Review by Mister Ass

"Why is this game so great?"

Age of Empires is what you would call a Real-Time Strategy game. But no RTS has ever had me stuck for eight straight hours playing.

Story: 9/10
You usually start out with a small civilization, and your objective is to make it better through time, gaining all kinds of resources and defeatind your enemies. On campaigns, you actually get storylines that happened thousands of years ago. If you're into Middle East history, you'll truly love them.

Gameplay: 8/10
After doing some training sessions, you can master this game. But you still have to make up strategies to beat your enemies. Every civilization has different attributes that can favor a good strategy. Also, you can choose between being low on resources, or you can choose to start the battle high on resources, ready to attack on a total combat. As I said before, you can get hooked long hours on your PC. And if you get bored, you can use the Multiplayer mode.

Multiplayer: 9/10
This is the best feature of this game. You can play with or against friends with up to 8 players laying the smack down on each other or teaming up against other people or even computer civilizations. That combined with the very good gameplay and you get one of the best gaming experiences ever. Moreover, if the game has 8 people, you only need 3 of them with CDs, this considering all of the players have the game installed on their computer. You can also log on to MSN Zone and play with different players all around the world.

Scenario: 9/10
For those who like to be creative and want to make their own maps, this is great. You can add all kinds of elements to your map, and you can create your very own storyline and goal for the scenario. You can even create your own campaign!

Replay Ability: 7/10
After a while, you get bored of playing against the computer. But then, multiplayer mode makes the save.

Should I buy this game right away or just try the trial version first?
Try the trial version first. I'm sure you'll like it very much. Also try the expansion, AoE: Rise of Rome.
If you want something more medieval, you can get the sequel to this game, Age of Empires: Age of Kings and it's expansion pack The Conquerors.
I recommend getting the original AoE first.

Overall: 9/10

This game is Real-Time Strategy on its prime. Way to go Microsoft!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/05/02, Updated 12/05/02

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