Campaign 2

Title           Campaign 2
Game Type       3D Combat Sim
Company		Empire Software
Author		Johnathan Griffiths
Players         1
Compatibility   All (WB1.2+ and 1 meg RAM)
HD installable  Yes
Submission      John Burns ( Profiled Reviewer

"Once upon a time, late '93 to be precise, a young man armed only with his
wallet strolled into a store to have a look at what games were on offer
and there it was, a large 10"x8"x2" box with the silver embossed title
`Campaign II' emblazoned on the front. Our young hero was immediately
captivated after reading of the promised wealth of gameplay contained
within. With eager anticipation he purchased a copy and hurried off home
to introduce this new game to his faithful Amiga..."

On opening the box you find 3 booklets and 2 disks. The 3 booklets are a
178 page equipment fact finder (required for the game protection), an
equally large and comprehensive instruction manual and a smaller
(thankfully) booklet titled `Images of War' containing approx 30 quite
good quality pictures of, well take a guess. Of the two disks only the
second is required to play the game; the first contains the intro sequence
which is mediocre and I doubt you'll watch it more than once.

Playing the game can be split into two parts, firstly a planning/strategy
stage and secondly, a combat section. So far pretty standard fare for a
wargame. However, it is in the combat section that Campaign 2 differs
from most, if not all, others by including a 3D battle option where you
take direct control of any single unit on the battlefield. Before we can
get to this stage though there are some things to be done.

You start the game on the main map screen from which you direct your
units/formations and generally plan your campaign. So far everything
works okay, the menu system being reasonable and, unlike some strategy
games, you don't have mountains of statistics to weigh you down before
making decisions. The first annoyance I found was that once your units
start to close with the enemy, (a fact which you are already aware of as
enemy units are shown on the map too), they flash up a requester stating
that they have sighted the enemy. You must then manually acknowledge this
requester before you can proceed. Not too annoying you may think until
you realise that if you have been moving a Brigade or larger formation
towards the enemy you will be getting the same report from each individual
Regiment therein. Hopefully, after spending a few minutes cancelling
requester after requester, one of your units will report that they are
about to do battle.

Here you can decide whether to take manual control of the battle or
automatic and let the computer determine the outcome. If you take control
you will have the option to fight the battle from an overhead map view
perspective (best option) or go to the 3D battle screen. As previously
mentioned you take control of an individual unit, a tank for instance,
acting as the driver, gunner or both if you wish (and are mad). Maybe
it's just me but I found it almost impossible to hit anything unless
stationary or at point blank range and, if you're stationary,  guess what
happens?  Your tank gets knocked out at which point you transfer to
another unit only to have the same thing happen again, and again, get the
idea. If you select automatic you will invariably suffer either defeat or
sustain damage to your unit unfairly. In other strategy games, such as
Dune 2, one can accept that the AI is biased.  However, in a game such as
this which is attempting to mimic reality one cannot forgive such flaws.
In the Yom Kippur war, (one of the scenarios supplied), a main reason for
the Israeli victory lay in their superior ground and air forces, both in
training and equipment. Does the game reflect this, sadly no. Oh, by the
way, I don't advise trying to play the 3D section on anything less than an
A1200, I once tried it on a friends A1500 and it was slower than a very,
very slow thing, even with all the display detail options set at minimum.
So that's basically how you spend most of your time cancelling requesters,
fighting tedious battle sequences or getting shafted by the AI.

In summary then, this is a game which tries hard to be two types of game
and ultimately fails to be much of either. If you want a 3D arcade type
tank battle I advise trying one of the Team Yankee series, infinitely more
enjoyable and satisfying. If it's tactical strategy you're after then
there are lots of others to choose from (infact even the tactical element
of Team Yankee is better than this). I really would have liked to
recommend this game as I prefer strategy games to most other genres.
Unfortunately, it has so many small niggly points that even when you
successfully complete a campaign there is no sense of achievement or
enjoyment, rather one of relief that you're finished. In its favour, well
the pictures (6"x5"), in the booklet, are good quality and printed on good
quality paper suitable for framing, hell they've even perforated the
edge of the pages to enable you to remove them. Oh, I almost forgot to
mention that there is a map editor included so that you can set up your
own campaigns - hmmm, what's the point once you begin to play it's still
going to be the same game.

To conclude, I must rank this as the second worst gaming purchase I ever
made. The worst? Anyone remember Epic, yeah that piece of dung. (What's
this, a second review?).

"...but what of our young hero?  Well thankfully his faithful Amiga
forgave him his errors of judgement and, apart from a few minor buyout
problems, they lived happily ever after. The End."

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