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ATPM 9.07
July 2003


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Review: Myth III: The Wolf Age

by Evan Trent,


Developer: God Games/Mumbo Jumbo, Mac version by MacSoft/Infogames

Price: $20 (Mac version available from the Apple Store)

Requirements: 400 MHz G3, Mac OS 9.2.2 or Mac OS X 10.1.3, OpenGL-compatible video card with 8 MB of VRAM, 128 MB of RAM, QuickTime 5.

Recommended: Fast video card with at least 16 MB of VRAM, 600 MHz G3.

Trial: Feature-limited (two levels of solo play, Net play only with other demo users)

For Myth fans, the announcement that there would be a sequel to Soulblighter (Myth II) was no doubt exciting. Personally I feel that both Myth and Myth II were among the best games ever to grace the Mac platform. Myth wasn’t just a great game because of its revolutionary 3D engine: it combined superb graphics, exciting gameplay, humor, intellectual legwork, and problem solving. In short, Bungie seemed to have pinned exactly the right combination of ingredients, in just the right proportion. As much fun as both games were, even Myth II was growing old and increasingly out of whack with modern day graphics cards and processors. The graphics still looked pretty impressive (especially on a 3dfx card), but clearly there was room for improvement especially given the newest generation of Macs and their performance characteristics.

Enter Myth III, which interestingly enough is not a Bungie product. God Games purchased the engine from Bungie and has refined it and developed their own sequel (actually it’s a prequel). But fear not, the result is every bit as impressive as the original series, and if anything the gameplay is more challenging.

The Graphics Engine

The new graphics engine in Myth III is much improved. For one thing, images simply look more realistic: there is more detail on characters, and more definition in landscapes. For another, the engine is optimized for, and designed around, modern graphics cards. The benefit is remarkable rendering with smooth panning, zooming, and exquisite detail when characters are magnified even during complex combat scenes. However, all of this comes at a price: a reasonably peppy machine with a fairly current video board is required. I tried running Myth III on a 500 MHz G4 tower with the stock ATI Rage 128 card, as well as a Formac video board (which I have set up for my second monitor) and on either card the game was virtually unplayable even with rendering detail all the way down, and resolution at minimum. Then I threw it on my new 15" PowerBook G4 and, conversely, I was able to play at full resolution with rendering detail cranked all the way up. So clearly the graphics performance varies depending on the hardware available, but assuming a fairly recent machine, graphics will look sensational and gameplay will be responsive.

Every aspect of the game has been freshened up a little. Even the progress bar that displays as levels load is snazzier. The entire interface is fancier, although in some cases it is sort of obnoxious because it is less intuitive and functional than a standard application (particularly when saving games and configuring settings). But that is not terribly uncommon in the world of computer gaming.


Veterans of Myth TFL and Soulblighter will find that Myth III is virtually identical in terms of gameplay. And while many familiar faces reappear in Myth III, there are new characters as well. Some of my favorites include the Dwarven Warriors who sport axes and heavy armor, and are just as grumpy and ornery as their projectile heaving brethren. Dwarven Warriors pack a mighty punch and despite being somewhat lethargic they are very effective in hand to hand combat.



The Trow are back, and play an important role in the game. But in Myth III they are still enjoying the height of their civilization. They have throngs of Ogre slaves, and the Trow themselves wear enormous suits of armor that are virtually impenetrable. Dwarves can inflict substantial damage if you have enough of them, and are able to spread them out far enough so they do not get wiped out in one swift kick from an enemy Trow. But forget using your archers as you did in the past, for they will have no effect. And hand to hand combat with Trow is a very, very bad idea in Myth III. Unless you have the game on the easiest setting, you will lose all of your men very quickly. Even on the easiest setting, your casualties will be frightening though you can actually defeat a Trow or two if you are skillful. Later on, the Trow lose their armor (when you turn their Ogre slaves against them in one of my favorite levels!) and then become easier to deal with, as in the past.





Warlocks are present on many levels and using them properly becomes an important skill if the game is to be won at a difficult setting. Archers in Myth III are able to project flaming arrows (one per archer, per level), which when combined with satchel charges can be a useful offensive. There are many other new characters as well, and too many to discuss without going into extensive detail.



In addition to new classes of characters, there are also some important individual characters that serve to bind the narrative of Myth III together. Connacht (The Wolf) is foremost among these. Described as a barbarian, he wields an axe and does so with great prowess. Myth III follows his career, as he is accompanied by other heroes. In most respects the game revolves around Connacht although he is not present in every level.



Levels, Narrative & Gameplay

I have to say that Myth III’s narrative falls somewhat short of Myth TFL and Soulblighter. Neither of those games had fabulous plots, but they seemed a little bit more well conceived and flowing to me than Myth III’s. And in some respects I feel that there are levels in Myth III that are more or less contrived. That having been said, I do not feel that this really takes away from the game in any significant sense. The plot is not a key concern—I mean let’s be realistic, it’s not as if we enjoy annihilating the enemy to smithereens because the plot is so compelling.



Some of the voices are kind of weak in Myth III as well. They are not as amusing as the Bungie voices. And some of them are just bad impressions of Bungie voices. The dwarves, for example, are fairly inconsistent and half the time they either sound constipated or simply in dire need of a cough drop. Connacht just sounds silly much of the time. So I suppose they are just as amusing as the Bungie voices, but for a different reason—in this case we are laughing at the voices, not with them. This is hardly an important consideration, and frankly were it not for the original two Myth games there would probably be little basis on which to criticize the new voices. But the original Bungie voices were very clever and highly entertaining. The new voices in Myth III sound kind of like knock-offs to me.

While the game itself it just as much fun as the previous two, I do feel that the levels in Myth III are not as strong overall. Some of the levels in the first two games were simply fantastic in that they combined landscape, characters, weather, and specific objectives in clever ways. Myth III does not accomplish this as artfully. Some of the levels, as I mentioned, seem contrived and are not nearly as entertaining. However, on the whole they are much more challenging. Some of the levels are quite difficult even on the easiest level, and I still have yet to conquer certain levels on the most difficult setting. Yet I breezed through the first two Myth games on “Legendary” without much difficulty after beating the games on the easiest setting.

Myth III’s levels are harder for a variety of reasons. For one thing, some of the enemy characters are just plain fierce. They are harder to kill, inflict more damage, and are otherwise difficult to overcome. I am not merely referring to Trow. The Myrkridia are much more vicious than they were in the past two games, and they are all over Myth III. There are other units which are like Myrkridia in terms of ferocity, speed, and strength, and still other units which present different challenges. Most legacy units such as Soulless, Ghols, and their elk are really no more difficult than in the past and are dealt with in similar fashion. But there are some levels where the authors simply piled on the enemy units to the point where they grossly outnumber yours. True, this was the case in Myth and Myth II, but the ferocity of some of the units, combined with their sheer numbers equates to some very challenging levels in Myth III.

I am not so much complaining about this aspect of the game because, as I mentioned, Myth III is still proving challenging for me and a handful of levels are really driving me nuts on the hardest setting. I consider this to be positive, as I like a good challenge and prefer not to beat a game after one week of play. But it is worth mentioning. The fun in Myth III comes more from the challenge of winning than from the actual design of the levels themselves. In Myth TFL and Soulblighter, I really enjoyed setting up my characters on cliffs and ambushing enemy units and goofing around because I knew I would win the level regardless. In Myth III, the fun comes more from figuring out how to beat the level, not in toying with the enemy.

Network Play

I did not get a chance to engage in any network play because I did not see very many Myth III games hosted on, which is the Net-wide server directory for Myth and Myth II multi-player games. However, Myth III does support network play, and I imagine it would be just as much fun as Myth or Myth II but with better graphics and all the other benefits that come from the new engine. As I understand it, however, you cannot use Myth II maps or other plug-ins with Myth III. So until new maps are more widely available, network game play may be somewhat slow to catch on. Nevertheless, you can always play multi-player games over a LAN, or host your own game on!

So Go Buy It

Buying Myth III was a no-brainer for me. I loved the first two Myth games, and had been craving a new set of levels, and an engine that would take advantage of, and showcase, my newer video board. I do have a 3dfx board in my G4 tower, and Myth II on that machine looks pretty good, even by today’s standards. But there is no comparison to Myth III. Myth III smokes Myth II in terms of graphics performance and speed, and it is a pleasure to play for that reason. The ability to zoom way in and enjoy exquisite detail, or zoom way out and move around briskly while maintaining shadows, reflections, and extensively rendered landscapes does really add to the gaming experience. Everything about Myth and Myth II that impressed in terms of graphics is that much more impressive in Myth III. While the levels may not be quite as well designed as Bungie’s, and the plot is a little hokey, overall Myth III is a worthy successor to Soulblighter. The graphics are stunning, the gameplay is highly entertaining, and on the most difficult setting some of the levels are incredibly challenging. If you enjoyed Myth or Myth II, you really owe it to yourself to go out and grab a copy of Myth III!

Reader Comments (10)

anonymous · July 2, 2003 - 10:57 EST #1
Oh, please. Digging up this lousy excuse for a Mac game is a disservice to your readers.

The level design is beyond contrived. The humor and attention to detail of the Bungie games is absent. The network play is notoriously poor (so much so that an independent community provided their own alternative to replace it). Finally, and most serious of all, the product is bug-ridden and lacking any substantial support (patches!) from Bold.

A far superior alternative is the new OS X-native Myth II. There is a strong community behind this game, providing excellent opportunities for netplay and custom maps. Best of all, it's a mature piece of code that won't leave you cursing the time and effort you spend playing the game.
Evan Trent (ATPM Staff) · July 2, 2003 - 11:17 EST #2
I think Myth III is an entertaining, worthwhile game. However, I do agree with you, as I mentioned in my review, that it does not live up to the Bungie legacy in many ways.

I have not yet tried the OS X-native version of Myth II, but I am excited to do so. Certainly it is true that there is a big support network behind it, lots of maps, multi-player games, etc. which, obviously, Myth III is lacking. And probably that level of enthusiasm and support will never come for Myth III. I still play Myth II network games because of the huge community behind it, despite the fact that Myth III looks better and has some new characters I would like to see incorporated into games.

I did not encounter any bugs or glitches during gameplay. I would appreciate feedback from readers on this matter. It is valuable to know about such things.
anonymous · July 2, 2003 - 12:45 EST #3
You're crazy. Myth I and Myth II were awesome. Myth III sucks. I downloaded the demo and tried it (after waiting MONTHS and MONTHS for the game to be released) and found it nearly unplayable. The artwork is horrible--there's no concept of foreground characters vs. background. The 2D characters actually looked better than the 3D spiny characters, and this was on a good 64MB nVidia card!

And as for the gameplay, the AI was actually worse with characters clumping together. The whole pathfinding in Myth III is a mess. It just sucks.
Nepenthe · July 2, 2003 - 14:00 EST #4
I'd have to agree with the anonymous posts here. Myth III utterly pales in comparison to its predecessors when it comes to gameplay. To say that it is "virtually identical" is just plain wrong. The carefully adjusted unit balance of Myth I (TFL) and Myth II (SB) is simply not there in Myth III, and there are bugs and inconsistencies too innumerable to count. The one that most stands out in my mind is that gesture clicking doesn't work correctly.

To blithely assume that net play "would be just as much fun as Myth or Myth II" is irresponsible. Netplay is what has given TFL and SB such long lives. There are very good reasons you can't find anyone online for Myth III. It is riddled with bugs.

Another important omission in this article is the lack of mention of the MythDev patch released for this game that corrects some of the most egregious problems. They continue to make improvements and, someday, it may evolve into the game that long-time Myth players so much wanted to love, but make no mistake--it is not there yet, by any stretch.

I'm happy you were able to enjoy the single-player aspect of this game, Evan, but you very much misrepresent Myth III in the context of its predecessors.
Evan Trent (ATPM Staff) · July 2, 2003 - 18:13 EST #5
I definitely agree that the unit balance of Myth and Myth II are lacking in Myth III. I pointed to this in my review regarding the difficulty of levels and the unrealistic unit balance on some of the levels in terms of both numbers and abilities.

Personally, I find the graphics and gameplay to be at least as good as Myth and Myth II. I did not experience any bugs, did not have a problem with characters clumping together, etc. However, as I mentioned, I was not able to get a net game up and running and, perhaps, this would have exposed some of the bugs which you mention.

Can someone be specific with the bugs? I think our readers would be well-served by them.
Nepenthe · July 2, 2003 - 18:25 EST #6
Have a look at the release notes for the MythDev patch for a sample of the type of bugs that have been fixed.

I'm pretty sure you used to be able to view all outstanding bug reports that had been submitted, but this doesn't appear to be the case any more. You can see some outstanding issues here in the task list.
Pike · July 14, 2003 - 15:14 EST #7
Myth III lacks the polish the first two had that made them so enjoyable. All the work that went into balancing, lack of bugs (and fixes), making good network levels, and creating a deep story with rich characters for the single player game made them highly enjoyable.

The blurry, terribly voice acted, and stiff video cut scenes is the highlight of what was a laughable attempt to milk the Myth series with Myth III. They don't come close to the quality of the animated cut scenes of the originals. No portion of the game really measures up to the high standards of the originals.

In fact, I'd guess the developers, Mumbo Jumbo, knew they had a lemon on their hands, considering how quickly they ran away from fixing any of even the most basic of bugs with the engine.

The one highlight of the mess is that Myth III's single player mode is decent, if a bit frustrating, with its unbalanced sections. The lack of a solid network game is utterly disappointing for the many Myth I/II fans who (basically) bought the previous games to play online and were blown away by the single player game when they got around to playing it.
killerdiablo · October 16, 2005 - 15:56 EST #8
i found myth 3 enjoyable game but no online?!
Ripper · October 29, 2005 - 10:08 EST #9
I find Myth III laughable!

The graphics are terrible and it lacks everything that stands for Myth. They stuffed the game up, and two or three years running, there is pretty much a non-existant active network.
vinyl rake · February 5, 2008 - 12:53 EST #10
Mumbo Jumbo didn't 'run' away from fixing any of the bugs because they knew they had a lemon, they didn't release any fixes because Take2 laid off the entire development team right as the product was shipping - before they had even fully tested the product. The primary developer on the team did release a bug fix to address the most egregious bugs - which he worked on on his own time and for no financial gain.

fyi: There is a version of Myth III which works with the latest Mac (OS X) and Windows (Vista) operating systems and which fixes the vast bulk of known bugs available at (the site's owner previously ran the now dead playmyth site). The current myth game server can be found at Versions of Myth I and II that run on current OSes can be found at

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