#495 Age of Mythology

Posted: 9th September 2014 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

362nd played so far

Age_of_Mythology_LinerGenre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 2001
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

This is a game played out of order – Age of Empires is the parent series under which Age of Mythology falls – but we’ve played other games out of sequence before, so who cares, right? I don’t. I bloody loved this game when I was younger.

 We’ve played this together with the Titans expansion, although (for our purposes) that didn’t seem to matter much.

Our Thoughts

One of the problems when playing these games is that it can be difficult to forget what followed. Age of Mythology, in its mission setup and storytelling, owes quite a bit to how Starcraft did it a few years earlier, while Warcraft 3, released a year later, looks and plays better.

Then again, there are some clear signals that story mode and single player might not have been the highest priority. Unlike the aforementioned initial comparisons, the story mode follows a single hero and army, an Atlantean one, while you do not play any of the other (pretty unique!) armies. While you can see how it would make vague sense as a way to focus the storyline, it feels like the game is mostly ignoring those armies for many people’s main mode of play.

Playing against bots or other humans gives you a better feel of how the armies are different. The main place where this can be seen is in the selection of your deities. Each army has a choice between three different ones, giving you some unique powers and access to different minor deities. They nicely allow you to focus your army on different elements, based on how you prefer to play and what you find you need during the game. It’s an interesting system – clearly integrating the mythology, spells and more into your game while not making it too major, too complicated or too… RPGy over strategy. You just miss out on that during the main campaign.

Well I never missed out on that since in the year that I played this game (not continuously but I never really had many games on the PC as a kid. Plus I am a bit of a dork for mythology so I had to play this game ad nauseum to make sure I played as every possible deity. The game really shines outside of the campaign (which I think was meant to be the point anyway) with a variety of  intelligent AI opponents which you can mix and match depending on your mood or method of play.

Now I know that they could not include all the mythologies in the world as that would make for an insanely large pantheon and a lot of 3D modelling… plus they went for the most popular ones which was a decent move. However, with the expansion they went for the Titans which is really cool but would have been even better if alongside those they could have included some Central American deities like Quetzacoatl or maybe some Inuit gods such as Sedna and Nanook. Maybe if the Extended Edition is successful a proper sequel with these extras might happen.

Final Thoughts

Right, now that we have done this out of order we really need to get to Age of Empires when we need to do a strategy game in terms of the statistics it will probably one we will look at to make sure we’ve done more of the series. I thought we had done it…. but it turned out to be Rise of Nations.

It’s nice to have a game that delves into mythology the way this does. Okami was the same in that respect since it took something so mythical and made an amazing game out of it.

  1. […] we not played this game yet? (Almost, we played Age of Mythology a year ago.) Age of Empires is, and feels like, one of those important strategy series that […]