Reviews by bigwigzig

90

Great Replayability

bigwigzig | July 7, 2013 | Review of Medieval II: Total War Collection

Medieval II offers an excellent hybrid of real time strategy mixed with turn based play.

+Replayability: While there is one main campaign, the sheer variety of potential outcomes and starting kingdoms allows for a lot of replayability. Even when I have started with the same kingdom and difficulty, I noticed that battles between two AI-controlled kingdoms have different results. Additionally, the ability to create a custom battle really maximizes the customization and replayability. Finally, the huge modding community has taken the number of potential hours you will spend on this game to a new level.

+Graphics: While the graphics are starting to become dated, they are still more than crisp and clear enough to not be bothered and enjoy the game. Frankly, seeing hundreds of individual units simultaneously battle still seems pretty epic compared to the 20 unit battles in Warcraft II.

+AI: The AI seemed fairly competent to me, however, I found that the AI rarely surprised me. I never felt like I was running circles around the AI though, and each kingdom I took over felt like a hard-earned campaign-within-a-campaign. Notably, the "tipping point" (like in Civilization games, when you know you are going to win, it's just a matter of time) came quite late into the campaign. The biggest AI problem comes with diplomacy, where, as seen in other games, the AI wants half your kingdom in exchange for one unit.

-Non-military units: The non-military units, such as assassins, spies, and princesses can be powerful, but they are relatively difficult to level-up to effective levels. Maintaining these extra units sometimes feels like a hassle when you want to focus on town building and military conquest, and the fact that they eventually grow old and die makes them more frustrating. Frustrating example, if a heretic shows up in your territory, and you build a priest to counter, and the priest dies trying to stop the heretic, the odds of the next priest succeeding drastically goes down. Thus, you cannot ignore these units, but they usually bring more frustration than joy to the game.

-Rebels: Your units, armies, and general will randomly rebel against you, and can be extremely frustrating. The easiest counter to this problem is to reload the previous turn, but more advanced people can download mods that reduce this issue. While some people have argued that this adds strategy and historical accuracy, I find it random and not-so-fun.

+Music: Excellent. Basically, it's great, but in the background so it is not distracting.

+/-Controls: Controls during turn based play are are great, except for a few time unit will take a long route before you can fix it. In battle, the camera controls take some getting used to, but are not insurmountable.

Overall: Excellent game! I highly recommend Medieval II, and still play it from time to time.