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Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (Windows)

90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Sir Gofermajster (481)
Written on  :  Jul 20, 2009
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

A must-have for every RTS fan.

The Good

This game has lovely graphics - it's a pure pleasure to look at those beautiful houses and towers. Proportions of buildings are now improved - you won't see a catapult bigger than stable anymore. People are now much more detailed and environment is much more realistic and varied. Despite being a 2D game, AoE2 still looks good.

Sounds are much more varied than in Age of Empires - instead of saying the same "roggan?" now your villagers are speaking in their native language - when you play Franks, they will speak in French, when Britons - English and so on. Samples of weapons are much better and more realistic than in AoE.

This time, you have 5 campaigns, where you will take place of Joan d'Arc, Saladin, Barbarossa and other famous people. Every mission has short spoken intro and outro. Objectives can change during a gameplay. Most of missions have some scripted interludes. I have to admit, that campaigns are the best thing in whole game.

And of course, there is also a random map, taken almost directly from Age of Empires, but there are some significant differences: first, maps are much bigger and more detailed. Second, there are 13 new civilisations like Vikings, Mongols and Saracens. And third, Ensemble Studios added new gameplay type - Regicide. In Regicide, you try to kill enemy's king, while protecting yours king. Obviously, you can still win by building a Wonder, collecting all relics and simply destroying your opponent.

Your army is now much more intelligent than in AoE, you can change formation of your detachments, and your soldiers don't lose their way anymore. As in AoE, you have plenty of units to train - cavalry archers, camels, trebuchets, galleons, battering rams, and more. Moreover, each civilisation has its own unique unit, unavailable to others. Obviously, there are plenty of technologies which improve your army. Once again, computer player is aggressive and won't let you get bored.

Also, there is a small encyclopaedia. Maybe it doesn't alter a gameplay, but it's nice addition to a game.

The Bad

Well, this section will be short - for unknown reason central and eastern Europe is omitted in the game. And that's all.

The Bottom Line

You may skip Age of Empires, but you have to play it's sequel, if you like RTS. There are still many people who play it by LAN or Internet, so you shouldn't have problems with finding somebody to play.