By Al Giovetti, 03/15/97
Bungie brought out a game for the Macintosh first and game starved Macintosh owners repaid their kindness by buying the game in droves. What Doom and Quake are on the PC is what Marathon 1, Marathon 2 , and Marathon 3 have done with the Macintosh. Where Mac games are concerned Bungie is god.
Company LineWhat does a company known for 3D, first-person action games do when they want to make a game depicting the clash of armies, the wheeling of formations and the savagery of melee? They make Myth. Bungie's upcoming game Myth is the first example of a fully multimetric realtime tactical game, and it will stun gamers with the full-on experience of epic battle.
Free of a static isometric view, Myth players orbit around the heads of their units, zoom in for a closeup on a melee, pan past a long column of troops and fly over the landscape in any direction. The action takes place in a world of truly 3D terrain and objects. From the moment players see drifting clouds reflected in the water or the ground ripple and deform from the shockwave of an explosion, they will know they are in a place no computer game has gone before.
The gameplay focuses on tactics. Instead of spending time collecting resources and building up structures and armies, players command groups of units who are thrust into battle with enemy forces. Mastery of formations and disciplined unit movement is critical to survival, where large scale maneuvers end with the fury of hand to hand combat. Myth depicts the carnage of the battlefield in all its awful glory, with fountains of blood coating the landscape, heads rolling down hills and chunks of meat and bone flying through the air trailing gore - all according to the most detailed and realistic physics model of any game on the market.
The game is easily customized with a user-programmable scripting language based on Java(tm) that will allow users to write their own scripts to reprogram monsters, change game constants, even change the rules of netgames.
Line of sight and realistic terrain also categorize this game that abandons the traditional, super-human, fantasy heros who explore and truimph in small individual battles and focuses upon the mass battles like those seen in Braveheart. Each side will be composed of units of up to ten separate character types, each with their own weapon type and statistics for hit ratio, hit points, strike rates, damage points, and other points. The good side will have warriors fighting in neat little lines, dwarves lobbing exploding hand grenades, Firbolgs that shoot arrows, warlocks, berserkers, giants, and griffons. On the evil dark side are axe weilding ghouls, exploding wights, slow-moving undead thrall, vampyrs, trow, myrmidons, and others
Each individual combattant can have their own name and will have their own individual statistics. Those statistics will be subject to modification by an editor.
There will be over 25 scenario battles comprising 10 chapters in the single player campaign game which will chronicle the tale of the Fallen Lords. Relics, specials, and weapons will be used to triumph in these linked and scripted missions.
Control of the combattants will be by a combination of mouse and hot key commands which will make control easy so that the real-time combat with large numbers of characters is manageable. Terrain will be important in strategy, archers on a hill, surrounded by fighters will have an advantage. Facing will be equally important, so that a unit attacked from the rear will suffer massive losses due to surprise.
The story driving the game is exceptionally well developed, wherein a pantheon of Fallen Lords and their minions lay waste to the denizens of a fantasy world. Though a player may command hundreds of units, each of them has their own identity and, if they survive, will improve their fighting skills from one level to the next.
Photoshop Maps have many shades, styles, and color combinations. Since the maps are not tile based the elevations and textures of the lanscapes promise to be the most realistic available. Hills, valleys, rivers and other terrain features will have true depth and will be easily molded to represent the real world. One of the most striking aspects of the graphics is all the blood, broken and lost weapons, dismembered limbs, severed heads, and entrails that litter the battlefields. Instead of making characters and their blood miraculasly disappear after each battle, Bungie actually wants to show the gore all piled up and littering the battlefield. Another aspect of the game is that the camera is free to move over the battle field and to provide unique zoomable and ever changing cinematic views. This shows in sharp contrast to the strategy games in the past that had fixed overhead or fixed oblique perspective that could be moved around but where the camera angle could not be changed. You have complete control over the camera angle.
Sound EffectsActive panning stereo sound will compliment arrows in flight, waves on the shore, grenade and wight explosions, and many other sounds enhancing the three dimensional environment.
UtilitiesThe editor which will come with the game will allow the game player to adjust all the statistics as they apply to the entire battlefield or to individual characters. The game editor works similar to Java, the internet animation tool.
Since it's from Bungie, Myth will also deliver outstanding network gaming. Cross-platform networking will allow players to battle with small strike teams or mighty legions, while Bungie's MetaServer makes playing over the Internet as easy as over the office LAN. Myth will include maps designed specifically for network play, and alternate networking scenarios like Assassin, Capture the Flag, King of the Hill and more.
A player with a PC and the game will be able to play with another with a Macintosh and the game.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
JournalistsGlenn loves mindless violence and gore and feels that Myth measures up to his Clockwork Orange standard.
ReferencesBungie Myth Web Site Rob Smith, PC Games, volume 4, number 3, March, 1997, pg. 53-54.
MacAddict Online, 12/96
PC Gamer, 1/97
PC Games, 1/97
Computer Games Strategy Plus, 1/97
Scott Udell, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 76, March, 1997, pg. 40-43.
Glenn Broderick, Computer & Net Player, volume 3, number 11, April, 1997, pg. 32.