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Subject: Unmemorable but not terrible rss

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Duncan
New Zealand
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Age of Mythology is a real time strategy game from the the makers of the Age of Empires games first released in 2002 and re-released earlier in 2014 on Steam. While not strictly a part of the Age of Empires series, Age of Mythology is fundamentally very similar to those games. Age of Mythology's primary point of difference is that, rather than having a purely historical basis, the game draws elements from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Norse mythologies.


Human soldiers do battle alongside centaurs


A core part of playing Age of Mythology are gods. Players start the game with the favour of one of nine major gods and throughout the game can devote themselves to up to three further gods. The choices made grant different benefits and allow a range of different progression possibilities. The gods grant certain 'myth' units to their devotees such as minotaurs, hydras and valkyries. These supplement your more mundane human troops. Each god also grants specific benefits within some aspect of the game. For example Hephaestus, Greek god of blacksmiths and metallurgy, enhances your ability to improve your soldiers' weapons and armour. Finally, each god also grants a powerful, single-use 'god-power'. These range from inflicting destruction on enemies in an area to temporarily or permanently modifying the capabilities of some of your own units.


Norse technology with Odin as the major god. Each god has their associated units and benefits


While I like the idea of these powers I often found the effects underwhelming. The fact that they are single-use contributes further to my dissatisfaction as it makes easy to use something too early and not have it available again or hold a power in reserve only to get to the end of the game without using it to good effect. A few god powers are the only avenue for getting certain powerful units or buildings and these consistently seem to be among the most useful.

Gods and the benefits they grant give the three civilizations most of their distinct identities but they do some other defining characteristics: the Greeks have strong human soldiers lead by powerful and unique heroes, the Egyptians have generally weak human soldiers but very a strong economic basis and the Norse have very strong but expensive individual soldiers. The Norse are also defined by their mobility; their infantry units rather than their workers build new buildings which allows rapid expansion without interrupting your flow of resources.

Age of Mythology uses four resources: food, wood gold and favour. The first three are straightforward and should be easily comprehended by anyone who has ever played a similar game. Favour is a little more unique it represents how pleased your gods are with you and is collected differently by all three of the civilizations portrayed. Myth units and god granted upgrades use favour as a component of their cost. Managing your resources is important but uncomplicated.

My main experience of Age of Mythology has come through completing the single player campaign. The campaign follows a small group of characters through a story devised for the game which conveniently progress through different regions such that the player gets a thorough opportunity to play with different civilizations and god choices. The story itself is not noteworthy as with the most games of the genre but it does enough to set up a wide range of interesting scenarios which are both interesting to play and expose the player to all the fundamental components of the game.


Story is mostly developed through cutscenes


Aside from the single player campaign experience, multiplayer games are a possibility. While I won't go as far as to state that multiplayer Age of Mythology is inherently bad, I will say that I believe there to better options available including Age of Empires 2, Age of Mythology's classic predecessor.

Although Age of Mythology was reasonably entertaining and interesting to play through, I do not consider it a great game, nor am I interested in playing much more than I have. While most of Age of Mythology's defining characteristics seem interesting at face value, the overall execution the mythological elements was lack lustre - not entirely bad but far from outstanding.
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