Age of Empires was released way back in 1997, and forever changed real time strategy gaming. A genre of gaming which at the time was mostly dominated by games such as Command amp; Conquer, and WarCraft: Orcs amp; Humans. Due to controls most games from this genre are released on the PC, and have the player over seeing civilizations as if they were god himself.
Combining idea’s from Civilization, Ensemble Studio’s created the concept of Age of Empires for PC, which forced players into making choices on the fly instead of taking turns with opponents. Another feature, which made Age of Empires great during its hay days, is the concept of technological ages, which a player’s civilization could progress through during game play.
Some of the features that made Age of Empires great are all now over looked by new age gamers. Players of Age of Empires have the choice of playing as several different nationalities during historical events. Aside from the obvious history lessons, players can play as the Roman Empire for example. The way that players advance through the ages is by collecting resources.
The collection of resources is done by spawning villagers from the “Town Center” and then telling them what to do. For example telling villagers to chop down trees would produce wood for erecting buildings. Telling villagers to mine would produce stockpiles of gold or stone, which could be used for anything from building walls to military units.
Another interesting aspect of Age of Empires is the fact that the AI (Artificial Intelligence) of the game is simply amazing. While they can’t be compared to many games these days, the AI of Age of Empires fights you to the very end with everything they have. When you destroy one of their buildings, they will rebuild or attack you with military forces.
Age of Empires also featured online game play aspects where a player could fight with or against other human players. The great thing is that you can set it up where each human player is on a team with AI characters, or with other humans. That feature is great for practicing the game play, and even better for increasing the replay value of the game.
Map Creation is yet another amazing feature about Age of Empires, and allows users to set up their own campaign maps to play themselves or to upload to the Internet for others to enjoy. Even now players are still creating scenarios for others to enjoy, and you can too.
Controls amp; Sound
Though it may seem tedious playing a strategy game on the PC, it turns out that it’s the best way to play any game in the genre hands down. The use of a mouse allows for speedy selection of buildings or units from the players civilization. You’re also able to group together units for quicker reaction to military threats and so on.
Sound effects in Age of Empires are perfect. Every character or unit you click on has their own unique sound effect sets, and even random animals on the map have sound effects. Details are what it’s all about, and Age of Empires has a great amount of it.
Rise of Rome
An expansion to Age of Rome, this add-on to the original game added new units, buildings, and new technology for players to utilize. Aside from those features, it also fixed a number of bugs, and focused on the formation and expansion of the Roman Empire. Though it may not be the best place for some sort of a history lesson, Age of Empires: Rise of Rome is actually a fun way to learn about the rise of the Romans.
Overall, Age of Empires gets a five out of five, for being perfect. As one of the gems of gaming history this game is essential to any gaming collection. Better yet, if you or a loved one are looking to purchase this game, now is pretty good time. Amazon.com has the Age of Empires: Collectors Edition for only $9.99 new, which includes Age of Empires 1, Rise of Rome, and Age of Empires 2 with its expansion pack.
5/5 – Perfect – (5 Being Perfect, 1 Being Horrible.)