Myth: The Fallen Lords

6Myth is a 3D melee of a good time.

Introducing Myth: The Fallen Lords, a tactical strategy game from Chicago’s Bungie Software, best known for its popular Marathon trilogy. Unlike strategy titles that focus on troop generation, collecting and managing various resources, building structures, and developing new technologies, Myth is all about tactical placement of the units you’re given – a bloody battle on the front lines against a slew of unique creatures in a multitude of environments and conditions.

Much like later games such as Total War, Myth was famous for adopting a true 3D engine with a fluid camera, so the player can pan around in three dimensions in order to see his troops more efficiently. You can zoom in or out, spin and orbit around their heads, or fly over the landscape in any direction. This sounds like more of a novelty than a necessity, right? Wrong; manipulating your point of view is essential to winning the game. For example, if you send three of your warriors behind a house to slay a Ghol, you must swing the view around to see what’s going on.

Myth uses physics to good effect as well, as explosions send body parts clear into the air, arrows get stuck in trees, rocks and severed heads heads roll down hills, and blood permanently stains the landscape. Coupled with the true physics model, the 3D terrain makes for a more immersive, interactive, and realistic battle experience since elevation level and environmental factors play an integral role. Archers on hills have a better shot than in a valley, while some units are unable to climb steep slopes. Rain may put out the dwarven firebombs, and snow will slow your men down as well as leave tracks behind for your enemies to follow.

Unfortunately, not all is glorious in Myth. There are a few problems with the AI of your troops and other control issues. Remember the early days of WarCraft when you would select a soldier to move somewhere and they’d take the long, illogical way around? Often, it’s the same issue here. Other times, I’ll be lining up my troops in a formation (a different pattern from the pre-set keys), but a soldier will not step into position even though there is plenty of room for him.


Eww! Talk about beating a dead horse!

An even scarier problem is when your Dwarves throw homemade grenades right in the middle of your men! Granted, as with most strategy games, when your troops are being approached they attack automatically. This is helpful, but in the case with the Dwarves, I often wonder which side they’re on. Even your Warriors will amusingly yell “Watch Your Fire!” or “Damn Your Eyes.” It makes you wonder why Bungie acknowledged this problem with unit comments but didn’t take the time to repair it. But overall, Myth: The Fallen Lords is an above average single and multiplayer title, with enough fun to make it worthwhile.

System Requirements: P III 1Ghz, 256 MB RAM, 4 GB HDD, 32 MB Video, Win98

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