Review by willis5225
"I'd give it a "C" for effort"
It's an expansion to a game that's excellent in every respect. In that sense, I have to give it a high score--8 is probably the highest I'll go on something that doesn't completely blow me away, e.g. Age of Kings, Half Life, Metal Gear Solid--however, this is probably one of the least fulfilling expansions I've ever seen. It's sort of like the third Matrix movie. Yeah, it's good, but, man, you were expecting something great.
Nothing more or less than Age of Mythology, in-game. The units are similarly pretty. It's a little bit difficult to tell the Atlantean units apart, which can either be annoying or an advantage, since your enemies won't know which units they're hitting. I bumped it up from an 8 to a 9 because of the portraits of some of the lesser gods. They're just excellent, totally creating the feel that they're icons from the Golden Age of Man. It's the little stuff like that.
The only changes in sound are the music and the unit voices for the Atlanteans. The little jaunty part that plays at the beginning of the game is excellent. Probably my favorite. The voices... well, they're not so excellent. I mean, they're not bad, but you can tell that it's gibberish. The cutscene voices are kinda iffy too. Kastor's voice is just annoying.
I have a little gripe with the story, being a mythology dork. I'm not talking about the fact that Cerberus wasn't a titan--I'm past that. It's just that in the little F1 entries about the Atlantean units, it's really apparent that they just made it up. Too many specifics, too many ridiculous premises. It's like listening to a fourth-grader give an oral book report about a book he never finished reading. I'm a little harsh; some of it is plausible, but it lacks the pleasant feeling of ''wow, that's a cool anthropological factoid'' you got with the original game.
The actual story is sort of fractured with an odd deus ex machina halfway through that's just awful.
Atlantis is interesting. It basically embodies ''you get what you pay for,'' in that their units tend to be more expensive, but stand up to much more punishment or work much more effectively. The pinnacle of this is the villager, which takes up three population and costs three times as many resources, but works three times as fast and doesn't require a drop-site.
The myth units tend to be either ''trying too hard to be interesting,'' like the Promethean which splits in two after it is killed, or ''mundane,'' like the behemoth, which is just another ''living siege weapon.'' A couple are truly interesting--Leto's Automatons can repair and rebuild themselves on the battlefield, for example, making them one of the most compelling, if not most useful, myth units in the game.
Its gods are several of the titans, as well as, curiously, Gaia and Oranos, the earth and sky respectively and the parents of the Titans. I'd go off on a tangent about how neither of them were put into Tartarus, but I won't. Most Atlantean god powers can be used more than once, with a cooldown time of up to several minutes in-between. These tend to have fairly limited effect. Traitor, for example, converts one unit to your side and can be used twice, but only on non-hero, non-villager combat units.
Changes to Other Civilizations: 5/10
They basically left the old civilizations alone. Which is a shame. We'll go over the changes one at a time.
1) Whenever a player advances an age, that player gets a free myth unit belonging to the god he chose to worship--Eh. More often than not, it'll only serve to mess up your population numbers.
2) Tech to make throwing axemen deal more damage to flying units--I suppose it was needed, more of a bug fix. Ditto for number 3.
3) Tech to allow Egyptian Priests to pick up relics
4) Titans--Anyone who played the original campaign should be at least slightly familiar with how a titan works. Think of The Guardian. And tone him down a wee bit, but not too much, and that's a titan. They take a tremendous amount of resources, as first you must advance an additional age and then, when you have your titan ready, you must excavate him in an undertaking similar to building a wonder. And then your opponent is pwned.
5) General tweaking--A few myth units had their stats either improved or weakened. A few god powers were also improved--ceasefire lasts longer, eclipse grants a speed bonus, etc. Nothing groundbreaking\interesting.
Total Score: 8/10
Atlantis opens up a whole new option for playing the game, as well as altering significantly the playing styles for the other civilizations. Neither the new civilization nor the titans make it a totally new game, but they come close. You should definitely pick it up if you're an Age enthusiast. The campaign is incredibly weak--twelve levels, none of them particularly challenging--which serve primarily to acclimate one to Atlantis. Far too short and easy, though.
Buy?: If you're into the original game. If you don't already love it, you won't with The Titans.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/29/03
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