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PC Reviews: Age of Mythology

 

Age of Mythology Screenshots

The Final Say!

Gameplay
9.2
Graphics
8.5
Sound
8.2
Value
9.0

Age of Mythology - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 12 November 2002
Review Score: 9.2/10
Distributed by Microsoft 

Age of Empires was a revolutionary real time strategy that was set in the historical past and featured a variety of different playable cultures that included the medieval but noble Britons and the honourable but warring factions of ancient Japan, it was the thinking mans Warcraft. 

In the Age of Mythology, the ancient cultures are still there but Ensemble Studios have decided to throw something completely different into the mix by including mythical creatures from ancient history. The common base units are still in the game but there are now a myriad of strange beasts that include Pegasus, Trolls, Chimera, Dragons and various other unworldly creatures. 

Age of Mythology Features

  • An epic 36 scenario single player campaign
  • Multiplayer Gaming Online
  • Single player games against challenging Age of Mythology AI opponents
  • More than 15 different and random maps
  • Nine highly differentiated civilizations
  • Multiple difficulty level
  • Fully functional scenario editor

Contents of Age of Mythology Box Set

  • 2 CD's
  • Manual

 

Age of Mythology supports a variety of different gameplay modes that include a tutorial mode (learn to play), single player (skirmish), campaign (set storyline) and a multiplayer mode that ensures that gamers get their value for money. For those that are unfamiliar with real time strategies, the game contains a very informative tutorial that teaches you the basics of the game such as moving units, finding resources and building a variety of buildings. 

The campaign mode revolves around the leader of mythological Atlantis called Arkantos who has been given a mission by the goddess Athena to save the known world. Arkantos must then travel through Greece, Egypt and Scandinavia in order to prevent a pantheon of evil gods from destroying the world. 

There are over 32 different missions in campaign mode that slowly introduce all the units in the game so you can get comfortable with using them. The missions involve a variety of goals such as building great cities, destroying enemy armies, recovering lost and religious relics or escorting units to set way points. 

Although Age of Mythology is very similar to Age of Empires II, there are some new features in the game that is sure to please real time strategy fans, one of these features are the Gods. Gods play an important role in the game and if you focus on a particular aspect of the pantheon, for instance war, that particular god will bestow a special power upon your people that can only be used once. Different gods also contain various mythological creatures that you will be able to create as playable units in the game.

Each culture is also limited in what units they can and cannot build that helps balance out the gameplay perfectly. Unlike other real time strategy games were you must continuously scavenge for certain core resources, each of the cultures is now limited to a particular resource, for example the Egyptians must mine gold in order to build buildings and build units and do not have to hunt for lumber. The gameplay mode is similar to previous games where you can click on a single or multiple unit and move then anywhere on the map by right clicking your mouse. 

The basic premise of the game (apart from campaign mode) is to feed, protect and make war with your people. By building certain structures in the game, you are able to create certain units such as soldiers, peasants, Pegasus and dragons that all perform different roles in the game such as farming, building, attacking and defending. The A.I. in the game is extremely good and really knows how to find your weak spots in your defences but once you have built your impenetrable base, you are pretty much in defence heaven. 

Graphically, Age of Mythology is very similar to the Age of Empire series but with a new and improved engine. There are new pull down menus that help keep the game screen free of clutter and display a variety of functions such as heroes, idle units and various gaming objectives. Depending on which race you select at the start, the interface also changes to match the culture, for example if you play the Norse, the screen looks like ancient leather, whereas the ancient Egyptians have a sandstone look to their screen. All the units in the game are extremely well animated and feature their own distinct characteristics that set them apart from other units. The dragons breath deadly fire and brimstone upon their victims, whereas the dark and evil shades suck the life out of their enemies. One of the most amazing special effects in the game is the awesome water effect on the beaches that actually look and act like the tides on a real beach would. There are some amazing transparency effects on the water that let you see what lurks beneath the surface like seaweed, fish and the deadly kraken.  

As you play the single-player campaign, the landscape slowly changes from the sand swept deserts of Egypt to the majestic buildings and green terrain of ancient Greece or to the world of the undead in Hades, everything fits together perfectly. Age of Mythology also features one of the most impressive introductions I have ever seen and features an epic battle between an ancient Greek army fighting the dark forces of Greek mythology. 

The game also contains some amazing lighting effects, whether its day or night, everything has a realistic look to it. The spells and various fire effects also contain some great lighting that really help add some much needed eye candy. Age of Mythology also supports a variety of different graphical settings to ensure it to work on a number of different computers and it ran perfectly on our test machine at a resolution of 1024x768 in 32-bit colours with full detail. Even when there was literally hundreds of units on screen at once, there was no slow downwhatsoever. 

Musically Age of Mythology features a great soundtrack that actually makes you feel like you are in an ancient world of wonders and mythical creatures. Each culture features their own distinct soundtrack that help portray the race you are playing. The sound effects of Age of Mythology are great and feature all the sounds of a good battle such as the clank of steel against steel or the eerie noises of dragons. The voice acting for the single player missions has been professionally done and doesn't sound forced on or tacky but flows together with the game quite nicely. All the units have their own individual sounds and grunts that help portray their own unique personality as compared to other units.

Minimum Requirements (Windows)

- Windows 95/98/Me/2000 and XP
- 450Mhz Pentium processor or higher

- 128MB RAM
- 16MB 3D Accelerator
- 1.5GB Free Hard Drive Space
- DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Age ofMythology takes Age of Empires II one step further and drops you in a world ofadventure, mythology and glorious real time strategy. An epic struggle ofhumanity versus the gods and creatures of mythology that helps put the fun backPC Gaming. I highly recommend Age of Mythology to all real time strategy fans orfor those PC gamers that want something different but be careful because thisgame will slowly eat your free time away. Highly Recommended!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com