Review by t b o n e
"A good Expansion to a Good Game"
Well, let me say this -- I got this game after Age of Empires 2. I just had to get it because I loved the second one so much. So maybe my like of this game is lessened because I played the second one before this. Anyways, it is still an excellent game, in which I actually like the feel of the game better. It gives you an absolutely incredible ancient feel to it. So here is the review...
Graphics - (8/10)
Heh, I almost think the graphics are better in this game than Age of Empires 2. They seem very clear and crisp. Everything feels very realistic and like the world is ''new.'' (After the Ice Age) The fire effects are incredibly good, better than the fire effects in the second one. The water also looks very realistic.
Sound - (9/10)
Well, since this game has such a great feel to it, it has to have good sound effects, right?? The music is great and fits the lonely, empty feel of the ancient world. The sound effects are brilliant. Nothing terribly wrong in this section...
Storyline - (10/10)
Although the ''mission briefings'' don't have voices, it actually makes it seem better. It tells you what you are supposed to do, and it even gives a history of what you are about to do. This is yet another reason why the ancient feel is so prevalent in this game. The mini-stories are great also.
Gameplay - (8/10)
Yes, this is the gameplay...which is very fun. But, it also has a few major flaws. The first being that there is a limit of 50 people for each civilization. Yes, 50. You can sometimes have more, if you convert someone with a Priest, or if you research Logistics (which makes Barracks units count as 1/2 a population), but 50 is basically as much as you are going to have. Big difference from up to 200 in Age of Empires 2. Another flaw is that you can't move people in formations. That isn't such a big deal in some games like Starcraft, but it seems out of place here not having formations. Those are really the biggest flaws of the game, which gave this section an 8 instead of a 9 or even a 10. But on to the good...the ancient units are very cool and fit the game well. They are fairly well balanced, too. They look very cool too. The buildings look real, although a bit small. (But hey, maybe that is how they were in the ancient ages...???) Sea and land battles alike are fun to have, and the resource gathering is bearable. This game has fun gameplay but suffers from a few major setbacks.
Campaign Editor - (6/10)
Not exactly a great campaign editor, but at least it has one. You can't name the people, you can't change their stats, or anything like that. You are also limited in the objectives you can make. It is very limiting, not anywhere near the editor in Starcraft or even Age of Empires 2. But still, it has one...
Replay Value - (8/10)
The replay value in this game is pretty good. It would be higher but for the few flaws and the not-so-great campaign editor. I still sometimes play it now, and I got it about 1 1/2 years ago.
Total - (8/10)
Rent or Buy - Can't rent computer games, so I'd say buy. If you don't have that much money or you can only have one game or something like that, then I'd suggest Age of Empires 2 or Starcraft over this. But if you have them, this is still a very good game.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/01/03, Updated 01/01/03
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