Review by Beowulf X

"Amazing, Godly, Awesome... Ensemble delivers what I see as the greatest RTS of our time."

Wow... What can I say? AoM has to be one of the funnest games I have ever played... Ever. It is so godly, it is SO much better than any Age game, for many reasons. As you may know, AoM is a Real-Time Strategy game, just like it's preludes. I can't honestly say it's better than WCIII, because I believe they are two totally different games. However, it doesn't change the fact that is one of the greatest RTS games ever.

Gameplay - 10
Can I put this in one word? Yes? Thank you.
Amazing. I believe the gods themselves help Ensemble Studios create this game. There are many different gameplay modes, it's simply amazing. Here are a few of them:

Supremacy: The normal style game in AoM. Objective is to destroy the enemy fully, or build a wonder (A very expensive monument).

Conquest: Basically, the same thing as Supremacy, the only difference is that you HAVE to destroy the enemy, building a wonder does NOT win you the game.

Deathmatch: A VERY fun mode. In this mode, you start out with an insane amount of resources, and you get every upgrade automatically as you advance among the 4 ages (Archaic, Classical, Heroic, and Mythic). Basic objective is to be the one to overcome the enemy, and keep pumping out your troops trying to hold, as well as be the quickest. I believe this mode, depends on speed, alot.

Another great feature to this game, is the ability to create your own maps. In these maps you can also create your own scenario, and play with it online, with anyone!

Graphics - 9
The graphics are outstanding. Very realistic looking, and very detailed, I love it. There is also the feature of Zooming in and out so the detail will increase. Another thing is the ability to rotate the camera, so you can see everything and everywhere.
Another extent to this, is seeing the footprints on the ground, the waves in the water, and the lighting effects, just simply godly.

Sound & Music - 10
Another top-notch feature in this game. The sound effects in this game were used VERY adroitly. The sound of troops marching gets you pumped before a fight. As well as when you play online, you can taunt your opponents with 35+ taunts. Along with the ability to import your own.

The music as well, was done amazingly. There are many types of music in this game, and in different situations, they will be played. For instance, if you are attacking an enemy Town Center, a different type of battle music will play, but if you are just in a normal battle, there will be a different track that is played.
And like most computer games, if you don't like the in-game music, you can always import your own. :)

Replayability -10
Just great. Online play is so fun, you never wanna quit. You just want to keep playing and try to earn the highest score. While doing this, your stats are ALWAYS recorded, every single detail is. So you can check up on the top players, and see how they compete, and improve your skills that way.

Not only online play, but also Single Player Story Mode. It is an amazing story, something fit for a Final Fantasy if you ask me. With over 30 missions, you will always wanna play again, maybe raising the difficulty.

Another offline mode is the Random Map Mode. Where you choose your settings, and play against a computer. You choose all the settings you want, so you can test all of the different options. With 3 civilizations, each holding 3 major gods, and many minor gods, you can try to test with each and see who you are the best with.

Online Play - 8
ESO is a great online system to play on. It started out with a few bugs here and there, but they quickly got them repaired with new updates, and I haven't had a problem since. If you wanna go online and play, you will have no problem in doing it, it is VERY fast and exciting.

Strategic Variation -10
How can I say it? There is SO MANY ways you can go about while playing this game. With the option of choosing from 9 different gods, there is basically an infinite amount of strategies you can go about to win. There are some common strategies to this game, but almost everytime I play, I run into something new. Here are a few examples:

Fast Heroic: Fast Heroic (FH) is usually done with Ra (Egyptian God), it is when the player rushes to the third age, and rushes his enemy quickly, focusing entirely on advancing quickly. The empowerment of the Priests/Pharaohs help the Egyptians advance alot quicker, if done properly.

Expansionism: Very common strategy. Most every player has this strategy used in some way or another. It is when the player goes out building and expanding his empire throughout the whole map, instead of building it all in his base.

Slave and Superhuman: This is usually done with teams, 2 on 2. It's when one of the player gathers resources and gives whatever he has to the other. While the other focuses on advancing and has a super-large army compared to his enemies.

Thor Dwarf Strategy: This is used as a Economy boost for the Norse god Thor. His dwarfs gather resources faster than any of the other dwarfs in the Norse Civilization. Most players use only dwarfs to gather their resources, and it is a special benefit.

There are ALOT more strategies that you can go about, or you could make your own. Do what you feel the best with.

Overall - 10
This game is basically all that and a bag of chips (Corny, yes I know :P). But seriously, any RTS players who doesn't have this game, I now declare legally insane. It is SO much fun, and I can guarantee you will be addicted within a week.

You ask to rent or buy? You're crazy, get out of that chair and run to your nearest dealer and buy this great game!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/26/03, Updated 03/26/03

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