Review by LocoSpitz

"Less than I had hoped for."

Boring. You control some little villager people and have them build buildings. Then, the buildings make death machines. Then, the death machines (and people) go around the map and kill other death people (and machines). You control your civilization by selecting them and right-clicking where you want them to go. You tell them to attack by right-clicking on what you want them to attack. Unfortunately, it is impossible for your people to win without your control. They just sit there and only shoot when they are fired at. Also, some run off after six units, each about five times as powerful as them. Plus, the computer NEVER lets you finish a game. It always surrenders with some weird, stupid message. For example:
''How could I defeat you? My villagers have no wheels!''
''My sheep disturbed my villagers, they could not work!''
''While you had the power of horses, I had simple clubs! I surrender!''
The last comment was made by a civilization whose last remaining units were horse units. Ugh.

AUDIO - 8/10
Music is good. The music is all on one track on the CD, so it all plays in the same order every time you play, unlike the original games. The sound is pretty good, but some sounds muffled. The voice acting is above average.

VIDEO - 5.5/10
The scenery is pretty good, and the buildings and characters look very good, even though they are 2D objects. Unfortunately, your units often pass through objects, and sometimes objects pass through other objects. For some reason, someone at Ensemble decided to make the fire ships WORSE than in Rise of Rome (the expansion for the original Age of Empires). In Rise of Rome, the fire looked VERY realistic, but in Age of Empires 2, it looks like they are firing off cheese balls. The water and land are VERY improved, but the trails that ships leave are grainy and pathetic.

The games are all pretty much the same, although not identical. Here's how it goes: you are a pathetic civilization. You must get not pathetic and destroy the enemy. Eventually, the computer artificial intelligence becomes very predictable. Online play helps a little. You can taunt people and get them to swear at you, which is somewhat entertaining.

Since you can't rent PC games at many places, I'll say buy, but only if it's under $20. Otherwise, avoid it. The expansion helps a little, but not enough to be worth it.

By the way, I LOVED the original game.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 05/10/01, Updated 05/10/01

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