Review by RockyRan

"The BEST RTS game for PC."

The year is 1997. Ensemble Studios comes around releasing a Real-Time Strategy game for the PC, and it rocks the world. Translated into many different languages with really great graphics and music and even wins the 1997 Game of the Year award. So what is the fuss all about? Well, for those people who STILL don't know, here's the beef:

I usually say that there's no perfect game, but this is well an exception. It is completely flawless with much originality. You basically start out with a villager and a Town Center (maybe more, maybe less) and your job is to create an empire that will rule over all the others before they rule you. As soon as you have them, you can secretly ally with other tribes, make deals with them or basically do anything you want. But how do you do it? Through 4 basic resources: Wood, Food, Stone and Gold. Wood is mainly used to build buildings. Food is to produce units, Stone is to bulid special types of buildings and Gold is to produce everything else that is much more special. You can upgrade things like armor, speed (you name it) on your vast amount of units, which you produce in special buildings that are designed for military purposes. There's a VAST amount of units (infantry, cavalry, and sea, which all have their sub-categories) along with upgrades for basically anything you can think of, and bulidings for anything you might need from producing villagers and military units to housing your people and upgrading the efficiency of your empire.
But it's not all fun and games (no pun intended). There might be other rivalring empires that will do anything and everything to conquer you, whether it is to play you like a puppet and make you do anything they want or just downright destroy your existence. You can either play the offensive or defensive games and you should excel in both of these (whichever you choose) to reign above all the others. You also get to ally with other empires and form a team.
You do ALL of this in a vast amount of campaigns and scenarios by yourself, or by infinite amounts of variations with muliplayer online modes.

This game's sound and music is just wonderful. You hear a fierce battle, crumbling buildings and screams of dying soldiers when an attack is made. The music really ties in with the gamepley. Dramatic and high-quality music adds to the experience. However, the music can sound a little low quality and it sometimes sounds like if it was generated, not recorded.

The graphics are pretty good. There's enough detail in trees, water and terrain to make you believe that you are in 800 BC fighting for your life. Also, character and unit sprites are very well made and almost made into 3D which is a pretty good thing. However, the sprites and terrain kind of look not good together and they dont blend with each other. Also, buildings and trees are unproportional with the people and ships and they tend to look kind of toy buildings. Nevertheless, the quality is very good.

It might get boring, but most of the time, you'll be very very entertained for years. I still find myself coming around to playing this even after it is 7 years old, which is a pretty good thing when someone plays a 7-year-old game.

It's old, and nobody can take that away, but nobody can take away the fact that its the best RTS game ever released either. Excellent gameplay, almost flawless music and sound, and pretty well graphics makes this game the best it can be. If there's anyone out there that doesnt have the game, or just hasnt played the moders new RTS games, this is the way to go because this timeless classic will never be forgotten among the gratest PC games of all time.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/09/04

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