History: Blue Byte Software has been in business since 1988, quietly cranking out games for Accolade and Strategic Simulations Incorporated. Blue Byte has offices in Germany, Great Britain, and Schaumburg, IL (U.S.A.). Some of the games developed by Blue Byte include Pro Tennis Tour, Serf City, The Battle Isle Series, and The Great War. Blue Byte is following the other Battle Isle games, including the last game, Battle Isle 2200 with one of their first products to be produced under their own label.
Sales of product overseas has been brisk and supporting of the new independent company move, but U. S. sales have not been enough to get excited about. Blue Byte hopes their new address in Illinois will help increase these sales.
Plot: The full motion video (FMV) is poorly acted and the resultant plot is confusing and does not relate to the game according to some of the other reviewers. While the FMV visual is good normally with quarter screen at 640x480 in a screen mask. In full screen mode the FMV is pretty poor.
Cairo is a female representative to an oppressive global government, headed by Ben Harris, the son of a great ruler. She decides she isnít gona take it anymore when she leaves the council one day to return home. She crash lands her transport on an island filled with an ancient Drullian empireís advanced military technology. She finds the mind of an ancient emperor, Punt Vassius, still alive on one of the computers in the ancient ruins. The emperor charges her to win one for the Gipper, and so a massive battle for the control of the planet begins.
Gameplay: There are 64 land, air, and sea units, including robots, tanks, submarines, repair units, naval vessels, and air units, to pilot through various weather effects. Units, supply lines and defensive structures must be built, fueled, upgraded to elite and maintained. Weather and changing terrain should be monitored. Build and destroy roads, rails and bridges.
Many military factors are taken into account in the battles. In addition to those mentioned above there are also troop experience, fog of war, supply. Other than the you-been-there-you-can-see-everything that we see in most games, the fog of war is realistic depending upon line of sight, distance and weather from the units deployed in the field. A unit out of supply can run out of ammunition and fuel making them sitting ducks. Troop experience accounts for the balance that tips the scales in many battles no matter how good you are at playing the game. Neglect developing troop experience and you will have to start the game over from scratch.
Interface: The battle interface has a large top-down, third-person perspective map view on the right of the screen, with a smaller map at top left. Pictures and statistics of selected units appear in either large or small windows on the lower left. Along the bottom of the screen are the command buttons for directing troop movements, and controlling the units. You are going to be doing a lot of clicking to keep these units moving.
Modes: You can play tutorial, campaign, or head to head over a network. Single player mode is only available after defeating a level in the campaign and you need a code to access the mission after this point. So if you forget where you wrote down the code you have to go back to playing the campaign again. This is the kind of difference that shouts European game to many U.S. game players who demand more choice and control over their game experience.
Campaign: Campaign mode requires management of resources of energy, units, and material. There are 20 mission maps that must be traversed for victory. Up to 400 units can appear on any map. Mission objectives are flexible and can change in battle, by outside orders
Graphics: Texture-mapped, three-dimensional graphic battle terrain, structure and units are cut scene movies after you give your battle commands. These sequences are unfortunately devoid of any connection to the top down strategy game. It is unfortunate that you cannot pilot the 64 vehicles that you can control on the top-down map. The game is played out on three-dimensional map display with fully rendered units, structures, and terrain.
Animation is smoother with Microsoft WinG and Video for Windows compatibility running on a 32-bit game engine.
Voice actors: The audio skipped on one of our Pentium 133 MHz system on the final disk.
Music cannot be replaced in the computer CD ROM drive with music CDs.
Multiplayer: Twelve different multi-player maps come with the game. Up to six computer, human, or mixed human and computer players can play on Novell or Windows networks. Each player has to buy his own copy of the game to play, which seems to go against the trend of Sierra and others to give each person who buys the game two CDs. No mention of null modem, phone modem, or internet play is made in the documentation.
Tutorial: Eight tutorial maps guide the player though learning the game and online help is available even during the game to answer questions.
Pat Miller, Computer Gaming World, number 144, July, 1996, pg. 32-33. Warm (66%)
Karoly Somogyvari, www.gamepen.com/ledge/games/bisle/bi2220.html, (85%)
www.cdmag.com/war_vault/battle_isle_2220/page1.html, 3.5/5, (70%).