Myth is one of those famous series on the PC. It's won various awards for originality and playability and is a favourite among online and LAN gamers alike. However, Myth3 seems like a fall from grace.. I have to admit to not having played the other Myth games. However, I heard a lot about the series and when I saw Myth3 in a sale I snapped it up. When I got it home and put it in my machine, expecting perhaps a little too much I was greeted with an extremely dull game. The game is basically a fantasy Real Time Strategy, but without the construction element. It's all combat and should in theory be more strategic than your standard Command and Conquer clone. Those who've played games like Warhammer : Dark Omen should know the style, you start with a set amount of units which you must use for the entire battle. However, unlike Dark Omen, the strategic element of the game, certainly in single player is virtually non-existant. Throwing all your units at enemy after enemy works just as well if not often better than taking time to plan strategies. The experience is made far worse by the extremely awkward camera system which wins points for at least being original but then loses them all again and is promptly kicked down through the floorboards for being downright irritating. The game box cleverly avoids describing the complete lack of playability here deciding instead to tout it's '40 types of incredibly detailed unit' and the blood which 'spills down hills pooling in dirty crevices'. Can you say superficial? The graphics aren't really up to much either. They seem blocky even in high detail and the animations are pretty poor. After playing games like Stronghold, where hundreds of archers nock their arrows and fire in a groovy looking rain of death, Myth just seems outdated. The archers slowly pull their bow strings and release what looks like a thick looking garden cane which flies slowly towards the enemy and impacts with a du
ll squelch. The word 'sloppy' immediately sprang to mind when I first saw that. Where the game perhaps saves itself from total doom is it's multiplayer mode. Human opponents are certainly more tactical than the reasonably poor AI provided and the multiple gamemodes could provide Myth fans hours of fun over LAN or the net (there is a reasonable gaming community on Gamespy to play with). I regret wasting my 10 pounds on this game, I really loathe it. Perhaps I just missed the point, or maybe it's genuinely poor. One way or the other, I'd only recommend hard-core Myth fans to purchase it, even at a knockdown price. Everyone else, avoid like the plague. A quick word of warning for those with either Intel 810 graphics chipsets or AC'97 onboard sound, expect the game not to run on your machine, there are compatibility problems which their technical support people seem unable or unwilling to solve. TB.