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Myth III: The Wolf Age

Keith Pullin howls with frustration as another RTS falls short of the mark
Keith Pullin howls with frustration as another RTS falls short of the mark

Life isn't great for Connacht the Barbarian right now. His beloved homeland of Gower (nothing to do with greying cricketers apparently) has been overrun by hordes of vicious man-eating demons; the King has told him to hack off all of his hair and whenever there's a full moon he becomes a howling lunatic.

Yes, the plot for Myth III: The Wolf Age is nonsense. Not that it matters much because playing Myth III, and to a certain extent even enjoying it requires little understanding of the world around you, or indeed any knowledge of the two previous Myth outings.

Here is an uncomplicated game. Most levels involve a medium-sized army of warriors, archers, wizards and grenade-throwing dwarves giving grief to skeletons, demons, zombies and other unimaginative scourges. There's no base building, no resource collecting and nothing else going on.

Although uncomplicated in its approach, this is not a game for RTS simpletons or beginners, though. Myth III's strength rests in its battlefield tactics and clever use of units. Archers, for example, are most effective when perched atop a hill firing down on their wretched victims below. Powerful wizards are mere pussycats in close combat and must be well protected by guards. There are also ten different formations to master, although from our experience you could survive perfectly well using just the line and box. Units also gain experience for every kill they make and thus the longer a particular unit survives, the stronger and more accurate it becomes. What's more, units can progress from level to level, and thus you are instantly encouraged to treat your units as more than mere cannon fodder.

Even weather conditions impact on a unit's effectiveness in battle. Flaming arrows, for example, can be extinguished by heavy rain, and torches go out if you wade through a raging torrent. Even the wind manages to play havoc with ballistics units by blowing their ordnance off target. It's also good to see intelligent enemies actually following footprints in the snow � this is an attribute rarely seen in PC games � in fact, only Metal Gear Solid has managed it before.

While this third instalment of the series boasts some commendable touches, it rarely manages to fully explode into rip-roaring RTS action. Myth III seems to coast along without ever really breaking sweat, and even some of the climactic battles against allegedly incredibly powerful beings are usually over as soon as they've begun.

Doubtless the lack of depth limits the broader appeal of Myth III, but for those who are content simply to hack squelchy things into very small pieces, Myth III will be a welcome diversion for a while.

PC Zone Magazine


Bark's worse than its bite
  Great-looking landscapes and models
  Brilliant interactive weather effects
  Makes good use of battleground tactics
  Simple gameplay
  Never really gets going
  Blood and gore everywhere (can be locked out though)



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