The joys of old games rediscovered: Bungie’s Myth series

A fan group has been maintaining Bungie’s Myth and Myth II engine ever since the series experienced an unfortunate commercial demise shortly after the release of the (at best) mediocre Myth III. I loved the original Myth and Myth II, and spent untold hours playing the solo campaigns, playing coop with friends, and playing online on Myth was the first game I joined a clan for (I specialized in the the soulless in clan matches), it convinced me I needed real speakers for my computer for the first time, and to this day it remains one of the few RTS style games I’ve truly loved.

I noticed there was a recent upgrade release for the engine and decided to check it out. I also noticed you can score the complete game in the form of the Myth II Worlds package for under $5 + shipping on ebay, so I grabbed a copy and have been playing it.

It’s still as fantastic as it ever was and has aged surprisingly well. The animation looks stiff, the textures are utterly low rez by today’s standards, and the complete lack of lighting effects makes it all look a little flat, but the core gameplay and wonderfully dark fantasy plot both shine through all this, plus the updates to the engine to accommodate large screens helps tremendously. Additionally time has been kind in the form of performance: anyone who remembers waiting 5 minutes or more for a savegame to load will smile the first time they load one and it takes less than an eyeblink to open.

If you’re not familiar with the series I encourage you to give it a look. You can score free demos of the game and apply the modern patches to it to get a feel for what it’s all about. In a nutshell it’s a fantasy tactical real time strategy game with a strong story, great sound, wonderful writing, and fantastic netplay. The engine modernizations are for both mac and pc, including intel compatible binaries on the mac side of things. The Myth II worlds pak I bought includes a number of massive fan created content paks and mods, and you can freely download translations of the original Myth campaign which will run under the new engine. It’s hard to imagine a better gaming bargain than this.

Plus I’d love to find someone to play coop with through some of this content. Any takers?

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