Review by smille76
"Godly powers in a Godly game!"
I'm a veteran gamer and I know when something is done right in the world of video games.
This one, an RTS by Ensemble Studios, seems to have it all to be considered a future classic. Let's see why.
Eye candy is everywhere. The environment seems to be living and breathing with wild animals, trees, lakes and details that makes for a truly great experience.
As for the units, they are very well designed and animated; they got a living look. For example, let a Norse Raiding Cavalry unit idle and you'll see the horse get on 2-legs, the rider raising his sword in the air. The game is full of stuff like this.
The mythological units are very well designed, looking exactly as you would expect.
The god powers are also very awe-inspiring, especially the devastating Meteor showers, earthquakes and toradoes among others. You'll see the buildings crumble and the units fly in the air upon the impact!!
What I noticed is the scale of the units is quite accurate for a RTS and units are truly smaller than buildings, which gives the game a more serious look!
The music fits the atmosphere, being cultural/classical music inspired by the faction that you choose. It also changes depending what's going on on the battlefield. Try charging an enemy Town Center and the music animates and you'll hear warcries echoing through your speakers!!
The units voices are truly professionally done, spoken in the units native language (Greek, Egyptian, Norse). It gives the game a true feel, authentic stuff made for real fanatics and again it proves that this software was done with attention and details in mind.
So far, this was a truly pleasing experience.
This games has a single player and a multiplayer part, just like all RTS games.
The single player game is truly memorable, and it will get you through 32 stages, exploring Greece, Egypt and Scandinavian plains and other mythical places. It is truly uplifting and you'll want to keep playing to know what happens next. The addiction factor is very high here, I had the feeling of watching a good movie during the cutscenes (that are excellent, by the way).
The multi player experience is good too just like you expect from modern RTS. Most players buy these games for the multi player, so Ensemble made sure it would be good.
It is very well done, via a dedicated server system (Ensemble Studios Online) similar to BattleNet. However, it is not BNet, and only been up for a month, so they are refining it each day, improving the speed and features. So far, I don't have any problems with it like some people are reporting, when I want to play a Multiplayer game, usually I play within 5 minutes; this is what I'm looking in a game. Efficiency, and it already seems to have it. Imagine after a few months and a couple of patches. It will be great.
The multiplayer part is quite challenging if you find good opponents to match your skills (it is done automatically on the servers, matching you against players of similar rating). Overall, this is already good IMO, so it will just get better with a few more weeks of tuning.
These are the games that stays on your Hard drives for months. You never get tired of the feeling of crushing an enemy with a well-earned army. This is very fun indeed. But, everyday that you'll play, you'll discover new tactics, new ways of using units, killing your opponents with unorthodox methods and much more. The replay value is infinite and the random map feature gives you that unknown feeling everytime.
Get it now and pray for the mercy of the gods!!
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/29/02, Updated 11/29/02
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