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cover-Age of Mythology: Extended Edition

Tuesday, January 2, 2024 6:33:03 PM

Age of Mythology: Extended Edition Review (Luitenant Gruber)

*Completed both games on physical disc before Steam release*
*Warning: spoilers*
Glorious game from the good old days.
Back when I was little, Age of Mythology and its expansion, defined my childhood. I could never beat Age of Empires II because of its difficulty, but somehow, Age of Mythology offered me a fair chance. Its presentation, game mechanics and atmosphere were unique at the time.
Right from the start, the ancient Greek theme of the game attracted me and the mission design, the peaceful music and the gorgeous graphics, made a big impression on me.
In Age of Mythology, you play as three different cultures. The game revolves around the hero Arkantos, an Antaltean war hero that has been ordered to assist the Greek in their fight against the Trojans. Before his departure, the Trident of Poseidon gets stolen. He retrieves it and sets sail to Troy. He assists the Greek, rescues the Centaur Chiron, and the war is won, however his ship is damaged too much for the return trip home to Atlantis.
Arkantos learns of many prisoners that are being held in the underworld, which has been opened via an entrance, that was been built by prisoner slave labour, by the Cyclops Warlord Gargarensis. Arkantos and Chiron destroy his base of operations and pursue the Cyclops, which escapes via the Underworld. Arkantos eventually ends up in Egypt, via one of the Underworld Entrances.
Arkantos learns the motives of Gargarensis, which is achieving immortality through freeing Kronos. This must be stopped at all costs. He sides with the Egyptians and together they must find the scattered body parts of Osiris, which is powerful enough to stop the Cyclops from achieving his goal. The parts are found, Osiris is summoned and destroys Gargarensis’ entire army. The beast himself however, escaped yet again via the Underworld entrance.
They pursue him towards the Nordic lands and are greeted by the hostility of the Norse God Loki, who deceives and tricks the local chieftains to attack Arkantos and his men on sight. After the trickery is discovered, the Norsemen side with Arkantos in pursue of Gargarensis and track him down in the Nifilheim, the Norse underworld. A glorious battle takes place and Gargarensis is captured and beheaded.
Arkantos sails back to Atlantis, only to discover that Loki struck again and the head of Gargarensis is actually that of Kemsyt's, the general of Gargarensis. The Cyclops is still alive and is closing in on the prison that holds Kronos. Zeus, who has observed the mighty deeds of Arkantos, grants him God like powers and with his new skills, he initiated the final battle with Gargarensis and defeats him. He dies however because of inflicted injuries, but is revived by Athena, who makes him a God.
Just epic.
The campaign was a lot of fun and I enjoyed every mission. Of course, the various cheats were hilarious and back then, it was just unrealistic and mind-blowing to see a bear with a Canada cape shooting lasers out of its eyes, appear out of nowhere after stroking some keys in a textbox. The same goes off course for the car in Age of Empires II.
I really enjoyed the changes of scenery and units in the different cultures throughout the game. Details like the native language the units speak, the many cryptids and units of legends like Centaurs, Anubis and Minotaur’s, really enhanced the experience.
When talking graphics, this game looked/looks amazing. Units and buildings are very detailed and the landscapes and maps are so colorful and alive. The move and combat animations of the units are also spot on. Back then, I thought Age Of Mythology was one of the best looking games I played.
The sound and music is also a piece of art. The calm ambient music is very memorable and is perfectly fitted for the culture that you are playing in that mission. The sound effects and voice overs for the units are also spot on. It is sound design at its best.
Control wise, the game plays identical to Age of Empires II, but a little easier. I cannot explain why exactly, but I just thought the interfaces and tutorial were a little more “noob friendly”.
The expansion, Age of Mythology: The Titans, was also a work of art. In this expansion, you play as the Atlanteans, an advanced civilization that was far ahead of the Greek, Norse and Egyptian people.
In short, in the campaign revolves around the Titan Kronos, which is still imprisoned in Tartarus after many years. From his prison, he watches Atlantis fall and the survivors trying to stay alive in the Norse wilderness. Kronos sends out one of his demi-god servants and possesses a guy named Krios, forcing him to do his bidding and stirring the Atlantean civilization towards freeing him.
The Atlanteans arrive at a resourceful island and rebuild their civilization, while being deceived that Kronos granted them all of this. In turn, they are convinced to worship Kronos as their God. This angers the other civilizations of Egypt, Greece and the Nords. They go to war with Atlantis, a war that Atlantis wins decisively. The Atlanteans then destroy the Nordic kingdom, attack Egypt and wreak havoc upon the world.
Eventually, the Atlanteans discover the treachery of Krios and the deception of Kronos. They change sides and the Atlantean leader Kastos fights other Atlanteans under Kronos’ control and eventually, battles Kronos himself with the help of Titans and his Greek allies. Krios is killed and Kastos receives The Staff of Atlantis, and he and is people rebuild their civilization in peace.
The introduction of the new Atlantean race, units and story, was a great new experience and back then, it was just as refreshing and unique as the base game.
The expansion also added new features like training units infinitely, as long as you have the sufficient resources. It also granted the power to summon a Titan to bring death and destruction to your enemies.
I enjoyed every mission of Age of Mythology: The Titans and still think this is one of the best additions to a game in a long line of personal played DLC.
Overall, this is one of those games that takes me back to my childhood, a happy time without worries. Just me and Age of Mythology. It will always remain a classic and one of the better games I played back then.
Definitely recommend this gem.