"Did You Know: The music of IL-2: Birds of Prey was composed by Jeremy Soule, the prolific comoposer for games such as Oblivion, Supreme Commander, Total Annihilation, and Prey. "

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Warlords: Battlecry By John "Award" Del Percio, November 2, 2000
Developer :SSG
Publisher :SSI
Release Date :Mid-Summer
Demo Available : Yes - Download
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

A Plot, A Plot, My Kingdom for a Plot!

I started the game out with the 1.1 patch installed. The game has crashed on me once, and only once. It is a fairly flawless game (something that seems to be getting more and more difficult to say.) As the intro movie began to play, I found myself getting into the storyline rather quickly. The story focuses around the Prophecy of the Two Tears. One good, one evil, both destructive. A white mage and his apprentice are ambushed by an evil creature on their return from witnessing the fall of the Tears. It seemed like the perfect storyline, until you get into the game. That is the last you'll ever see of the storyline. Every level (which takes a bit too long to load on a P2-233) starts out with some characters in a dialogue advancing the story, but aside from that the game has an incredibly flat feeling to it. No personality, no style, not even a cool futuristic impending doom feeling like Earth 2150.

Travel the path oft taken
Burn the path oft taken
War of the pigeons!
Where am I?

Sometimes lack of a storyline isn't enough to condemn a game on alone, but without personality, it really does feel flat. On top of the storyline, the graphics leave something to be desired. While they would have been wonderful about two years ago, for 2000 though, it appears somewhat obsolete. Nevertheless, that's not to say the graphics are bad. They are 2D, sure, but the artwork in the game is rather nice, and the graphics engine is rather pretty, if obsolete. Especially where the animations are concerned, they obviously spent far more time designing the animation frames than Blizzard did on Starcraft and Diablo II. It looks rather smooth and clean.

A smithy's shop
The castle
The spell page
More battle

One of the things that really mutilated my gaming experience was the sound. Some of the sound effects were done rather well. The voice overs, and the building, unit, combat, and constructions sound pretty good. The wind effects sound like something that would have been far better placed in DOOM, and the unit speech sounds like it's back from WarcraftII. All of this; however, mounts up to nothing when compared to the music. I'm not sure what on earth SSG was thinking when they put that music in a game newer than two years ago, but they certainly weren't thinking of people's eardrums'. The midi-style synthesized music, while it does feel very medieval, sounded so synthesized that it was nearly offensive. Rest assured you won't be listening to those tracks while you work.

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