Review by treasonous
"Incredibly addictive fun!"
I was bred on Age of Empires games. When I was four, I spent my free time watching my dad playing the first game. By the time I was eight, I played it myself, and soon played the second installment. Naturally, I am a huge fan of the series, and was excited when I heard about Age of Mythology. And what I played far from disappointed me.
It's a very attractive game, that is undeniable. Compared to the second Age of Empires game, everything is (literally) smaller, making it possible to see many things at once. And there's plenty of detail to be had - if you zoom in far enough, you can see that great care went into constructing both the environments and people. This adds a pleasant aspect to the game. The water looks reflective (exactly what it reflects, I'm not sure...but it certainly looks nice). As well, the different cultures (you can choose between Egyptian, Norse, or Greek) have distinctively different design. Architecture in particular is distinctive depending on the culture. And the God Powers are also impressive - raining all hell down on someone's village has never been this fun (and gorgeous).
This is by far the strongest part of Age of Mythology - and a good thing, too, seeing as it's also by far the most important part of the game. This game is nothing if not fun. You can choose from three different cultures (and from each of those cultures, there are three gods for each - varying from the good to the evil). Each culture and their gods grant different advantages and disadvantages to the player. Which god you choose will most likely affect your playing style. Hours can be spent merely trying to find your favourite playing style, and it's fun to experiment. No matter if you're a serious or a casual player; the game can be adjusted to fit your needs.
The maps are incredibly fun. While one may argue that they are few, that can be overlooked, merely considering the fact that they are varying in type, environment, and game play. One map may strand you on an island, with a transport boat - you will be forced to travel to the dangerous mainland in pursuit of resources and further building technology. Another may start you with villagers, added resources - but no claimed settlements (i.e. town centers). As well, if that isn't enough, you can design your own, in an easy to use system included with the game.
As for replay value, AOM has it in abundance. Never have I played a game so much - four years after release, I still pop it in my computer for a good play now and then. It takes a truly amazing game to accomplish that.
The sound adds to the atmosphere - it is appropriate to the game. When you start losing the battle, it lets you know, by playing an expressly depressing melody. When you are pretty much kicking butt, adrenaline pumping music rushes through the speakers. Sound effects are there and right on cue - you really do feel like you're smashing through your enemies armies. Which, by all accounts, is a good thing.
Personally, I'm not crazy about online play because, simply, my computer doesn't like it when I play online. However, from what I did play, it was fun. While it can get choppy when you have eight people battling it out, there's something endearingly fun about playing against a real person. Somehow, knowing that you just blew up a real person's town just gets me excited. It's well done and thought out, and for those who are partial to online play, it's fun stuff. LAN matches are worth it too (and you only have to buy the game once!)
Buy this game - it's fun, it's got great multi-player, the graphics are stunning, the sound is spectacular, and it's got amazing replay value. There is nothing not to love. Also, by now it's ridiculously cheap. So really, there is no reason NOT to buy it.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 09/07/06
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