Articles

LGR – Age of Empires – PC Game Review

September 12, 2019


Age of Empires Developed by “Ensemble Studios” and published by Microsoft in 1997 For Windows and Macintosh Computers This box art is incredible An epic game deserves an epic cover illustration And I love how this lets you know right off the bat that this is going to be historically intense Although, the screenshots on the
back are somewhat misleading Since you can’t build cities like this during normal gameplay nor will you ever see armies with this size and organization But whatever, it got the job done because as soon as I saw this back then I had to have it. Although the real reason I wanted it in the first place was because of the trial version It’s not often that I remember a demo more
fondly than the full game it was demonstrating But, “Age of Empires” certainely one of these cases The amount of content this demo came with was absolutely massive I spent dozen of hours going through the campaigns
and replaying it’s scenarios over and over And these missions were all exclusive to
the trial version; which is how a demo
should be done if you ask me The full game was an absolute treat though, easily filling up a full CD’s worth of content And including a substantial manual covering every aspect of game play in the first half and covering the history of each
civilization featured in the other it also came with a fold-out card
revealing the full tech tree and all the games hotkeys and even a trial version of Microsoft’s
online service with Internet Explorer 4.0 which is still sealed to this day
because who cares Age of Empires begins with an intro
cinematic showing a bunch of dudes killing each other with other finesse have of can opener
fighting a bowl of plastic silverware you then get a main menu filled with
clear and concise menu options multi-player is a huge draw to this
game but single player is no slouch either with a variety of enticing
gameplay choices if you want a linear set of missions
based on historical events the campaign mode is where it’s at you unlock more missions the more
you play with over forty to choose from by the end you also have individual scenarios
although the ones that it comes with are all geared towards multi-player deathmatch is where spent the most time
with this game by far since it allowed for customized
skirmishes against skilled AI with a variety of possible victory conditions so how does AOE play overall well back then I heard it described as
Warcraft 2 meets Civilization and while this makes a little sense it’s not quite how I would put it if
you’re familiar with games like Warcraft or Command and Conquer then you
probably feel right at home with its base building tech trees and individual
unit control options you start with a builder unit and maybe a
town centre but otherwise it’s up to you to gather
resources and expand accordingly about the only thing similar to
Civilization though is the historical focus and even that’s a stretch Age of Empires starts in the stone age
and ends in the post Iron Age which in this context takes place roughly
between 10,000 BC to 1AD but it’s neither turn based or involves
taking over the world so comparisons to Civilization kinda
end their what it does feature is a fantastic
setting to play with that was very different to anything else on the market
at that time that I was familiar with simply put this game blew my
twelve-year-old mind when I got it and it was actually my introduction to
the RTS genre at large I’d played strategic titles like
Civ and SimCity before this but age really honed in on that level of
micro-management that I had no idea that I wanted going from controlling a city or city-state in other games too controlling individual workers and
soldiers here was mind-blowingly cool in my mind it was like Lemmings but a
hundred times better these little guys here they were just do
whatever you told them to and sometimes they’d go off and get themselves killed
because they were also kind of stupid this was like a new chapter in my gaming
life a chapter filled with a sense of control and responsibility that I’d
never felt before and it wasn’t all about building the
biggest Empire or hoarding the most resources sometimes all you started out with was a
handful of military units so you have to pick your battles wisely
if you wanted to survive and I’ll never forget the first time I
played a scenario where all you have is a priest and since they can’t fight
the only way to progress is to convert enemy units man priests are so OP if
you’ve got the gold to make enough for them you think you
need huge armies of soldiers to win a battle just train a crapload of priests and
convert the entire enemy army and even their buildings ever since this game I have been a
devoted follower of the church of Wololo where the notion
that the color of your clothing is superior to everyone else’s is the golden rule the sense of progression you experienced
in each map was magnificent as well I love starting off
as a lonely nomad in the building up my empire to stretch
across the whole map although I have no idea how I actually
managed that since there is a curious lack of any female villagers but hey I guess asexual reproduction was
prevalent back then however my villagers got it on the
satisfaction of exploiting resources constructing buildings bashing in the
heads of my enemies and researching new technology is
constantly rewarding give me enough wood stone and gold and
I become an unstoppable unapologetic force aggressive conquest yes diplomacy is an option but who cares
when you’ve got an army of trigger-happy helepolis units and the power trip only gets more
intense if you cheat with the units like the missile
launching Camaro and the laser wielding nuke trooper that will cut through
anything ancient Egypt had to offer unrealistic yes did I care not one bit screw those guys combine all
this with the appealing isometric perspective gorgeous aesthetic and pre-rendered 3d
objects and the superb soundtrack both midi and CD audio formats and Age of Empires was a game that drew
me in like nothing else at the time however there were some frustrations
that have only become more apparent in hindsight for example there are some unforgivable
issues with the unit pathfinding as I said earlier your guys are often
blissfully stupid getting stuck on trees and failing to
find a way around the simplest of obstacles it’s also really hard to control large
groups of them with no way to create formations or set
rally points while building them villagers especially are also way too
easy to lose track of and frequently get lost behind buildings and just stopped working whenever they
finish a task you’ll have to keep a ridiculously close eye on every one
of them which is extra challenging because the AI cheats like crazy not only does it instantly know the
location of and pursue all the valuable resources and artifacts
from the word go but it can perform a huge amount of
actions simultaneously whereas you have to do all these things
one at a time so even on the lowest difficulty it’s
far too easy to be outmatched unless you work at a
frantic pace or slow the game speed down to the point
where it may as well be turn-based granted some of this was addressed in
the excellent Rise of Rome expansion which added the Romans and several other
civilizations that were curiously absent and beyond this there were third party
expansions that added a slew of new scenarios and campaigns to play although if you’re a deathmatch player
like me then these really weren’t too exciting besides I was far more interested in
creating my own scenarios and campaigns which could be done using the built-in
editor and this was fantastic it lets you create anything you saw in the main
campaigns allowed you to test your scenarios on the fly all without requiring any external
programs still even with the expansions patches and
customizable gameplay I’d argue that Age of Empires really
doesn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped back in 1997 the problems it had I
ignored and considering the number of awards it won critics didn’t seem to mind much either however its medieval sequel Age of Kings so thoroughly trounced almost every
aspect of the original that it’s difficult to recommend going
back to it much like in the game itself time has moved on and far better things
have come along which is probably why Age of Kings has
received an HD remake and Age of Empires is all but overlooked
anymore it’s kind of a shame but it’s understandable when talking
purely in terms of playability still I can’t help but love the crap out
of it even if it’s somewhat cracked and broken like so many pieces of Greek
pottery Age of Empires is still a landmark game both personally and in terms of RTS
titles at large and as such it has my utmost respect I think I made it clear by now that I
think it’s awesome if you thought this video was awesome in
well I to seek more videos on other awesome games then yeah this
channel is a place for that it’s what I do here there are more
videos every Monday and Friday so you can just pay close attention or
be lazy click the subscribe button and YouTube will let you know when there are
more you can also be sociable on social
networks such as Twitter and Facebook as well as support the show on Patreon which is good if you want to do something extra all this stuff is completely optional as
are most things in life other than death taxes and Wololo and as
always thank you very much for watching

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *