Review by FallenAngel7453

"A grand improvement to one of the greatest RTS games on the PC"

Age of Empires II was a milestone in the RTS community. For those who don't know what a RTS game is, it is a genre of games that are very popular on the PC. You control a series of units to do your bidding, and the game usually has some sort of war theme. Some of the most popular RTS games out there include Starcraft, Warcraft, and Command & Conquer. Age of Mythology is the next step in the evolution of RTS games, ultimately providing an amazing experience for anyone who enjoys mythology, and even for anyone who doesn't.

The single-player game focuses on the efforts of the great warrior Arkantos. With the gods on his side, he works to prove his side victorious in the Trojan War, against the citizens of Troy. Aligned with the great king Agamemnon, and the efforts of the fighters Odysseus (of Odyssey fame) and Ajax, Arkantos is able to work toward a Greek victory.

Basic controls of the game are as follows: You start with a group of about five or six villagers. By collecting different supplies, you can use these supplies to trian warriors, focus your efforts on technological research, or even create mythological units for your bidding. By creating the great Colossus, or the mythical Hydra, you army grows stronger, to the point where you attempt to take over neighboring camps. The play mechanics are extremely deep, as you can even use the assistance of the gods to claim victory. By using certain god powers, the tide of the battle can quickly turn in either your favor of the favor of your opponents.

The visuals in this video game are acceptable for the PC; however, it's nothing to get excited about. Doom 3, this is not. The character models are decent, while the scenery models are very pretty. While the game may seem dated, it is perfectly playable.

The audio department, as expected for a PC game, is much more impressive than the visual department. Each command that is given to your players is said aloud in that characters natural language (whether it be Greek, Egyptian, or a form of Norse), which is a nice touch. The music, while repetitive, fits in with the setting of the action, changing depending on whether you are gathering supplies or fighting the enemy, another nice touch.

The online department is quite amazing, really. With a comprehensive online community, Ensemble Online Studios has gone all out to deliver a unique online experience. By playing with up to eight players, each game can feature up to over 1500 characters in the game world, which is no small feat. The radically different game world means an adjustment in strategy as well. If the world consists of one island, for example, a unique strategy might be to sail around the island to reach the enemy quietly. such unique tactics makes each game different each time you play it.

Overall, Age of Mythology is definitely worth anyone's time and money, and anyone who finds a good time in that game should check out the recently released expansion, The Titans.

Final Word: Buy if you have even the slightest interest in RTS games or mythology.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/14/04

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