The greatest RTS of all time. With several mods still being made, Myth 2 is still relevant over a decade after release.

User Rating: 10 | Myth II: Soulblighter PC
Myth 2 Soulblighter is more or less a tweaked version of The Fallen Lords. Normally I would dock a game for not bringing enough new innovations or ideas to the table. And of course I'm playing favorites here, but The Fallen Lords WAS THE innovative game of the RTS genre and was one of the first (if not the first) to break the overdone mold of "build base, collect X resource, rush enemy." Unlike Starcraft (a great game in its own right) Myth didn't throw in tons of somewhat awkward spells/abilities which require a lot of excessive micromanagement (though not as bad as Warcraft 2's spell casters). So what you had was a game that required excellent unit control (especially in multiplayer), but without having to worry about anything anything but keep the troops you have alive, because other than a few missions in single player, you get no reinforcements. So what does Myth 2 do?

With greatly improved graphics/animations (the sprites look much better), improved camera angles, and the addition of many new units (and an addition of a few new abilities). That's it? Yeah, not much, in fact these limited changes are about equal almost any sequel or expansion pack to a game released within a year (and using the same frame work gives it some limitations). But the phrase, "if i' ain' bro' don' fix it" is applicable here.

Of course there was no need to mention the new single player campaign, as it should be expected. Like The Fallen Lords, Soulblighter's is just as epic, and the game focuses around the most bada$$ of the Fallen Lords (Soulblighter, the guy on the box cover) who is just plain lovable regardless of his "evilness." I do not want to give away the story, but the missions (much like the first game) are varied in location and objective. Just play it, and wait until you reach "Gonen's Bridge," if that doesn't blow you away, put away the crayons. In addition to a strong campaign is probably on of the better written game stories ever, which has excellent pacing, gives a sense of urgency, and the awesome lore that we were first exposed to is greatly expanded. And once you finish the campaign in Myth 2, you're given a very awesome epilogue which further explains the nature of the Myth universe and gives history dating back thousands of years. If only games like Warcraft had such a well crafted story such as the one present in this series...

Of course it isn't too say that the single player mode is the end all mode of the game, because like The Fallen Lords, you can play all the missions cooperatively, and the competitive multiplayer mode (with many games modes available) is just plain amazing (probably the greatest multiplayer experience you can possibly have). For playing this game online, look up "Marius Net," you won't regret it.

The new units/tools are great fun to use and also change the landscape of multiplayer matches greatly (and in a good way). Mortar Dwarves fill the niche between Archer and Fetch (mid, longish ranges) but pack an immense punch but has really slow reload, is really slow, etc. Archers have flame arrows now (and work like you'd expect: use it on a surface that is flammable), and a good way to set off explosions. Heron Guards, blah blah, there is no reason to outline the units as you can look them up yourself on the wikipedia page for the game or play the game for yourself, and their uses become apparent. To summarize: the new units are excellent additions to the game and are balanced very well.

As long as we're talking about the units, lets look at another awesome feature the units in Myth have: names. What is the big deal about a name? All the characters have their own name (some duplicates, but then again how many Johns do you run into everyday?), and if you're not completely emotionally dead, you'll form a bond with these units. Though this feature existed in The Fallen Lords, veterans carry on throughout the entire game. So "James" the archer and "Nori" the dwarf, characters who you put lots of effort into trying to keep alive will be with you even up to the last mission of the game. And like you'd expect, these veteran units are slightly better versions of their "green" brethren, and it is a nice way to reward to player for playing skillfully.

Now is the game absolutely perfect? No, but no game is, and my "perfect" score is inflated (just like every "perfect" score) and there are somethings that are a little bothersome. For one, the Dwarven grenades are more reliable now.

HOW IS THAT A PROBLEM?! you may ask, but first i need to give you a context. Myth was the first RTS to make terrain and weather a factor to consider, most notably for dwarves. Seeing as their weapons are flaming bottles, if they fall in water, they get extinguished. If the rain is pouring too hard, the flame may go out before the bottle hits the ground. Snow has the same effect. And sometimes the bottles just wouldn't explode at all regardless of weather conditions. Others wouldn't explode immediately upon impact and bounce and eventually settle in one spot smoldering, sometimes it would just go out, other times it would explode, but the timer is really random. With Myth 2, the rate of failure is greatly decreased and the majority of them explode upon impact. Now back to the question... HOW IS THAT A PROBLEM?! Simple: combat in Myth isn't like Warcraft/Starcraft/insert-any-other-RTS where X unit will always beat Y unit if in a 1 on 1 melee. Granted Myth has that, as a Warrior will always beat a Thrall, a 'Zerk will always beat them both, etc. But with ranged units, the story is different, and though archers and soulless (the dark's version of an archer) are very different, the winner of a battle between the two can go either way depending on the player's ability to move the properly and utilize the scenery (whether for cover or for the height of hill which adds distance to the projectile). With the demolition unit (the Dwarf) the story is or at least was, once again, different as there was an element of unpredictability. For some people this isn't good idea, but it made almost every encounter very different and kept the game interesting. With Myth 2, there is too much certainty. Of course, this "problem" is solved through community made updates which give you the ability to choose between TFL style Dwarves and Myth 2.

Another "issue" was a slight graphical one, where thrall just fall to bits immediately upon dying, unlike in TFL there was a few extra frames before that happens that were visually appealing. But once again: this issue was fixed through mods.

Two references to this "community," certainly I must be changing the topic? Of course, because the Myth community, though much smaller than it was back when Bungie had servers up for the game (there aren't that many people online anymore, hell, I haven't had time to play, wasting too much time with school and reviews). But they're still around, still making mods and maps. Do you want to play through the campaign using WW2 units? What about Civil War era troops? Samurai? Characters from Bungie's Marathon series? The list goes on and on.

Of course, would this modding community wouldn't be nearly as big as it is if it weren't the excellent tools Bungie provided with the game. Apparently they're really easy to make mods with, but I'm too stupid to that, but there are many ways to change around the single player campaign. Place more enemies here, swap this unit type with another, etc. Even if you don't have programming ability, you will still be able to get more out of this game just by swapping a few things around.

I know I could go more into detail on everyone of these topic, but maybe this was concise (and yet detailed) enough. Just play this game. Go on Amazon, and buy a copy. Hell, if you never played The Fallen Lords: there is a mod that lets you play it within Myth 2. How sweet is that?
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