Age Of Mythology Review

Age Of Mythology is a game of ancient civilizations, mighty heroes, mythical beasts and gods. Raise your empire from the ground up, build a powerful army, wage war and conquer the world. Win favor with the gods and they will aid you in your quest in this real time strategy game.

This Age Of Mythology Game Review focuses on the original game that came out (which I still play today). Since then, the expansion pack: Age Of Mythology The Titans was released and Age Of Mythology The Extended Edition after that. But I will reserve those for another post.

GenreReal-time
Strategy
Release Date2002
PublisherMicrosoft
DeveloperEnsemble
Studios,
Skybox Labs
Game ModesSingle Player,
Multiplayer
LAN PlayYes
Single Player CampaignYes
Online PlayAt the
time,Yes
Age Of Mythology Cover
Age Of Mythology Cover

Age Of Mythology – System Requirements

MinimumRecommended
CPU: Pentium II or Athlon equivalentCPU: Pentium 4 or Athlon XP
CPU SPEED: 450 MHzCPU SPEED: 1 GHz
RAM: 128 MBRAM: 512 MB
OS: Windows 98/ME/2000/XPOS: Windows 2000/XP
VIDEO CARD: 16 MB 3D video cardVIDEO CARD: 32 MB 3D
TOTAL VIDEO RAM: 16 MBTOTAL VIDEO RAM: 32 MB
3D: Yes3D: Yes
SOUND CARD: YesSOUND CARD: Yes
FREE DISK SPACE: 1.5 GBFREE DISK SPACE: 1.5 GB

Presentation

95%

Almost Flawless Experience

Fun Factor

93%

Excellent

Overall Game Score

94%

Have To Play

Who will reign supreme victor over all? Take command of a civilization, make the decisions and give the orders to lead your people to victory.

Age Of Mythology surely has got all the elements of a game that gets me excited. Did it live up to my expectations? Yes it did.

Age Of Mythology deserves a space on my list as one of the best PC strategy games of all time.

Welcome to my Age Of Mythology game review:

A Short Introduction

When Age Of Mythology was released in 2002, I so much wanted to buy the game but it was too expensive at the time here in South Africa and so I had to wait a while. All the while, I was building on my high expectations for the game and scared I may set myself up for disappointment.

But when I finally got the game, it did not disappoint.

My aim for any game is fun first and foremost and Age Of Mythology delivers countless hours of fun. So be warned: playing this game you may want to clear your schedule for the day as it is difficult to stop, for me at least, once you start playing.

Normally when I research a game I would like to buy and I read some reviews, I do not always get the information I want and need to browse around. Information I typically want to know (and hopefully you too) I left in the table above.

Perhaps I am a bit different but the first thing I do when I start a game is to browse through the menu and have a look to see what options are available.

Age Of Mythology Menu And Options

After the exciting introduction video, the first thing you will see is the menu and an animated background of some landscape and the sea with the water lapping onto the shore and so forth. Very pretty. Have a look:

Age Of Mythology Main Menu

Even today, I love this menu. It is crisp, clean and it fits the theme so well. I much prefer the look of this menu to the menu of the expansion that came out.

It is a detailed menu with all the options I like to see which includes (but not limited to):

  • Tutorial
  • A Map Editor
  • Graphic Options
  • Sound Options
  • Key Bindings Editor (Editing the hot keys)
  • An About section

But then it even goes further and have detailed information about the civilizations, gods, minor gods, units and much more.

The menu is very responsive even back when the game was released. I do not appreciate laggy and buggy menu’s.

I like the game recording feature: When you replay a recorded multiplayer game session, you are able to switch between the different players which is great for picking up some tips.

From the many different units that is outlined, the options and detail, it is obvious that the Ensemble team put a lot of work and thought into the game. It is quality like this that I appreciate.

Age Of Mythology Digital Download

The Age Of Mythology Digital download is mainly for the extended edition and on Steam.

Below you can shop for the best price:

G2Play: Age Of Mythology Digital Download Cd Key

Steam: Age Of Mythology Digital Download Complete

Kinguin: Age Of Mythology Digital Download CD Key

Buy Age Of Mythology

You can also buy Age Of Mythology on disk from Amazon here: Age Of Mythology
Or GameStop here: Age Of Mythology

What Is Game Quality To Me?

By quality, I do not mean mind boggling graphics (although these graphics were pretty good back then). I mean responsiveness through and through, not too many bugs, detail in the story, character personalities and if there are any animation then that will also be a factor for me.

Also the balance achieved between the amount of computer resources used, graphic quality, responsiveness and level of gameplay you receive in return for that resources.

Having spectacular graphics but a buggy and unresponsive game is not a quality or balanced game in my opinion. Especially if it requires a powerful computer; since the return is so little in the form of fun and playability to what you need to play the game title.

Imagine you are playing a game with a great sounding title and massive potential. The graphics is to drool over and you can’t wait to play this game online with your friend/s. All of a sudden you ran into all sorts of problems from an unstable connection to the game crashing to the desktop and taking you hours or more to sort out and this is only the start of the problems:

Having fun yet?

Therefore, a quality game to me can still have 8-bit graphics. Good coding, good use of your computer resources and detail (in story, game mechanics and just everything) adds to the enjoyment of the game title in my opinion.

Age Of Mythology is exactly that: A very good quality game that is surprisingly not so common to find these days.

This took me way off course! Let me get back to Age Of Mythology:

Age Of Mythology Civilizations

Age Of Mythology Town Centers

There are 3 civilizations to choose from: Greek, Egyptian and Norse.

Each have their own gods, minor gods and unique units.

The play style also differs from each civilization for example: The Greeks can only have 4 heroes with specific names like: Odysseus, Jason, Bellerophon and Heracles. The Norse can have as many heroes as they can afford and are called Hersirs. Egyptian heroes are pharaohs and priests. You can have one or two pharaohs and as many priests as you can afford.

Gathering resources and building structures are a bit different for each civilization as well: The Greeks use workers to gather wood, gold and food. Workers will also be used for building all their structures. The Norse use their soldiers to build structures while workers only gather resources. They also make use of ox carts as mobile drop off points for resources rather than fixed structures. The Egyptians have no need for gathering wood as gold is the only resource they need for building their structures. Workers will be used for building and gathering food and gold.

If that is not enough variety, there are also nine major gods and 21 minor gods to choose from.

Age Of Mythology is a very complex, well-balanced and polished game that offers a huge variety in gameplay.

A Big Shift

Age of Mythology is part of the ‘Age’ series, if that is a term, and plays a lot like Age Of Empires II (Another favorite of mine)

The focus before was based on historical events and you could actually learn something from the game in regard to civilizations of that time period. The history portrayed in the game is pretty accurate.

With Age Of Mythology Ensemble Studios moved from history to myth. It still points to history but not real events. This opens up a whole new world of mythical creatures and gods that can be introduced into the game and I am so glad they did.

Age Of Mythology Units

Age Of Mythology Myth Units

One of the highlights of this game for me is the many different units created and each have their own believable personality and animation. The three civilizations share common units like archers, calvary and foot soldiers but unlike Age Of Empires II, the civilizations do not share graphics. An Egyptian worker unit looks different from a Greek worker unit for example.

Then there are the heroes which I briefly touched in the Civilization section. The Greek heroes are stronger against myth units than the Egyptian – or Norse heroes, but you are only allowed four heroes in total. (1 per Age) These are specific heroes depending on the major god you chose. It is therefore a total of 12 different heroes for the Greeks and 13 if you count The Argo when choosing Poseidon as a major God.

A hero is the only unit that can gather relics which are spread across the map. (I will talk more about relics a bit later) Heroes are good against myth units and human soldiers are good against heroes and myth units are good against human soldiers. That is the basics but of course you have counter units for archers, calvary and for soldiers.

Then there is the worker unit that gathers resources and may construct buildings depending on the culture.

Age Of Mythology Resources

Age Of Mythology Resources

There are 4 resources to collect: Wood, Gold, Food and Favor. Age Of Mythology does not require you to gather stone like in the previous Ensemble Studios games and Favor seems to be the new resource that took its place.

Resources are used to construct buildings, train units, research technologies and doing upgrades among other things. Egyptian laborers, Norse gatherers and dwarfs, Greek villagers and fishing boats are responsible for gathering these resources.

Wood is typically used for constructing buildings, some upgrades and training of some units. The Egyptians; however, do not need wood for constructing their buildings but rather uses gold for that. Wood is collected only from chopping down trees.

Gold is mined from gold mines or acquired through trade and is used for almost everything. Norse dwarfs gather gold 20% faster than the gatherers. So it is wise to have the dwarfs mine gold only.

Food is acquired from hunting, picking berries, fishing and through farming. Food is your primary resource and usually the resource I assign most worker units on.

Favor is needed to build myth units, research myth technologies and for some buildings like Wonders. Favor is accumulated differently for each civilization: The Greeks need villagers to pray at the temple while the Norse accumulate favor by fighting, hunting and acquiring heroes. The Egyptians gets favor from erecting monuments. 

The temple is therefore a very important building for all civilizations. 

Age Of Mythology Relics

Age Of Mythology Relics

Relics are scattered across the map and can only be carried by heroes. (as mentioned before) Relics will grant you additional bonuses to what the gods offer you and vary from a small bonus to quite a considerable bonus to the player. This can be anything from generating extra favor to a discount on researching technologies.

Relics needs to be put inside your temple for you to receive its bonus. Your temple can garrison up to 5 relics.

Norse units have the advantage here as Hersirs (Norse heroes) can be quickly and relatively cheaply produced. Egyptians may have the hardest time in collecting relics as only the Pharaoh can carry relics. Pharaohs are also used to empower buildings and boost the economy; hence there is a trade off.

Relics do give reason for one to explore the whole map.

Age Of Mythology Single Player campaign

The single player campaign boasts 32 missions where you play with the Greek hero Arkantos. Your adventure starts when Arkantos arrives at Atlantis to see his son, Kastor. You are ordered by Krios to give aid to Agamemnon in the Trojan war.

I enjoyed the single player experience a lot. There are good cut scenes that add lots of personality and character to the game. Your adventure takes you through the snowy forests of Scandinavia, sandy plains of Egypt to the wall of Troy over 32 missions filled with twists and rivalries.

In the first few missions it is only Greek versus Greek and you start to wonder when you will see the other civilizations make their appearance. But this allows for learning the game and each aspect of it in steps. By the time you get to the Egyptians and Norse civilizations, you have mastered many aspects of the game already.

Apart from a very interesting story, it is good to see that the game is not just about wiping out another race but have different goals for achieving victory in a mission. Perhaps you need to escort someone to its destination or you are tasked to collect some relics.

In the end; all three civilizations has a common enemy that needs to be stopped from unleashing a huge evil on this world.

There is so much to say, but it is best experiencing this for yourself.

So this brings me to the question:

Can I Play Age Of Mythology On Windows 10

Yes. Is my short answer. The original game may need some tweaking or you will need to play it on a virtual machine. But Age Of Mythology disks bundled with the expansion: Titans, seems to work fine for me.

You can also buy the extended version from Steam.

[Please see above for details where to buy Age Of Mythology]

Age Of Mythology Multiplayer

Playing an Age Of Mythology multiplayer game was the ultimate reason I bought the game. You can duke it out against 11 other players for glorious, addictive fun lasting all day long.

There are 7 game play modes to choose from of which Supremacy and Conquest were popular choices. In Supremacy all game aspects are in play including the first person to build a wonder wins. In conquest, you will need to defeat all your opponents.

Other game types includes Nomad (starting with one worker unit and no town center) and Sudden Death (you lose if your town center gets destroyed and you fail to rebuild it in a certain time period)

You advance through four Ages that grants you more buildings to construct, more units that can be created, more technologies that can be researched, myth units and more. The four ages are: Archaic, Classical, Heroic and Mythic. 

With each age advancement, you can choose between two minor gods that will grant you a power. You can use a god power only once.

The pathfinding of units are quite good and there are a variety of stances to choose from, which reminds me of something odd:

Almost anything you mouse over, you will be shown detailed information about it, but shortcut/hot keys for units are not displayed in-game as far as I know. So it is something you might want to memorize. The hot keys can be edited from the Options menu.

The AI (artificial intelligence) of computer controlled units are quite challenging and well coded.

It takes a bit to get use to picking out specific units in a crowd, but it does get easier and the heroes do have a certain glow around them. Right here is where a nice touch was added:

When you select a group of units, you can then right click on the unit banner at the top and that group will be saved to that specific banner. The banner will show you all kinds of information regarding the group which makes it very easy to select different unit groups without remembering the shortcut key for it.

The multiplayer coding is solid and I have personally played this game on LAN parties for the whole day without any problem. There was one thing I noticed:

When you host a game and add computer players to the mix, the computer players tend to all attack the person that hosted the game first. I do think this was fixed with a later patch, but I normally played only with human players. 

There is a nice in-game chat system included as well.

Age Of Mythology Manual

Conclusion

The single player campaign is a treat and there are no hangups with the game which makes it a pleasure to play.

Age Of Mythology is surely the best game produced from Ensemble studios and it really sports some wow factors like the many unique characters with their own believable animations. The fine balance and complexity all with enormous variety and play styles along with solid coding to name a couple.

There are minor things that can be improved and perhaps some I haven’t even noticed. One thing that could have been incorporated was unit build queuing to minimize micro management at your town and perhaps adding the hot keys in a popup over the units.

The music and sound quality is good although the music can get repetitive after a while. More soundtracks would have been better. At least you have the option to switch off the music if you want to.

The fun factor of this game is through the roof and if you like RTS titles, then give this a try at least once.

Your Feedback

Perhaps you can share some of your experiences playing Age Of Mythology or maybe you have a question. If you do, please leave it in the comments below.

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