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Overall this is a solid effort form a veteran game designer. The game is extremely complex and may overwhelm the timid, but if you want some good barbarian fun, don't hesitate to give this a try.
I would classify Great Invasions: The Dark Ages 350-1066 AD as a diamond in the rough. It is apparent that a great deal of research and design went into the creation of this title, but unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the documentation and tutorial. Unless you are a hardcore war game enthusiast with both board- and computer-based experience, I would steer clear of Great Invasions. If you are new to turn-based war gaming, you will most likely become frustrated quickly due to the lack of documentation and the steep learning curve.
While there is a lot of complexity in the game play it is hard to grasp the many aspects due to the unpleasant interface. From cutoff messages to historical event dialogs that you don't have much information to base choices on to paragraph long tool tips you can't read while the game is paused; you are presented with a lot of information at times and at others, not enough. The manual is also lacking at just over 20 pages in length so you won't have much help there learning the workings of the game.
Great Invasions ist ein typischer Titel für Frickelstrategen und geduldige Tüftler. Wer sich die langen Stunden an Einarbeitung antut, wird mit einem durchaus gehaltvollen Strategiespiel belohnt, das epische Züge trägt. 700 Spieljahre sind eine lange Zeit, die clever agierenden Gegner fordern auch wirklich geübte Europa-Universalis-Profis. Doch die sind sehr lange Anlaufphasen ja gewöhnt und werden sich mit viel Freude ins Mittelalter stürzen.
The bottom line is that this game has a lot to offer for strategy enthusiasts, especially if they love history. But, the total opacity of the interface and the difficulty learning how to play the game makes trying this game daunting, to say the least. Best for players with lots of patience and time to burn.
As with so many historical strategy games, how much you get out of Great Invasions depends on how much effort you're willing to put into playing it. There is a great amount of detail here dealing with one of the most unexamined periods in medieval history, but Indie Games really needed to put more effort into making the whole shebang easier to understand and play. This isn't a bad game by any stretch of the imagination--although it's hard to think of a less friendly one.
This title succeeds in its mission to be one of the most detailed and historically accurate recreations of the Dark Ages. But a clunky interface and lack of tutorial made an already complex game almost impossible for new players to pick up and enjoy. The mid-90s quality graphics puts Great Invasions further behind the power curve in a genre now dominated by visually stunning games like Medieval II, Age of Empires III, and Civilization IV. In the end Great Invasions fails to live up to its name and may soon end up a footnote in gaming history.
Great Invasions offers a great tribute to retelling history, offers loads of options, but its almost unavoidable complexity leaves it unapproachable to all but the most determined history and strategy fans.
Armchair Empire, The
My 5.0 score here reflects the possibility that I haven’t given this title sufficient benefit of the doubt (otherwise it would get a 3.) I don’t want to discourage the intrepid few who might find some real pleasures here or are so excited about the time period that they’re willing to endure Great Invasions’ abundant frustrations. But I do want to discourage virtually everyone else. As for me, if anyone needs me, I’ll be out hoeing my potato patch.
Gamers' Temple, The
The game is ostensibly a real-time strategy game, but so much happens at once and you’re bombarded with so much information that you will have to perpetually pause the game just to try and sort though all of the noise. I know there are some gamers who equate “complexity” with “strategic depth”, but this game is complicated to the point of being obtuse. Rather than throw the kitchen sink into the game, the designers should have first stopped to think if you’d really ever need to wash your hands. I really can’t recommend that anyone pour the hours into this game that are needed just to get a handle on things when the payoff just isn’t there. Making matters worse, you’ll spend that time staring at graphics out of the Dark Ages and trying to read through some poorly translated text that is even harder to understand than reading Beowulf in its original Old English.
FileFactory Games / Gameworld Network
Unfortunately for the very interesting subject of this game, Great Invasions seems to be a great concept wrapped in a great deal of mediocrity. While the game’s innovative solution for organizing disparate nations into playable entities is certainly an excellent effort, the designers neglected so many other key areas of the game that maintaining interest long enough to get past the game’s steep learning curve is almost impossible. The rewards for perseverance are enormous, but rewarding Great Invasions’s developers for creating this game may be asking too much of even hardcore strategy enthusiasts.
The sad part of all of this is that I can see what they were trying to do with Great Invasions. It could have been a great game if more attention had been paid towards ease of use or proper documentation. Having just recently shipped in North America, this game is two years old, and still feels rushed due to how clumsy it feels. A proper historical simulator is a great idea, but as it stands I would much rather play Risk then ever look at this one again.
Irgendwo in Great Invasions muss ein Strategiespiel stecken. Ich habe es nur noch nicht gefunden. Die Entwickler haben es mir aber auch wirklich schwer gemacht: Das Tutorial funktioniert nicht richtig, das Handbuch lässt manche Frage unbeantwortet, die Bedienleisten sind ein einziger Dschungel, dazu gibt’s selbst nach dem Update auf Version 1.4 Abstürze.