Dark Omen is the sequel to Shadow of the Horned Rat, based on the ever popular table top wargaming universe by Games Workshop . You play Morgan Bernhardt, Mercenary Captain of the Grudgebringers liberating the land from evil in exchange for gold and glory. Dark Omen is definitely way better and improved over Shadow of the Horned Rat which was *tough* even for the first few missions. And shameless to say I had to resort to cheating in SoTHR (but only once or twice methinks) but i digress...
In Dark Omen, you reprise your role as Bernhardt, this time out to liberate the lands from the scourge of Darkness(read: the Dread King). You start off with your core troops; The Grudgebringer Cavalry, Infantry, Cannon and Archers. As you progress other regiments from all over the kingdom will join you upwards to a max of 10 regiments. WoHoooo! And along the way you battle hordes of the living dead and meet all manner of characters. And depending on your choices, the plot runs different.
Dark Omen is beautifully done in 3D which means this time around you get to freely pan the camera for the best angle on the battlefield. And stuff like elevation and Line of Sight(LOS) counts in DO. Even the controls are much more simplified; in fact it's easier to tell your troops what to do now than in SOTHR.
And you just have to check out the pyrotechnics. And the bloody gibs when ur cannon scores a direct hit on a band of Orcs. Muahahhaha! watch em turn tail as their Orc cousins are reduced to a shower of steaming entrails and disembodied parts. Ick!
And there's more new stuff: new magic, new weapons, new Allies, assorted monsters and the obligatory legions of Undead. There's even a Steam Tank, which I've yet to acquire.
Heck, Mindscape/EA even threw in talking heads and some really cool cutscenes to move the story along. APPLAUSE APPLAUSE !
And the cutscenes are to die for. The last time cutscenes and engaging plots were used to such good effect was in Command & Conquer and Warcraft II. Sometimes I wonder why other developers never caught on to this level of interactivity. I've played a few other games that gave you a spreadhsheet after every mission. Interactivity? Believability? Yeah right. I had more fun working w Excel.
Complaints? Well, the only one I can think off is the fact that your archers or cannon units will keep firing at the enemy even when they've entered melee with your troops causing some serious 'friendly fire' incidents. The AI shud be able to determine that friendly units may get killed and so automatically stops firing. I noticed the enemy behaves this way so why wasn't it extended to your own troops?
Anyways Mindscape/Electronic Arts really hit the mother lode this time. Excellent work guys. Can we expect some add on missions later? :-)
Um thats it everyone. Enjoy!
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