Review by Shadow Flare
"This can make history actually fun..."
Intro: Well, I usually don't like PC games, but geez, this one is an exception. A lot of this stuff in here is actually related to world history. Empires fighting for control, and it has people like Caesar and stuff. But, enough of this small talk. Let's jump straight to the game!
Gameplay: It's pretty easy to play. You just click the mouse and place things, or make them attack whatever. The game is really fun to play, because you can do many things. Build things, hunt, fish, forage, mine for gold, and so on. You can give your empire a bunch of troops, including Long Swordsman and Composite Bowman. And, you can actually build your own map. Pick whether you want mostly water, or land, or you can make a cool mix of both, and have your empires travel back and forth by Transport ships. I'll sit there playing this game for a few hours once I start playing, whether I'm doing pre-made scenarios, or making my own.
Graphics: Well, all the units are kinda' small, but they look pretty realistic. People fighting looks like people fighting, and well, it looks damn cool to see a guy on an elephant stamp a lowly Clubman to death. Ya' can also see your buildings as they're being built up. Oh, and it looks pretty cool to see an enemy building like a Temple or something get torched (beaten, stamped, whatever) and burned to the ground.
Sound: And..., it sounds pretty cool, too. The fighters make these weird grunts when you place them, houses make noises when placed down, and each building has their own noise when it's made and stuff. But, you can also hear the clashing of swords and people's screams of pain when they die. You can hear a hunting villager toss his spear through an animal he has been assigned to hunt. The elephants stamping around sounds realisitic and sometimes painful (epecially when they stamp down a helpless enemy villager or fighter).
The Replay Factor: Hmm.. I can find myself playing this over and over again. Not only to play more scenarios, but also to do stuff like make more of my own custom ones. AoE has a pretty good replay value because of stuff like this, and being able to enter cheat codes to do all kinds of stuff.
Buy, or rent: Not sure. Can you even rent computer games? I say to buy this one, since other family members might want to play it, or you can show it to friends. And, you probably will wanna' play this a few times, so it's worth keeping around for a while. Hmm, and if you tell your history teacher that you saw the Romans taking down the Yamato or something, he might give you some extra credit (maybe he'll even want to play it!).
Overall, I give this game a perfect 10, since I think it's one of the coolest things ever. The graphics, sounds, and playability keep me sitting at my computer typing and clicking until my hands are about to fall off.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 09/04/02, Updated 09/04/02
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