03 September, 2011

Age Of Mythology

  • Release Date: 2002
  • Platform: PC, Mac
  • Developer: Ensemble Studios
  • Genre: Strategy

Ensemble didn't take risks. It didn't have to. From the moment the historical strategy game Age Of Empires launched in 1997, its course was set: It would be king of real-time strategy, absurdly successful, regardless of whatever naysayers might claim about the PC and Mac platforms. The studios owner Microsoft closed the studio in 2009, and it didn't seem to add up. No developer knew how to be a reliable money-factory quite as well as Ensemble.

Age Of Mythology, the studio's first game for Microsoft, doesn't take risks either. It does quite the opposite, dragging the fantastical elements that less successful rivals tend toward into its own straitlaced but highly polished strategy structure: harvesting wood and stone, building bases in exact order, deftly making every unit a precise rock to some other soldier's paper or scissor. Ensemble took someone else's risk and made it into the most sensible thing in the world. It has Minotaur and sphinx and Valkyrie, but somehow they arn't an outlandish pretense among the more familiar cavalry, swordsmen and archers. Instead, they're smart, strategic high-end units, vital to tipping the game's mathematically precise balance into your favour. Age Of Mythology knows exactly what it's doing, and being in the company of mythical beasts doesn't change the solid formula one bit.

Age Of Mythology may have played it safe, but it did suggest Ensemble might be a little more playful from thereon in. That didn't happen. Next in line came the button-downed Age Of Empires III, and then Halo Wars as the studio's last dying breath. That leaves Age Of Mythology as an aberration; perhaps the only game where this one-time king of studios allowed its own character to appear alongside its unsullied strategy-design skill.

The Trojan Horse

8 memories:

Can't say I played this one, but I hear a lot about it

Oh man!
This game for it's release date has so superb graphics!
The gameplay is so cool!

The heroes, the armies of so many diferent units, the campaign!
Everything is superb about this game...

I dont know why but I liked more the original Age of Mythology, didn't like the expansion set - Titan's revenge.

I remember playing this at LAN's; was always fun ;D

It was a great game, but I preferred Age of Empires 2.

I played AoM, but I gotta be honest, it wasn't a worthy successor to AoE. In my opinion, at least.
It was fun and all, but something about AoM just never clicked with me. Oh well.

My brother and I were addicted to this game back in the day. And really I dont know why, because looking back I think Empires was better

Gosh, I used to play this game like crazy when I was in middle school! Still love it!

You reminded me of it. I think I'll finish the campaign again :D

My girlfriend is a huge fan of this game. She doesn't use Windows now (she has Ubuntu) so she kind of misses it a bit.

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