|Genre: Strategy & War|
|Min OS X: 10.6|
Requirements:Mac OS X: 10.6.3 | CPU: 2.16 GHz Intel Processor | RAM: 1 GB | HD Space: 1.5 GB Graphics: GeForce 8600, Radeon X1600 or newer 128 MB | Requires Majesty 2 to play
Review:There really isn't much you can add to a game like Majesty 2. New heroes, perhaps. New campaigns, always! In this case, it's just the latter. Battles Of Ardania, from Virtual Programming comes with four new multiplayer maps, several new monsters, new sets of weapons, and the quite expansive new eight mission Heirs of the Night campaign. It revolves around a monster uprising created by a shadowy figure, which leads to the creation of a large number of dangerous creatures like werewolf nobles and paladin rats. They aren't too dangerous alone, but they don't come.... alone.
The gameplay is one-hundred-percent unchanged in the new campaign, and it doesn't bring anything you haven't seen before. Each mission has a series of pre-spawned monster dens that spew monsters your way, you fulfill the requirements for various small quests, and you build up an army of heroes to eventually swarm the concentrations of enemy encampments. It's nothing new, but it's still a welcome addition in lieu of what everyone really wants, the Majesty random level generator.
You can use the level editor included with patch 1.3 to create levels if you want, but the classic level generator just made the experience so streamlined. You'd pick your modifiers, like spawning trolls from the edges of the map, creating every monster wave in the game over time, or even just a mild vampire placement. It allowed for endless replayability, and was easily one of the best points about Majesty. Until it's included in an expansion or patch, no level expansions will be enough.
When considering the included campaign, though, it's still plenty fun. The final boss level seems a little too long for how easy it is, but it's sufficiently climatic to allow for a full use of your level thirty-eight paladins and archers of Helia. Some of the levels in the middle are slightly unforgiving, though. There's one in particular where you have to completely repair various ancient guard towers scattered around the map. If you miss even one, you can't finish the mission. This wouldn't be that bad, but you don't even find out you've lost until the time ticks out for the mission. Defending them is also darn hard unless you completely ignore rangers. Their scouting tends to reveal the towers before you're ready.
If you're used to handling the nasty bosses from Majesty 2, though, all of the expansion levels are easy to handle. You still have access to the magical artifacts, so you can always pump the orb for money and the crown for defense. There are also loads of locations for temples in a few missions, so you can mass up on the impenetrable doomsday warriors, the paladins. When you get around eight of those over level sixteen, nothing can stop you. You still have to be careful around the groups of fifteen of the tougher rat paladins, but you can handle those with a few clerics on the side.
The overall experience can really just be summed up in a few words. It's just like Majesty. The graphics are the same, with a few new monsters, the sounds are the same, with a few new grunts and squeaks, and the gameplay is the same, with a few new missions. If nothing else, it'll give you at least another fifteen hours of playtime, which makes the price worthwhile. You can do a lot worse for $15.
Pros: Long campaign will keep you busy for hours
Final boss battle allows players to make full use of their high level heroes
Cons: Still no random level generator option