Bungie Software (www.bungie.net) has recently re-released two of their most popular games: Myth: The Fallen Lords, and its sequel, Myth II: Soulblighter, in one package. They threw in the strategy guides for both games, as well as added some of the content that has been created since the original release, and called the 3 CD compilation Myth: The Total Codex.
There are many reviews of these games available elsewhere. This review will cover the Codex in particular, and assume that you have knowledge of at least one of the games in the Myth series already.
The Total Codex departs from the original games by including 40 plug-ins, a manual for the plug-ins, Chimera, and a strategy guide for each of the games.
Myth plug-ins are components that modify the game, often extensively. One of the most popular is a WWII version, which changes Myth from a fantasy setting to one of WWII, including tanks and Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launchers. Not only does it have a very different look, but a different gameplay and strategy. Although these plug-ins are available on the net for free, it’s nice to have them available in one spot, and hard-imaged on a CD. Other popular plug-ins included on the Codex CD are “Assassin”, an Imperial Japanese setting; “Civil War”, to participate in the War Between The States; and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Furthermore, it’s nice to have a single ..PDF manual that includes a fictional backdrop for each plug-in, and notes from the authors. Once you progress through the single-player levels in the vanilla Myth, you can have hours more playing time by using the plug-ins: some use the original single-player levels, but many also have their own unique levels.
However, even before resorting to the plug-ins for additional playing time, the Chimera add-on expands the original game by 8 new levels, designed “to test the skills of experienced Myth players,” and “are not for the faint of heart.” This add-on is also available for free from Bungie’s site, but to have it included in the package saves a hassle, and assures a backup.
Finally, The Total Codex includes material that is not free elsewhere: a strategy guide for each game, originally sold for $15 apiece. The strategy guides expand on the material in the manuals, and provide a run-through of each level, often offering alternate routes and complete maps of all levels. I suck at Myth, and I went to the guides hoping to relieve much of my suckage. Unfortunately, they weren’t of much help—beyond the obvious (“Dwarves’ Explosive Bottles don’t explode when thrown into water”) there wasn’t much help in the way of strategy—no cunning custom formations, for example, or favored attack sequences. In a word, I still suck.
Myth: The Total Codex is a nice compilation of all that is Myth: two games, Chimera, many of the best plug-ins, and two strategy guides for when you’re really stuck on a single-player level. However, if you already have the two games, the most valuable parts of the Codex can be found on the net for free—the strategy guides aren’t worth the $20 by themselves. On the other hand, if you don’t have one of the games, there is no better deal out there.
Final score: 3 Blessings (out of 5).