This campaign guides the former king of the Choson on his journey to reclaim the throne. Traveling from island to island, you fight many battles. The missions do usually start with a simple build up setup. A town center, a few villagers, maybe a house or two. In each mission, you have to completely destroy your enemies. There are other tasks too, like collecting certain amounts of resources, but by the time you finish off your enemies, you'll already have more resources than you'd ever need. In one scenario I suddenly won without a clue why, it seems like the victory conditions weren't correctly set here. The last mission starts with some kind of puzzle situation on a tiny island with only few resources.
Unfortunately, there's a problem with the AI. It seems like it can't build up properly for some reason, which often leaves you with six enemies that do nothing at all. The whole campaign would have been a lot more fun if the enemies actually did something. In the fourth scenario, I hoped it'd get better when I suddenly got attacked by clubmen after a few minutes and had to fight back with villagers. This situation was very fun. I soon got some towers set up however, and rushed the enemy a little later. In the last mission, the enemy fortress is very well fortified with long range towers, nasty siege weapons and priests. I could destroy much of it, but in the end, I ran out of gold. With no more mine to be exploited and no docks to trade with I finally gave up and typed home run. The next attack would've killed him anyways, and I didn't feel like starting all over.
Neither the story, nor the objectives or the actual scenarios are very creative. The goal is always the same, kill them all because you can, maybe steal a war chest or two, or collect 1000 wood (haha). However, there are actually some cool things. I loved the beginning of the last scenario. The placement of that elephant king was very clever. I also liked how there were lone clubmen near your village attacking any scouts you sent out in the third or fourth scenario. Sometimes, you'll find little gaia temples on the map. I see potential here, but it just wasn't exploited well enough.
Map Design: 2.7
Overall, the maps look quite unbalanced. There are parts with beautiful eyecandies next to ugly tree forest and empty landscapes, nice swamps next to unnatural clumps of resources and walls dragged over hills. While playing, it often feels like the author wanted to try out some stuff, but didn't really bother to take his time and design some good looking maps. It's mostly decent though.
The story is entirely made up, but not very detailed and pretty simple. Some evil guy pushes you off your Choson throne and to reclaim it, you have to kill tons of other evil guys for no particular reason until you fight him again. While doing so, you travel from island to island, sometimes being caught by pirates, sometimes having a shipwreck or something. The objectives don't make a lot of sense (why do you have to collect 1000 food and 1000 wood, for example?). I guess the story's there, and it's actually quite decent sometimes, but it's really not that good.
This would have been so much more fun if the AI wasn't so flawed. The campaign had a few fun moments, but most of the time you just train 20 cavalry and kill their town centers and their two villagers. Too bad.
[Edited on 01/06/07 @ 09:31 AM]