Age of Mythology: The Titans
The Age Of Mythology series has always been a reassuringly dependable RTS, the strategy equivalent of a cup of cocoa and a pair of fluffy slippers. However, Ensemble wasn't content to rest on its well-established laurels with Age Of Mythology, and instead dug deep into its RTS pockets to bnng us a beautiful, finely tuned game with a host of weird and wonderful creatures pulled straight from the pages of a book on mythology.
The Titans expansion pack focuses mainly on a new civilisation, the Atlanteans, led by Kastor, the son of Arkantos, the hero from the original game. In the meaty single-player campaign, the tale of the Atlanteans is spread over 12 missions, all of which are neatly designed and more than a match for anything in the original game.
New Toys On The Block
Part of this is due to the wide range of new features and tilesets Microsoft has added to the in-game editor - the flourishing AoM modding community will have nothing to complain about when they see all the new toys they've got to play with. In fact, the developers do seem to have paid quite a bit of attention to the multiplayer side of Titans. As well as polishing up the online interface, they've also included a number of Al 'personalities', with unique playing styles that mimic the methods of real-life opponents.
The Atlanteans themselves are like a more interesting version of the Greeks, who personally I've always found to be quite dull compared to the showy and frantic Egyptians and the Norse. They come complete with their own set of major Titan gods; Kronos, Oranos and Gaia, plus nine minor gods.
The various Titan god powers and the Atlantean features add some very interesting strategic twists to the game. For instance, all their buildings come replete with a time shift power, which allows them to be moved to different parts of the map. The vortex god power literally sucks all your military units up and drops them in one place. The Atlanteans also curry favour with their chosen gods by taking over town centres rather than praying at temples, building relics or fighting, making them much more of a territory conscious side to play.
Unfortunately there are very few changes to the existing sides, but the key addition is a giant creature for each side -monstrous beings that can cause enormous amounts of damage. When you've managed to create one of these Titans they will roam about the map tearing things up and fighting each other like a Japanese monster movie.
Overall this is a great value expansion pack. The singleplayer campaign is very satisfying, the new race has some very interesting potential for online games and the new Titans are superb fun, if not particularly subtle. With typical Ensemble aplomb, Age Of Mythology has just received a titanic new lease of life.
Download Age of Mythology: The Titans
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Atlantis has fallen, but don't count the Atlanteans out just yet. Though their homeland has fallen beneath the waves, the survivors of Atlantis have found new gods to worship: the Titans. Using the powers bestowed upon them by Oranos, Kronos, and other deities, the Atlanteans are poised to avenge themselves against Olympus and the gods of the other nations; the Norse and the Egyptians. But is vengeance the goal of the Atlanteans' or the Titans themselves? Age of Mythology: The Titans is a well scripted and excellent addition to the original game. A new race with new gods to worship, a series of new and exciting powers, and a whole slew of units to command, The Titans does an admirable job of continuing in the rich tradition of Age titles.
The Titans looks to have been thoroughly play-tested, as there appear to be little to no flaws in its execution. Even non-Age players will quickly pick up the intuitive control set, and control of units is as easy as the previous Age titles. Graphics are just as nice as the original, and several of the new units were a solid improvement, even from Age of Mythology itself. Sounds and in game music were also very well done, with few exceptions.
The Titans does have some niceties all its own. The Atlantean basic unit, the Citizen, is quite an excellent addition. Though more expensive than its Greek, Viking and Egyptian counterparts, Citizens (with donkey in tow) have no need for town centers or storage units, since any item they harvest goes instantly into your pool of assets. The new gods available and their available powers also adds a new dimension and depth to the game.
But perhaps the depth has added a Starcraft: Broodwars type of flaw? I'll admit, the Time Shift addition to the Atlanteans looks good and is fun to use in single player mode, but it's more of a worry to see how it turns out when a well-defended Greek base suddenly has an army of Atlanteans inside the walls' My only other complaint would be voice acting for scripted characters. Did they get Chucky's dad from Rugrats to do voices? It's bad in some spots, terrible in others.
In short, making an addition to this type of game is always a bit iffy as far as game balance is concerned, but the finished product is both challenging, fast-paced, and most importantly, fun. I've already spent way too much time playing this game, and most RTS fans will be spending just as much time with this title as I have. Highly recommended to gamers of all stripes.