You are Jason, a charismatic but slightly rash young leader who wants to overthrow the tyrant Hegon. Lucky for you, you still have your elder brother Xerxes on your side. Although you hate his hesitant and even cowardly ways, you will soon find that you cannot do without him. Get ready for a few nasty tactical challenges, tricky riddles, and some unknown horrors from above...
The title of this campaign may sound rather uninspiring but the content is very different. I downloaded it when my love for the game was waning but it was immediately restored. This is one of the best campaigns I ever played.
Ingo uses all the advanced map tricks and special units and besides he throws in some lovely puzzles to solve. This makes for a great playability. Half of the time you simply can't believe that you have to do what you have to do to win a scenario. The victory condition of the first scenario is a good example of that. In the second scenario he takes it even further. (The only drawback of that one is that you have to play it with the original AoE program file; the patch corrects a bug that Ingo used here to his advantage). This campaign has a perfect balance between thinking, fighting and enjoying the scenery.
The balance is perfect; you have to fight and work hard to win, but all scenarios are beatable. The creativity is what you might expect of Ingo - keep in mind that he made several masterpieces for RoR before he started on this, his only AoE campaign. The creativity, map design and stories are all equally compelling. The eagles' nests in scneario # 3 and the swamp in scenario # 2, not to mention the bridge in scenario # 4 are some of the finest tricks I ever came across.
This campaign is a must download.
Posted on 02/09/08 @ 05:45 PM
This is my tribute to Ingo van Theil.
It has been nine years since 'The Two Brothers' was uploaded, since then many great developers have come up and filled Age of Empires Heaven's Granary with beautiful works and stunning effects. They are today's map-makers, but years before scenario_t_c's advanced editor patch Ingo was pioneering a trail deep into the AoE editor and churning out masterpieces.
The Two Brothers is the ninth most downloaded AoE campaign (non-expansion). When I got AoE back in 2004 it was an old game. I loved it. But after playing the terribly dry and boring campaigns and deathmatch maps, I started playing with the editor. After a few months of making lame maps with loads of high powered units fighting aimlessly, I decided to look for something to download. I found this.
I couldn't stop playing, after a week I beat it! (Hey I was new to this) I also cheated and played it on easy. But after finally learning how to play properly, it was even more fun! It really gets you hooked. The four scenarios cover a great mix of build and destroy, puzzle and fixed force styles of play.
The balance is unbeatable. I have never played anything where the battles are so evenly matched. You constantly struggle to win battles no matter how many units you have because you know you will need to economize everything to win.
The puzzles are somewhat old by now, but that's because everyone who played this learned the tricks and incorporated them into their own maps. Ingo discovered so much about how things worked together and used that knowledge to build a seamless scenario.
Map Design: 5
What can I say that I haven't already? Ingo's works are obsolete by today's standards and yet, they still pack more feeling and emotion than any other. The map design is both alluring and conductive to gameplay.
The story in intense. You really are Jason, not some idiot sitting in front of a computer whose homework isn't finished and is supposed to be in bed. The instructions are rather weird, but always work with the story and are crystal clear.
Ingo van Theil is my AoE god. I have learned so much about map design and story writing from him, the least I could do was thank him for this wonderful campaign.
Any aspiring map designer who wants to make a 5.0 map: study this campaign. Anyone else who is just looking for a gratifying AoE fix should download immediately.
Thank you Ingo van Theil for making a great campaign that people without the expansion can play.