A real-time strategy video game drawing elements from Egyptian, Greek and Norse mythology
Windows ME / Windows 98 SE / Windows 2000 / Windows 95 / Windows NT / Windows 98 / Windows XP
Ensemble Studios took a risk with Age of Mythology, but it has paid off with a revitalized 3-D engine and a new twist on a classic series of real-time strategy games.
When it comes to real-time strategy games, few developers can compare with Ensemble Studios, which has produced a long line of titles from its Age of Empires series. Countless companies have attempted to keep pace with Ensemble Studios, but few are accomplishing this feat. This is why many were surprised to hear that the company was taking a step away from its lineup of successful AoE titles to release Age of Mythology, the first game from this developer utilizing a redeveloped 3-D engine and moving away from the historical fiction aspect of its other titles. Here is a closer look at Age of Mythology and what it has brought to this genre.
All of the standards of this genre remain in this title with the creating of bases, developing units, collecting resources and then upgrading as quickly as possible. Anyone who has ever sat down with the Age of Empires series for a short period of time is going to notice nearly identical controls and a familiar HUD, and this helps with any learning curve that gamers may want to avoid during those first few skirmishes in the campaign or online. While the overall feel is similar, players will notice some huge differences the moment that they start the actual match. This begins with the use of one of four civilizations: the Egyptians, Atlanteans, Greeks or Norse, each of which is centered on the mythology surrounding these various cultures.
After the civilization has been chosen, players will then need to choose a major god, which will have an effect on their overall strategy as well as minor gameplay nuances. As time progresses through a match, small feats will also unlock a pantheon of minor gods, some of which are mechanically beneficial, such as sending down plagues or a bountiful harvest, while others are more to embellish the story line and hash out the overall atmosphere.
Overall, the scope of tactics has expanded to some unique additions, but they feel static at the same time. Players are limited to a handful of powerful strategies both in the campaign and in multi-player gameplay, and this limits the overall competition that will be possible. While this may seem like a major drawback, those that enjoy basic real-time strategies and have exhausted their options with AoE may find a breath of new life with Age of Mythology.