Battle Isle 2200 is the second title in Blue Byte's Battle Isle series. After a long space flight, the player arrives on the planet of Chromos and must save the planet's civilization from the Titan-net Empire. Titan-net, the computer overfiend of part one, and its allies have begun a devastating final campaign against all Drullian forces. The player commands the forces with the computer "military operations console", nicknamed MilOp.
Set in a futuristic world, players fight in turn-based scenarios against the computer army of Titan Net. The battlefield is organized in hex fields. Each time a battle takes place, a 3D polygon animation sequence is started and shows the results of the battle.
Includes Scenario Add-on - Titan's Legacy.
Battle Isle 2, the successor to the famous first part, is a truly unique strategy game. The designers combined the good parts of the predecessor with a brand new warfare concept. Whereas in the first game you could either move your units or attack in a turn, you can do both things in the same turn in this game. This brings new tactics and strategies and was adopted in many later games. When it came out in 1994, Battle Isle 2 was one of the first games which used this method of round-based combat, so at that time it was revolutionary.
As for the story: It continues where the first part ended. After you finished the game, a Drull spaceship (these are the good guys) comes for you and takes you to their planet which is under attack by Titan Net. You are the chosen one, who shall lead the army of the Drulls to victory.
After the intro which tells the story described above, you are thrown straight into the first mission of the main campaign which comprises twenty-four battles. The battles get tougher and tougher as you move towards your goal to defeat Titan Net. The maps are well made, but later missions become very hard to win, even on lower difficulty levels.
The strategic aspect of the game is superb; it has tons of units, from infantry robots through tanks and planes to huge battleships, each with different attributes and weapons systems, making most of them vital for the game, so you will have to use most of them to achieve victory. Many units have more than one weapon, which gives you even more flexibility when using them. Another good thing is that units gain experience, which does make a difference in this game, as veteran units get huge bonuses and can often hold off more powerful but inexperienced units. The map also has strategic value, as the weather and the terrain will have an impact on your tactics.
The graphics looked very good at the time of release, but today the best word to describe them would be 'functional', although the handpainted maps and the rendered units between the battles still look good. The music and sound effects are also nothing special. The user interface is quite easy to use once you have got the hang of it - but that will take some time, as it is a bit unconventional. I would rate the game at 4, as it is very good, but too difficult for Joe Gamer, who will become frustrated after some missions.
Battle Isle 2 is truly one of the best strategy games of the era, though one of the most difficult ones. If you have tons of free time and like a challenge, you should try defeating Titan Net.
Part of the Battle Isle series
Battle Isle II follows upon the formula Blue Byte previously used in Battle Isle and History Line, but with some heavy changes. The result is a game that LOOKS familiar to Battle Isle veterans, but plays with a much more enjoyable and enticing experience.
There's actually a plot behind this one-- and a good one at that. You are 'kidnapped' from your home world and brought to another world to help them defend themselves. It seems their planet is being attacked by aliens, and they want you to command their battle forces. Do so, and you can return to your homeworld if you wish with many riches and awards lavished upon you. This information is told to you in a sharp looking (for its day) intro with text and nice graphics. While the story may seem far-fetched to some people ("what, me worry?"), during the game you get information and advice from many other people in pop-up text buttons with graphics. The inclusion of a story behind this game is the first step that makes Battle Isle II an enjoyable game.
You only have the option of the one campaign, although you can jump ahead with passwords and play aganist another human, but the computer AI is quite good and will probaly pound you until you get used to the game. The screen is 'whole' this time -- no split screen! -- and has nice looking VGA graphics. Controls are also pretty easy -- usuing the mouse or keyboard, you still move a icon around, but clicking on a unit in a icon brings up a number of options on the bottom bar. Select what you want by moving the mouse over it and click, and cancel by a right-click. To make life even easier, the mouse cursor is 'pre-selected' to be over the most common commands when you select a unit -- either Move or Attack. In that case, a quick double-click will instantly allow you to move or attack your unit -- no seperate phases this time. There is not a lot of music or sounds in the game but what their is is good, and despite the difficulty of the AI at first, you can easily get into it.
The most serious knock aganist the game is how some information is conveyed. When you look at a unit, for example, it's not clear how much damage it has taken. There are two numbers way over on the right side of the information bar at the bottom of the screen -- the top one is the combat strength of the unit. You'll have to look at this before you enter combat to know what the 'normal' health of your unit is. Also, the battle screen -- when it shows both units shooting at the same time at each other -- is good looking, with its 3D presentation of the battle units, but you may not be able to see how much damage was actually done to the other unit because their units are on the OTHER side of the battle field. Annoying, to say the least. You'll have to look after the battle to figure it out.
These downsides, though, do not overshadow what works in this game. Blue Byte kept the basic formula from Battle Isle and History Line in Battle Isle II -- a tactical, "light" war game, broken into battlefields and with many different units and factories to buid new ones -- and added in new stuff such as easier and more streamlined controls, a good story, better graphics, music and sound effects, and a good AI. If you liked other Blue Byte games, you'll love this one. For a new player to tactical wargames, this one is also one of the most easy to control and challenging games you can get started with. It may look simple compared to modern war games, but its still a blast to play!
People who downloaded Battle Isle 2 have also downloaded:
Battle Isle, Battle Isle 93: The Moon of Chromos, History Line: 1914-1918 (a.k.a. Great War: 1914-1918, The), Allied General, Panzer General 2, Battle Isle 3: Shadow of the Emperor (a.k.a. Battle Isle 2220), ANNO 1602: Creation of a new world, Battle Commander
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