In the autumn of 1943, after the enormous battle of Kursk, the Soviets went on the offensive, pushing the Germans back and creating several small bridgeheads across the Dnieper. The Russians regrouped for a little while then the massed Red Army troops in the Lyutezh bridgehead assaulted toward Kiev, supported by a parallel attack by Chernyakhovsky's 60 Army to the north. By 12 November the Russians had pushed past Kiev to Zhitomir, forming a bridgehead that was 95 miles deep and 150 miles wide. The bulk of the fighting had fallen onto Hoth's 4 Panzer Army, and so Hitler replaced Hoth (who he decided was partially responsible for the defeat) with Raus (an Austrian who had distinguished himself by getting within 30 miles of Stalingrad with the 47 Panzer Corps and 6 Panzer Division earlier that year), who he had commanded to retake Kiev.
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||Empires: Retail Release
Due to the heavy use of graphic effects in the cinematic, set the graphic settings to maximum for best effect.
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Raus' Relief of Kiev
If you were ever curious as to the extent of what can be created in regards to cinematics with Empires, Raus Relief of Kiev will shows just what fantastic creations can be constructed with this editor. This cinematic tells the tale of a battle in World War II between the Soviet Union and the German Empire. The German Panzer, now lead by Raus are counter attacking the Soviet Bridgehead. This cinematic is so good that I neglected to read a lot of the text while watching. Thus while writing this review I had to call up the campaign file again.
In order to review this scenario I have decided to use the movie reviewing Guidelines found at Empire Earth Heaven, with several alterations.
- Plot -
Since movie scenarios are not actively played by the player, but only watched, you need to be the movie critic and give your opinion of the plot, of the content of the movie. Is the story believeable and interesting? Are the dialog lines corny, and the sort of thing that nobody would say, or cool and realistic?
- Visuals and Audio -
This category is called "Visuals" and refers not only to the scenery but also to the cinematography of the scenario, i.e. the camera shots and the lighting. Anything that you see on the screen, when reviewing a movie, counts in the Visuals category. If Audio has been used in the scenario it is in this section that its effect on the overall movie is taken into account. How good is the quality of the sounds? Are the sounds effective? Do they draw you into the movie?
- Exposition -
This category is called "Exposition" and refers to the part of the scenario that provides the background information needed to understand the characters and the action. Having all the background information you need, but not having it told in the most interesting way in the world, warrants a 3. The more interestingly the background information is told, the higher the score. For the most part, the exposition will be in the introductory text. If there is no introductory text (and hence, no written exposition), then it is expected to have the exposition in the beginning of the scenario itself, which is what you are supposed to judge by.
Plot will incorporate the score from Playability and Balance, Visuals and Audio will incorporate the score from Creativity and Map Design and Exposition will be the score for Story/Instructions.
- Plot –
This scenario is highly realistic. The terrain matches the territory in which the scenario is set to take place. A wide variety of units are used show the Soviet and German forces. When the Soviet commander asks for all available armor to be called to counter attack, the resulting force you see is a mish mash of tanks. This really helps to give the moviegoers the sense that this was everything the Soviets could scrounge up. The plot of this movie is very well done. Everything remains believable and interesting.
Plot Score: 5
- Visuals and Audio –
The visuals in this scenario are fantastic. I was particularly impressed by the white phosphorous explosion effect that was used on vehicles and units when they were hit. The camera shots are all very well done. One shot I particularly liked was the one where the Panzers are climbing over the hills. The audio used in the scenario is also highly effective. Explosion noises sound at the appropriate moment and the use of shell dropping sounds was extremely effective.
Visual and Audio Improvements
Visuals and Audio Score: 5
The background information about the movie is provided in the movies instructions. The background information is adequate, though a little short and a tad dry. There is not a lot of text during the movie. However, this is probably better. This movie is trying to show a battle and long conversations during the action would be distracting.
- A little more background information could be provided
Exposition Score: 5
This easily one of the best movies I have ever seen constructed with an RTS editor. If highly recommend that you sit back and watch Raus' Relief of Kiev.
Final Score: 5