It's one of those games you simply must play. Its really very addictive and makes you keep coming back, again and again!
If you've ever played Age of Empires before, you'd have noticed that Ensemble pays a lot of attention to its history. In this game however, they stray into Mythology, a very amazing and fascinating field. So expect to find mythological creatures such as Manticores, Trolls, Frost Giants, Medusae, and many many more. Get ready to be sucked into the wonderful world of Age of Mythology.
Age of Mythology combines the best features of Age of Empires with great new twists and presents itself as a completely new gaming experience for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Even if you haven’t played a bunch of RTS games before, you’ll enjoy this game just as much as one that has. For all the complex structuring of the game, it’s relatively easy to get the hang of. This game has one of the best tutorials, so if you’re a fresher at playing RTS, you can become an expert if you play this game enough.
Age of Mythology is based on three civilizations - the Greeks, the Egyptians, and the Norse. Each of these is radically different from each other and that’s the best feature of the game as it allows for much experimentation with strategies. Even within a civilization can be found three different sub factions, based on these respective cultures' major deities and there's variation within each sub faction. Allegiance with any of the game's deities gives you special bonuses, such a special miracle-power, a unique mythological unit of some sort or special technology. As you get to choose from three civilizations, nine major gods, and many minor gods, there’s really no limit to strategic planning.
As in the Age of Empires, here also you need to collect resources of food, wood and timber. But what’s different is that instead of stone, you have to collect favor. Favor represents the powers of your civilizations' gods and is used for summoning powerful mythological units, and gaining special technological advances. Each civilization gains favor differently. Greek villagers can be ordered to pray at a temple, which gradually increases favor. Egyptian workers can construct monuments to their gods that generate favor. And the Norse earn favor from battles. Because of this favor element, the temple becomes indispensable for every civilization as it is here that you summon some of the most powerful units of the game and research special upgrades.
There’s only one campaign in this game but it includes all three civilizations and comprises of a total 32 missions. You play as Arkantos, an Atlantean Hero, and try to stop Gargarensis from opening the gates of the underworld and releasing the evil Kronos, a monster bent on capturing and destroying the world. There are four such gates spread across the world and it is up to you to encertain that none of them are allowed to be opened. Your mission will take you to each of the four locations and you’ll have control of each of the civilizations’ forces one at a time. In the course of the mission you’ll learn about each civilization’s unique powers and abilities and it’ll get you ready for the random map and online play.
What you have to keep in mind while playing AoM is that you need to explore and capture territory as soon as possible. Unlike AoE, you can’t construct town centers just about anywhere. There are limited number of settlements available on the map and it is only here that town centers can be established. So it best you send out explorers earlier on in the game.
The Hero and Mythical units are very important for your army as these are the most hard-hitting. Each civilization plays differently in this aspect. For example the Greek have few named heroes but they’re very powerful. On the other hands you can have many hero units of the Norse or Egyptian but they’re not very strong and can be defeated by relatively strong normal units. You also need heroes to gather relics. These relics turn out to be very handy as each relic grants your civilization a special bonus and increase your chances of victory. Heroes are very essential for defeating mythical units which can destroy large armies on their own. Each civilization has its own unique mythical units and some planning is required for their best use.
The Multiplayer of this game is really great. As there’s so much variety in the game, expect the unexpected in online play. It’s best to know what your opponent is playing as, so you can plan out at the earliest. It can be quite a nasty surprise if you don’t know what you’re up against, and you won’t know what hit you. The battles are much quicker in this game compared with others. Another plus point is that you don’t need a lot of micromanagement of your base. For example, a farm once created doesn’t need to be refreshed again as was in AoE. This helps you concentrate more on the battle aspect. Plus it’s best to be on the offensive from the start. AoM isn’t much defense oriented, as fortifications are weak and against relatively powerful siege weapons, stand no chance at all. So it’s always best to concentrate more on your army than relying more on base fortifications. This goes doubly if you’re playing Norse. As they gain favor from battles, staying dormant for a long time will lead to loss, as you won’t be able to summon your most powerful units.
The graphics of this game are brilliant. Despite the fact that there’s a plethora of units in the game, Ensemble has succeeded in making each unit unique in itself. The effects accompanying use of superpowers are complete. The animations are well detailed and cut-scenes brilliantly done. One might, at first impression, feel that the units are a bit tiny and hard to differentiate, but, believe me once you start playing the game you’ll appreciate how unique each unit is. The maps are also well designed.
AoM sounds great. The music score is different for each civilization and the battle-music really fits the situation. The dialog has been brilliantly done and the character voices suit them well. The fact that you can actually differentiate a unit just by listening to it is just terrific. The battle music is, at times, a bit subdued but it doesn’t much affect the performance of the game and makes for a complete gaming experience.
Overall Age of Mythology is one of the best games in the market and is a must-play for any gamer. If you’re an RTS gamer then this game is a must-have for your collection. It provides hours of addicting gameplay and makes you keep coming back to it. There’s so much variety in it that it is impossible to get bored. This is really one of the best PC games ever and you’ll definitely enjoy playing it.
Go Play !!