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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Profiled Reviewer Review "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."