Review by WLaidlaw

"Could it get any better?I doubt it...."

Age of Empires II:Age of Kings spans from the fall of Rome,and all throughout the middle ages.

What's New In AOE:AoK:

*13 New Civilizations-Each has a unique unit and a team bonus.

*New Units-Including, Kings, Heroes, female villagers, knights, cannons,and exploding demolition ships.

*New Buildings-Including impressive castles and gates that automatically open and close for you and your allies.

*New Technologies-Including Conscription (increases military unit creation speed) and Town Watch (increases building Line of Sight).

*Formations-Precision control of how your army moves and engages in combat.

*New Multimedia Campaigns-Unique music and more than 300 pieces of original art enhance your game as you follow a soldier through battles featuring William Wallace, Joan of Arc, Saladin, Genghis Khan, and Frederick Barbossa.

*New Ways To Trade-Trade with other players over land and by sea; buy or sell resources at the Market.

*Learning Campaign-Master the basics by helping William Wallace rise from his humble beginnings to defeat the British.

*Regicide game-Defend your king to win the game.

*8 New Map Types-Including the Arabia, Black Forest, Rivers, and Random,which allows the computer to pick a surprise map type for you.

*Garrisoning-Station units inside buildings for protection, healing, and surprise attacks.

*New Combat Features-Order military units to patrol, guard, or follow and choose their combat stance.

*Record and replay games-Watch your single- player and multiplayer games later.

*Find Idle Villagers-Automatically locate villagers not assigned to a task using the ''Idle Villager'' button.

*New Online Tech Tree-See what is available to your civilization and which units and technologies you've researched while in the game.

*Improved Multiplayer Features-Save and restore multiplayer games; lock the game speed for all players; lock game teams so players can't change alliance during a game; signal allies.

*Gather Points-New units automatically gather at a location or garrison inside a building.

*Improved Interface-Units behind buildings and trees are visible; the mini-map has Normal, Combat, and Economic modes; chat interface is expanded; Help is integrated into the game.

*User Profiles-Customize options and hotkeys and automatically save them game to game.

*Online Encyclopedia-Extensive histories of 13 medieval civilizations;background on the Middle Ages,armies,weapons, and warfare.

GAMEPLAY:10

Play campaign games/scenarios such as Joan Of Arc,Genghis Khan,Saladin,and Frederick Barbarossa.Believe me,these will keep you busy for a long time,I've had this game for about a year now,and i'm still stuck!Therefore,gameplay gets a ten out of ten.

STORY:10

Such stories as the legendary Genghis Khan,and Joan of Arc,you feel as if you are there.I've learned a lot from this game,I've learned about my own culture by playing this game,and you will too!Story,get's a ten.

GRAPHICS:10

AWESOME.That's the only way I can describe these graphics,grass is stained after battles,remains of the once falling soldiers cover the battlefield.Awesome.It's a masterpiece.Graphics,deserve a ten.

AUDIO:10

For some reason,my speakers haven't been working for the past two years,but,my friends tell me that the audio sounds terrific!They also tell me to get new speakers.....

By far,this is the best video game I own,trust me,Microsoft and Ensemble Studios put their time into this one,so hey,give it a try!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/12/01, Updated 12/21/01


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