- The Elder Scrolls Online Details Crafting and Exploration in New Video
- Final Fantasy VIII HD Re-Release Announced for PC
- COMIC: XCOM The Healing Process
- Evenin '13
- SimCity's Amusement Park Pack Leaked, Releases May 28th
- Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Re-Confirmed For PC Release
- Game Gear Games Coming to 3DS eShop
- Nintendo Open E3 Gaming Doors to Public at Best Buy
- The Wonderful 101 Gets a Release Date
- GTA 5 Screens - Cars, Motorbikes and Scuba Diving
- Black Ops 2 Uprising DLC Ships
- Driveclub PS4 Screenshots
- The Elder Scrolls Online Gathering & Exploration Video
- The Elder Scrolls Online
Gathering And Exploration Dev. Diary
- Gran Turismo 6
- Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline occurring several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City\'s most dangerous
- Metro: Last Light
- Resident Evil: Revelations
Panic Dev. Diary
- Command & Conquer
Beyond the Battle Dev Diary
Age of Mythology Review
developer: Ensemble studios
PII-450 128MB RAM, 16MB Video Card, 500MB HD
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Oct 29, 02
|» All About Age of Mythology on ActionTrip|
Advertising in PC games is becoming more mainstream. These days, many popular PC titles have been getting airtime in order to promote their upcoming releases. Of course, no one does advertising and marketing like Microsoft. Case in point: A week or so ago, Microsoft Game Studios, in partnership with Loews Cineplex Entertainment, announced a movie-style promotional campaign for the launch of Age of Mythology. From October 18 through January 10, Loews will promote Age of Mythology with exclusive in-theatre promotions and signage on over 1500 screens nationwide. In addition, a cinematic trailer for the game will appear before many of the season's hottest films, including Red Dragon, Lord of the Rings: Two Towers and 007's Die Another Day.
Don't touch the sacred ruins, fool!
Lo! We've been blessed with the holy light!
When a company spends so much money on promoting a game title, it's got to be labeled as a AAA project, no matter what. From the makers of the critically acclaimed Age of Kings, Ensemble Studios, comes this latest foray into the 'Age' universe - a unique blend of familiar AoK-like strategy concepts and the vast and unexploited potential of world's most famous mythological pantheons, like the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Norse gods. Most of today's fantasy worlds in video games are loosely based on works like Tolkien's epic trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, so it is refreshing to see that someone has decided to leave the Elves, Dwarfs and Halflings be and to replace them with Cyclops, Minotaurs, Scarabs and a host of deities from the rich fantasy worlds of the stories of the Greeks, Egyptians and Vikings. Modern adaptations of ancient Greek myths are not an uncommon occurrence in Hollywood, so it's a bit surprising that no one thought of making an elaborate and expensive strategy based on it before. And building on the highly successful Age of Empires and Age of Kings titles, it's no small wonder then that the task was appointed to the talented folks at Ensemble Studios, once the final decision to develop the game was made by Microsoft.
Many of today's games have a problem with creating consistent and unique game worlds. Whether it was because of the talented writers, or the abundance of research material, Ensemble Studios had no such problems. Age of Mythology is as rich, inspiring and epic as strategy games get, and (save for Blizzard's Warcraft III) it's possibly the most immersive strategy game we have seen in quite some time. The world of myths and great deeds is full of life and charm. The voice acting is very good, and it helps to submerge the player in the story. The characters each have personality, and best of all, so do the gods (they plot and scheme just like today's politicians - an unfortunate reference, I know)! The single-player portion of the game is divided into three different mythical chapters with 36 missions in all. Each of these campaigns (Atlantis, Egyptian, and Norse) is intertwined with the others, making the single-player campaign appear seamless, and of epic proportions.
Having three different mythical worlds in a game naturally equates to each side having more heroes and units than you can shake a dead cat at, and this diversity is where AoM's true strength lies - in its wide variety! The huge number of very different units, heroes, abilities, tech trees, spells and godly powers is just staggering! I can't even begin to explain how much I enjoyed going through different campaigns and unlocking all kinds of imaginative units and tech advances! But that's not all! Each civilization has a different set of structures and different ways of gathering resources to boot! Meaning, there's a snowball's chance in hell you'll get bored with this game and give up on the single-player. If the multitude of units, structures and tech-trees doesn't get to you, the epic story certainly will! As I said, this is probably the game's biggest strength, apart from the obvious implications of such an original unit design to the multiplayer matches and the number of possible battle tactics. Mark my words: Age of Mythology is going to be a huge multiplayer success!
The graphical and audio segments of AoM are in line with the general idea of introducing so much verisimilitude to the gameplay. The map design and particularly the unit and structure design clearly differ from one campaign to the next, each possessing a unique visual style and artistic approach. Players will get to travel to Mediterranean, and then hop on over to the picturesque sand dunes of Egypt and snowy mountains of Scandinavia. The unit sounds are authentic for each of the civilizations, or at least they sound like it, which is another big boost for the in-game atmosphere.
Are these the two towers everyone seems to be talking about?
We'll find our fortune or doom deep in the flaming pits of the underworld!
If you're into rich fantasy worlds and you're looking for a game that might take you on a pleasant mythical journey, look no further than Age of Mythology. It is captivating enough to hold the attention of any true strategy gamer.
Those of you who enjoyed Age of Kings will be quite familiar with the gameplay mechanics of Age of Mythology. Unit movement, resource gathering, and even the AI seem pretty much the same, which brings me to one of the game's biggest downsides - the lackluster AI routines. Age of Kings' AI code was decent for its time, but I think there's no place for it in today's day in age. Sadly, Age of Mythology units act much the same as the ones in AoK. Pathfinding is not the issue here; it's the rather silly and senseless rushing at the stronger enemy. When selected, units will setup a proper formation - heroes and melee units first, and ranged units at the back. However, in the thick of battle they will tend to break formations and rush carelessly at a vastly superior opponent, consequently causing your army to split and give you all sorts of headaches and micromanagement problems. Sure, you can set the units' behavior to defensive rather than aggressive, but you'd think they'd be smart enough to know when to rush recklessly and when not to, even with an aggressive behavior on. Furthermore, you can easily deal with enemy squads by luring them with a single unit and then ambushing them with your main army. The oldest trick in the book - and I can't believe it still works in AoM! The developers have obviously spent a lot of time on the story and in-game atmosphere, neglecting to bring any substantial advances in the field of AI.
The developers were obviously so busy creating tons of units and great narrative that they forgot to properly test the gameplay balance as well! Mythical units are far superior to regular troops, which means you'll almost always want to produce as many mythical and hero units as you can. And once you've amassed your huge army of mythical creatures, it'll be very hard to stop you unless you're playing on the Titan level of difficulty. Simply put, this game becomes all too easy once your main army is produced and ready to march. I've expected a far more vigilant resistance from the enemy. Instead, with just a touch of common sense and some strategy know-how you'll have no problems breezing through the single-player experience. Ensemble Studios simply didn't get the difficulty build-up right - in terms of increasing the difficulty as the final mission of the chapter draws near. Personally, I feel that this just kills any sense of accomplishment the player might have, and it lessens the excellent atmosphere created by the artists, actors and writers.
Getting the gameplay balance right often is the key to success when designing a game. That doesn't seem to be the case with AoM however, and yet the game is very entertaining and fun to play. The sheer number of units and their special abilities ... heroes and structures in combination with some fantastic cinematic sequences, and the narrative should prove sufficient to entangle you in AoM. Add to that the incredible potential of the game's multiplayer, and the decision whether or not you should own this game becomes a matter of having enough dineros to churn out for it. I wholeheartedly recommend this title to anyone who likes a bit of flare in his or her strategy games. It could've been fantastic, but as it is it's "only" very good. Ensemble got a portion of it right, but the other portion will just have to be made right with small bug fixes and gameplay tweaks.
8.3 Very Good
Excellently conceived, engrossing fantasy world. Variety of units, gods, and structures; great voice acting. Multiplayer is going to rock!
The AI could've been better. The designers didn't get the difficulty build-up right. Myth units are just too overpowering when amassed in great numbers.
BACK TO TOP