A new Mythology. Review

Myth II: Soulblighter Info

genre

  • Strategy

players

  • 1 - 16

Publisher

  • Bungie
  • Project Magma

Developer

  • Bungie

Release Date

  • 11/30/1999
  • Out Now

Platform

  • Mac
  • PC

rating

A new Mythology.

Since the time of its release, Myth has

kept up as one of the most advanced and innovative real-time strategy games

on the market, wielding some of the most impressive graphical effects that the

strategy genre has ever seen. Now, about a year later, Bungie has returned

with Myth II: Soulblighter, a game that is both one of the best sequels

to hit the scene and one of the finest titles on the RTS market. This, my fellow

gamers, is what sequels are all about.

Sixty years have

passed since the first Great War against the Fallen (the original Myth),

and the people have returned once again to peace and tranquility. After responding

to complaints of grave robbing in a small town called Willow Creek, you must

lead another struggle against the Fallen, who are now led by Soulblighter, the last

of the Fallen Lords. Like the original, each mission is preceded by a diary-style

monologue that reveals the plot up to that point, as well as a brief cartoon

about every four missions.

Myth II does an excellent job of varying all 25 of the missions and

their settings. There is a huge variety of backdrops, from the open daytime

of a castle to the stormy bow of a ship to the dark depths of a haunted dungeon.

Like the original, environment has a huge affect on the game. For example, rain

and snow will extinguish a dwarf’s explosives, and upper ground gives a huge

advantage over those below. In the end, Myth II offers some of the

most creative and immersive environments in the industry.

Bungie made a few important adjustments when designing the control system in

the sequel, but kept the overall idea the same. As a result, fans of the

original Myth should feel extremely at ease with the controls in Myth II.

While the keyboard can still be used to move, rotate and zoom the camera, players

can now perform these tasks using only the mouse as well. A helpful control bar

at the bottom provides easy access to “commonly used features,” the most important

being troop formations. Movement orders can now be given at both the overhead map

and the main battlefield. And lastly, the two most important changes since the original are

the use of the keyboard arrows to rotate characters (replacing the damn gesture

click) and the availability of clear mission objectives at any time during a

mission.

Simply put, Bungie

did an excellent job at reading the faults of the original by making change

where change was needed and leaving the successful areas alone.

Like the controls, Bungie made a few tweaks to the game’s awesome 3D engine.

There are more polygons and more frames

of animation, an impressive feat given the low minimum system requirements.

The excellent landscape design, smooth and detailed texture maps and sweet

terrain effects are all still there, but with greater variation. The terrain

has many more highs and lows, meaning deeper canyons and higher plateaus.

In addition, improved water, shadow, and particle-based fire effects all help lead to the overall sense

of awe that you experience when playing the game.

Probably the most aggravating aspect that plagued the original Myth

was the nearly inexcusable lack of unit intelligence. Dwarves were

quick to throw explosives into a crowd of their own allies and archers would shoot

warriors in the back. Most of these annoyances have

been addressed in the sequel and, as a result, the game is much easier and more

enjoyable.

One of the most stressed aspects of the original Myth was extensive

multiplayer support, and the sequel is no exception. Bungie’s Myth network,

Bungie.net, offers unlimited free Myth and Myth II network play

with a nice, user-friendly interface. Like Myth, there are a huge number

of different multiplayer modes.

In the end, whether playing single player or multiplayer, Myth II

offers the best real-time strategy experience in the industry. It has everything

that made Myth one of the best games of last year, plus a free set of

steak knives. Like Star Control 2 and Godfather II, Myth

II
is simply one of the best sequels ever designed.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating9
Many more units
Better AI
Improved visual effects
Awesome network support (again)
Better controls