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REVIEW : Myth II: Soulblighter
By: C-J Durango

(Please note that when this review was written, the updater for Myth II was not released. If you have Myth II, download the updater at bungie.net)

First look
I've always been a big fan of Bungie, but I can't help I felt a bit disappointed when they released the first info on Myth 2. And when I looked at pictures from it, my doubt that it would be such a great game as Myth 1 was began to grow. I was a hardcore Myth player and spent lots of time on bungie.net, and then I suddenly just stopped playing it because I got tired of it. The worst thing would have been if Myth II was a copy of the first game.

But heck, I was wrong! When I first saw the game in action, I was just as stunned as when I first saw Myth 1. This game is just brilliant. The mesh graphics has been improved and looks gorgeous if you own a 3dfx or Quickdraw 3D accelerated card. Units has got more spriteframes so their animations looks much smoother. The popular thrall even looks faster now when he has got more frames. Myth II also got animated models. Now you can see working windmills, raising drawbridges and much more. Wildlife has also been introduced in the game. Watch as squirrels travel the forest, or why don't kill bambi over there with your bowmen? This makes gameplay much more fun.

Myth II is also able to play the sound in 3D. This still only works on Windows since Bungie decided to use Aureal A3D and Creative EAX and those only exists on Wintel machines at the moment. They maybe could have used the Apple Soundsprocket library to get 3D sound to work on macs.

Many popular units from Myth 1 has returned in the sequel. Fetch, Ghols, Berserks, Dwarfs and Warriors are among those who have returned. Your fir'Bolg archers has been replaced by human bowmens which, thank God, fire with improved accuracy.

Bungie claims that the Myth II AI is much improved since Myth I. We could always hope. You that have had dwarves firing right into your melee know what I mean.

The singleplayer
The singleplayer campaign of Myth II takes place about 60 years after the first game. Balor has been defeated and Alric, now King Alric, has spent those 60 years rebuilding the Province to its former glory. Peace and happiness prospers until one day when a small village is beeing attacked by some strange monsters. Your mission is to investigate these strange happenings. Your investigations leads to something NOT good; your old enemy Soulblighter from Myth 1 has returned and has begun to once again lay waste to the land. It's now your mission to teach this fellow a lesson once and for all. You have to travel through open plaines, guarded castles, abandoned towns, snowy passes, scary catacombs and much more to stand a chance against Soulbligther and allies. You also have to form alliances with people you'd never thought was possibly. At least one person will make an unexpected return from Myth 1, this time on your side.

The singleplayer is very fun and challenging, but a bit too short. I am a mediocre mythplayer and I finished it off in 3 days on normal difficulty.

The multiplayer
The singleplayer campaign in all its glory, but the Myth games really shining star has always been multiplayer. You chose a name, pick your colors and a player icon, and you're ready to rumble. Myth II multiplayer can be played over TCP/IP, Appletalk or over Bungies own free gaming service Bungie.net. It is hard to find games on TCP/IP or Appletalk, so Bungie.net is the first choice when you want to play. With Myth II, you get a piece of paper with your Bungie.net serial number on. Go to Bungie.net's homepage and register for a complementary account. Bungie's idea with serials is a good idea of stopping pirating, since it's very hard to fake it. When you have received your login information, just fill it in in the Bungie.net setup and connect! Well there you can meet other players, chat and of course play some games. Starting a new game is just as easy as it sounds. Just click "new game" and fill in the options, wait for some more players and let the carnage begin. A good change from Myth I is that the host of the game cannot start the game until everyone has marked themselves as ready. This prevents so called jumpstarting, when the host start the game before everone is ready.

Before you start, you may want to make teams with others. If you're on a team, you act as one player in the game, but you share forces with your teammates. Good thing if you play a game with many units.

Well in the game, you often have some planning time. You can spend this time in different ways. Trade your units, scout out the map or just wait. New in Myth II is that you also can form alliances in the game. By that way, you can cooperate with your ally to win. Unfortenately is there no allied victory, so you have to kill your ally if you're the only ones left, hehe. Many people leave alliances off in games because there's always some bad people who misuse alliances to win unfair.

The real fun is when you gather some of your friends in a game and you all meet in the center of the map. THAT is real butchering. Limbs fly, head rolls, swords cut through flesh and blood and gore lies everywhere. It's a piece of art just to get the blood and gore in right place. If you're lucky, you could create some real masterpieces of death!

The multiplayer contains a bunch of different game types. You could always play straight Body Count (where you have to kill as much as you can), but why don't try something ordinary, like stampede? The goal of stampede is to bring a bunch of animals (most often pigs) to a flag in enemy territory to get points. Doesn't sound so hard, does it? Well, think again as you must defend your animals at the same time you want to kill your opponents pigs. There's also hunting, where the team who kills most wildlife wins.

Bungie.net is more than just games. It's a community! Some people logs on just to see each other and talk about things, often something else than Myth II. Bungie.net has also been given an upgrade since Myth I. Now you can add people to your buddy list (sort of ICQ thing), search for people and get more describing statistics over players.

A group of Myth II players are called an order. This is similar to the clans of Quake. In Myth II, you can now play for your order and get points for it. You can always go to Bungie.net's homepage to see who's the highest ranked player and which is the highest ranked order.

The problems
There is nothing which is completely free from problems. Myth II, as everything else, has its own problems. First, there are hundreds of minor bugs in the original version. Bungie is working on an updater to squash all bugs and improve gameplay.

The probably biggest problem is the, sometimes, poor 3dfx performance in the game. On my testing mac, I got the same framerate in 3dfx as in software. I find that a bit strange since Myth I ran just perfectly with 3dfx and got poor performance in software. But if you own a G3 with a Voodoo2 card, the poor performance doesn't matter since you get about 30-40 frames per second. People I know have been in touch with Bungie about the 3dfx problem and Bungie replied that it's 3dfx's fault. So we just have to hope that 3dfx can fix those problems.

Another of the biggest problems are the keyboard typing delay. When you type something in the chat or in any textfield at all, all text gets a delay before it appears. This is very frustrating since people who types fast have to slow down, or the letters will not show up. Therefore, there could sometimes appear very strange chat messages with missing letters. Again, Bungie is going to fix this in the updater.

There are also some small bugs in some multiplayer scoring...

I would say that Myth II probably is the game of the year (yeah, we didn't get it until this year here in Sweden). If I didn't have a life, I would probably settle down on a remote island with a T3 line, a G3 and Myth II. This game is just a smash-hit. Even if it contains some bugs and general problems, it's not a big deal. And the shy requirements makes it a good game for you with older computers. So I say: Buy Myth II: Soulblighter NOW, that's an order!

Test ComputerRequirements
  • 7500/100, PPC 601 @ 100 MHz
  • 112 MB of RAM
  • 6 GB of harddrive space
  • 3Dfx voodoo graphics card


  • Pentium II @ 350 MHz
  • 64 MB of RAM
  • 6 GB of harddrive space
  • 3Dfx voodoo graphics card
  • PPC 601 @ 100 MHz (604 @ 120 MHz recommended)
  • Monitor showing 640x480 @ 16-bit colors
  • Mac OS 7.5. or higher
  • 32 MB of RAM*
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Open Transport 1.1.2. or later for internetplay (included)
  • Connection at 28.8 kbps or higher for internetplay
Retail PriceDemo
  • Around $35-$50
Related LinksRating
    (1-5 where 5 is the best)

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