Review by Xboxgamer542

Reviewed: 03/05/03 | Updated: 03/05/03

An excellent strategy game that excels in single player and multiplayer.

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors is an amazing game with a simple concept: Build a civillization. Yet it is extremely complicated and may take some practice.

Since this is an expansion, I will be reviewing the AOE2 as well as the expansion.

After loving Age of Empires II: Age of Kings, this expansion pack is a great addition to an already established series. *Note* I will be referring to Age of Empires II: The Conquerors as AOE2.

The gameplay in AOE2 is simple. Build a civ, not just any civ, but the largest and strongest. This may seem simple, but is extremely deep. The game is based around military. Of course, to get your military, you must have resources. Your villagers gain recources (gold, stone, wood, food) by many ways. Gold and stone are obtained by mining, wood is gained by chopping down trees, and food is gained by hunting, farming, or garthering.

After obtaining resources, it's time to build. There are an incredible amount of buildings to build, such as mining camps, town centers, barracks, castles, walls, or basically anything else. After making your town, it's time to build your army. Making units is fast, click on the unit you want and it'll be made after a certain cost and a certain amount of time. There are probably more than 50 units in the game, in groups of infantry, archery, calvary, and siege.

Once you are done building your army, it's time to attack. Most units have an attack bonus. IE: Siege has an attack bonus vs. Buildings, Camels have a bonus against Calvary, and your special units have a bonus vs. whatever is stated. It doesn't take much strategy to win, just keep attacking with the right units. The game revolves around building and attacking.

Some other options besides the original deathmatch is multiplayer, (awesome) campeign, (main game) and standard game. Standard game has different maps, and different game types such as Random Map, Regecide, King of the Hill, etc. There are plenty of options, you'll never get bored.

The graphics in AOE2 are nothing special, though they are very improved from the original. The buildings look nice, though the units look kinda bad sometimes. In multiplayer the graphics should be turned down, because when you are playing it may be laggy when you are attacking. No one really cares about graphics in RTS games, it's the gameplay that counts.

The sound is pretty good in AOE2. It gives you a sound when attacking, the swordfights sound good, as do the siege attacking buildings. Again, not much to describe in the way of sound.

Now, since this is an expansion pack, I have to say something about the upgrades. In the original AOE2, there were about eight civilizations. Four new ones are added on for some added play. There are also many new units, such as the Hussar. There are also a few added techs and buildings. The newest thing is formations. In AOE2 the original, the computer formed your army for you. You can now choose between a flank, a box, and about 3 other choices. This expansion pack is really worth the minimal money it is now.

The replay in AOE2 is extremely high. There are about 2000 players in AOE2 online, and everyone is playing a different game at a different skill level. Feel like getting really good? There's tons of ''Xpert'' games. Feel like putting some time in, but not as much to be an Xpert? Plenty of intermediate games. Don't feel like playing too much? ''Rook'' and ''Newbie'' games are in plenty.

In the end, Age of Empires 2: The Conquerors is a great expansion to an already established game. If you are hardcore fan of AOE2, buy this. For newbies, the ''Gold'' edition is a great choice, since both games come with and it's only $20-30. If you are an RTS fan looking for a military based game, this is for you.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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