Review by Qosher

"Warning! Do Not Miss Out! Great Game Up Ahead!"

The first Age of Empires released by Microsoft and Ensemble Studios was a smash hit when it came out. Now, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings has come out and it shows a lot of improvement that makes this series superior to many real time strategy games out there. In this game, some of the new additions, compared to the first Age of Empires, are new civilizations, 8 new map types, and an in-game encyclopedia which offers history on all of the civilizations in the game. The game also offers many modes of play such as random map, regicide, and death match. You can even create your own civilization!

STORY: 10/10
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings spans from the fall of Rome and throughout the middle ages. Stories of civilizations and heroes, such as Genghis Khan and Joan of Arc, from all over the world are featured in this game. Whenever playing through the Campaign mode or any other mode in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, you feel as if you are part of the action. In addition, you learn a lot from this game, even if you are not a fanatical of history. Story is very important in a game, and it shows how in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. Simply, of course, a 10/10 in this category.

GAME PLAY: 10/10
Even if you don't know much about real time strategy games, you'll thoroughly enjoy this game once you play it. In my opinion, the game play is simply the best compared to what's out there. The challenging game play lets you perform a wide gamut of things, ranging from killing your own villager to healing him or her with a monk. The controls are simple, but also challenging at the same time. If you dig deep into the heart of the game, you'll see all of the brilliant tricks. You'll spend a lot of time with this game, but none of it will be tedious, unless you get stuck in one of the many difficult campaigns in the game. Age of Empires II has a training campaign that will help beginner players learn the basic commands and war tactics required as knowledge in any Age of Mythology game. Playing the game is not a chore and is very entertaining if you enjoy strategy games or games that easily capture your attention. Outstanding game play deserves a 10/10.

VISUALS: 10/10
The visuals are simply astounding considering the time that this game came out. The animations are fluid and add a lot to the realism of the game. The textures in the game are very pragmatic to real life. Also, the bird's eye view of the action is very helpful and a great implement to the game. The special effects in the game are much more believable this time around. Of course, a 10/10 in the visuals department as well.

SOUND: 10/10
Every piece of sound that is implemented into the game is done very well. The voices of the villagers sound exactly the way that they should. Also, every hero has their own unique sound that fit his or her background. Also, the heroic tunes during the game play give the game a bigger than life sentiment. Sounds like the bird melodies and flowing water will make you feel as if you are outside and a true part of your civilization. Definitely deserves a 10/10 in this area.

This game has some of the most challenging, but addictive game play. This means a whopping amount of re-playability for anyone who wants to have a good time playing an even better game. You'll be playing this game for months and even years to come.

OVERALL: 10/10
The third Age of Empires game is coming out now pretty soon, but that does not mean that this one should be forgotten. Go out there and get this game simply for its addictive game play, great visuals, realistic sounds, interesting story, and high re-playability rate. It would be terrible if you never get to play this game. In fact, go out and BUY this game right now. You don't know what you're missing out on if you haven't played it yet.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/08/05

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