680th played so far

Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 1999
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft

Age of Empires was an interesting one, one where I got stopped in what I normally feel is an annoying but necessary part of these games – the tutorial. Age of Mythology went better, but then, that’s newer. I assume a lot more was refined in those times. Now we play the middle game of the three (with a mobile game to follow), which makes me wonder where we end up.

Our Thoughts

I suppose the tutorial was fine this time, nothing notable this time. What got me more is the difficulty spike after the tutorial. You see, while a lot of these games are set up around base building, and the mechanics for this game are even more so, your campaign starts out with… escort missions. The first mission and a half, and then elements after that. It’s unfortunate, but even more important, the game doesn’t offer interesting ones. Red Alert does it so much better.

Beyond that, the game offers a lot of options, units and upgrades, where I think another part of the issue I had came in. The first game slowly introduces things – most strategy games do – but here it feels it’s at a higher pace. Again, it makes sense, but I think I got overwhelmed when I got to that point, possibly not helped by, in the first big base building mission, your base came half pre built. I didn’t feel like I got time to get used to it.

Final Thoughts

I think this game is a real sequel – building on what came before and assuming you got into it more than I did. I think I got the gist of it… but it was exhausting and not as fun as I think it could be. The balance was off, unfortunately.