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SummaryOne of the only RTS games I ever liked.
The GoodI haven't played the original, so I can't make a comparison, but I can say that I am not, as a rule, a fan of RTS games. This one made me forget that. Every once in a while a game comes along that addicts me, usurping all my attention for several days or weeks. This is one such game.
The graphics, the sounds, the music, the cut-scenes - all deserve high praise.
I love the theme, though I was a little disappointed to be so often fighting fellow evil "Keepers" instead of good guys from above. I understood the game was to be about play evil vs. good, but more often it was evil vs. evil.
The campaign was great, with each mission growing progressively harder. Some levels took me several attempts to beat, building on what I had learned the previous time, and bringing me back more eager than ever each time anew. The campaign doesn't overwhelm you, though, since each new level introduces a new monster, room-type, trap, etc. Your knowledge base grows as you play.
The first-person aspect was well handled, I must admit, and sometimes quite important to victory. But contrary to all the other praise, it was my least favourite aspect of the game, and something I avoided as often as possible. I hated the inability to command the rest of my troops, monitor my torture victims and cast spells when I was in 1st person mode.
The BadI already mentioned the evil vs. evil aspect in the above section.
While the My Pet Dungeon concept really appealed to me, you have to build your own challenges in (I made up a random table using dice to determine when heroes would appear). Also, in the My Pet Dungeon mode, if you torture and convert an enemy, that enemy type is no longer available to come rampaging through your dungeon. Somebody messed up an "if-then" clause in the C code there.
I hated that mana was limited to 200,000. With the size of my dungeons, my mana was usually at that level, and it became almost pointless capturing enemy mana vaults or converting their tiles to yours (though I guess it does limit their mana).
The campaign was huge, but I wish it was even huger.