GameOver Game Reviews - Braveheart (c) Eidos Interactive, Reviewed by - 2XHelix & Lobo

Game & Publisher Braveheart (c) Eidos Interactive / Red Lemon
System Requirements Pentium 166, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 65%
Date Published , ,

Divider Left By: 2XHelix Divider Right

Braveheart, the movie, was released in 1994. It was an epic story, showing the heroics of a famous legend, William Wallace. Mel Gibson played the roll of the warrior who returned to his homeland after many years. The basis of the story is that the King of Scotland has died without an heir, and the King of England (a ruthless Pagan known as Edward the Longshank) seizes the thrown. Wallace becomes the leader of a small army determined to vanquish the greater English force. His passion and courage is why they called William Wallace, ?Braveheart?. The movie was a smashing success, while the game itself that follows the same plot line fails to be a hit.

The graphics in Braveheart were supposed to showcase some of the most brilliant designs and craftmanship ever seen before. The designers claimed to have 400,000 polygons just for the landscape alone. As we have seen from such games as Kingpin, polygons do not enhance the game as much as well thought out textures. The textures used in Bravehart were so bland and ugly that the graphics appeared to be on the same par as Might and Magic 7.

Now we move on to units. Instead of using sprites, Bravehart uses polygonal units as well. Now imagine having 500 units. Now if we do some math here, we will find that if there are highly detailed units, then the game would halt to a crawl whenever there are too many units on the screen. But since this game is about creating larger armies and moving them in formations, the result is low quality units. They are virtually walking sticks with ugly textures. Now, there are even more serious problems to the graphics engine in Bravehart. This comes with clipping while moving the cameras. A nice option is to move the camera to the soldier?s view. Unfortunately, the sides of the soldier often block the view of the combat area. When moving around from the fly-by-cam, for some strange reason, walls will disappear into the ground. Overall the graphics were a disappointment. For a game of this calibre, it did not capture my imagination nor did it set the environment needed for a successful game.

If a game allows you to press a few buttons to get what you want accomplished, you would agree with me when I say the game?s interface is well designed and easy to use. In Bravehart there are about 100 or more buttons to click, and often you don?t even get close to what you orginally intended. For example, lets say you wanted to send a caravan to a neighboring city. This seems simple, but yet very complex in the game. First you must select the trade, then you have to click which city, then you have to choose the type of caravan, then you have to select how much protection you want for the caravan, then you have to choose either to buy or sell, then depending of if you buy or sell, you have to manually click and drag coins over to the caravan cart, then you have to right click and left click on more check boxes that I am no longer going to explain. A simple task, but daunting to perform in the game. Now the actual combat system is pretty basic, nothing special here. You can create formations, then go and attack. If you have a leader present, your army will perform better. Now I didn?t feel that much of a difference between each clan. I wish I could have, but I did not.

The gameplay in Bravehart is not for the impatient, nor is it for anyone who does not like to handle a complex amount of buttons. Bravehart is complex, but the complexity of this game is it?s own downfall. The lack of rational organization of buttons and check boxes makes this game incredibility hard to play.

An area where I was seriously laughing was the sound department. The tutorial voice over was so horribly recorded. There are cracks and pops in the background and the quality of the voice is lower than if you had recorded it yourself with your computer. I might be wrong, but do all the units sound the same in the game? The only difference in clans at the beginning is the description of each clan in a ubiquitous Scottish accent. The in game sounds are typical grunts and ?yes sir? deals. The music overture is typical, and it fits the game genre. The sound in this game is about average with today?s games.

In multiplayer, you can either choose just a battle, or an actual scenario. In battle mode, you get a set amount of points to purchase units. Overall multiplayer was handled quite nicely. However I felt there was lag most of the time, even when playing across my own network.

To be honest, I love strategy games, especially historically based ones. I was completely devastated by the lack of creativity and the quality of this game. The game often crashes, issued commands sometimes don?t behave the way you want them too, and the game is too slow and tedious. Overall I have a hard time recommending this game to anyone.

Rating System
Overall Impression6/10


Divider Left By: Lobo Divider Right

After what seems quite some time, Eidos has released Braveheart. The game is based on the multi-award-winning motion picture of the same name. The movie certainly had audiences? hearts racing during the barbaric and action packed battle scenes and heart wrenching love scenes. I, on the other hand, felt that if a game developer would produce a game based on the film with as much action, blood, guts, and gore it would be a resounding success. That?s exactly what Red Lemon and Eidos had planned to do.

The storyline to Braveheart has not been set exactly as the movie told it. Instead, it has been slightly adjusted to allow more freedom in terms of gameplay. For example, it gives the possibility of winning or losing. The storyline is therefore this: It is the 13th century and times in Scotland have just turned for the worse. The king of Scotland has died without having a son to take the throne from him, so the ruthless king of England, Longshanks, has taken the throne for himself and plans on making Scotland bow to his command. You, on the other hand, have a different plan. Your job, as the leader of a clan of Scotland, is to trade, build weapons, research, defy enemies and lead them to victory as Scotland?s heroes.

When I first entered the game, I was pleased to see a bright and simple interface. This certainly motivated me to get stuck in the game. The options menu was made very simple to easily configure your pc?s capability. I eagerly clicked on Single Player and then set the type of game I wanted to play with ease. It was not long before I was in my first game of Braveheart. I felt my Celeron 450, Voodoo2, 64megs RAM would be enough to handle the game and I was right. I had no problems with lag throughout the game. The graphics were very well done in all aspects of the game, which nowadays, is vitally important to the success of a game. Although there was room for improvement in the graphics of the battles, towns, and people, I was not disappointed.

The game itself is a mix of all types of games from Civilization to Myth to Heroes of Might and Magic. You're able to command your troops to produce goods or send them on trade routes. You can also send spies to other clans and train armies for battle. The range of different things you can do is huge. In the beginning, everything is very complicated with many little icons and commands to get you in and around the game (I strongly recommend taking the tutorial before you begin your first game). While you are busy running your clan by building new weapons, researching new things, foretelling the future and preparing armies, you are confronted by situations that require you to zoom in on a location and command your units. This brings you into the ?Myth? and ?Might and Magic? genre of gameplay where you control your units or armies to move, attack, defend, etc. This certainly adds originality to the game. Overall I think the graphics are well above average.

When taking a close inspection of the sound in Braveheart, I was not disappointed in any way. The speech of Robert Bruce in the tutorial was crisp and clean. All the other sounds like unit acknowledgements, ?clicking sounds? were all signs of much attention paid by Red Lemon. The only thing I found that bugged me was the lack of variety in the unit speech. There is also no support for 3d sound engines or surround systems, which I guess weren?t a huge necessity. Other than that, I had no big problems with the sound. In fact, I relished the sound of a well-pronounced, crisp voice of Robert Bruce. In most games the speech is too overdone.

The controls for Braveheart are simple yet extremely redundant. The only important keys used in the game are your basic directional keys. The mouse does the rest of the work. And what a lot of work at that! You spend most of your time clicking madly away at all the icons and dragging items across the screen. This is justified by the fact that most of the game is spend outside of the rendered world. Besides that, the controls of Braveheart are not that intense. This game focuses mainly on using your brain to think up strategic moves. All that the controls are there for, is to make what you see in your mind, appear on the screen. That?s if your mind has anything to show.

Braveheart supports all types of multiplayer options, Tcp/Ip, IPX, Modem and Internet are the sum total which is exactly what I was looking for. Eidos has definitely focused largely on the multiplayer aspect of the game and I feel it has paid off. They give you the chance to charge your fearsome armies at you best friend and watch him fall to your might in a LAN game. If thrashing your local friends isn?t enough, you can spread the chaos to the Internet. Using M-Player?s online game services, you can be battling against armies from all over the world without any trouble. The multiplayer section is certainly a strong point in the game and I think Eidos deserves the much credit for it.

It may have been a long wait for me, but Braveheart is finally here. Unfortunately it didn?t live up to all I had hoped, but it is still a very well done game. For those of you who enjoy Civilization type games, then this is definitely the game for you. And for the action lovers, there?s plenty of combat, although the battles aren?t nearly as exciting as in the movie. Overall, I think Braveheart is an above-average game.


  • Variety
  • Intelligent
  • Multiplayer


  • Battles (to a certain extent)
  • Boring
  • Complicated

    Rating System
    Overall Impression7/10

  • Rating

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