth the attempt.
There is a basic attempt being made at a campaign with variety, but there is not a hint of basic complexity anywhere. Atleast the missions were varied from scenario to scenario, which is good.
Map Design 1
Distinctly inferior to even a random map arabia, the land is extremely symmetrical with no terrain mixing and boxy palm forests.
Its quite a thin story, with minimalist hints, objectives, scouts reports etc. The pregame history tab was unconvincing, being poorly written and of dubious accuracy. There is a story being woven from scenario to scenario as events play out but its quite loosely connected.