SummaryA decent expansion pack with nifty extras
The GoodIn the grand of tradition of the previous “Age of [….]” games, Age of Mythology set a new standard for Ensemble Studio’s by giving players a sparkly, polished 3D graphics engine with retooled, yet familiar and accessible gameplay And knowing that we “Age” fans can’t enough of just one game, extra content is an absolute must, so The Titans was bestowed upon us in a very timely fashion to suit the hunger for more.
Enter a new civilization: the Atlanteans. They were heavily and frequently referenced in Age of Mythology, and the main character was an Atlantean himself, but we didn’t see much of them. With the advent of this expansion pack, we finally get to play them! At first, it’s apparent that the civilization dynamic for the Atlanteans is fairly different than what one may be used to with the other civilizations, with a few wild pieces of technology, such Mirror Towers, which are straight out of science fiction, as well as brutal historical weapons such as the Fire Siphon. Myth units range from typical Mediterranean fare (like Dryads) to pretty bizarre, such as the Automaton, a self-repairing robot-like myth unit that is quite dangerous in large numbers. Like any good and well-made RTS game, the phrase “where one is weak, the other strong” is the M.O. of the “Age” games. The Norse, the Greeks, and the Egyptians, and now the Atlanteans are perfectly balanced, and no civilization feels as though it has an unfair advantage over another. I have not played this game in a multiplayer setting, but I’m sure it makes for some interesting and eccentric online sessions.
The BadAs entertaining as this expansion pack and its core game are, the player should probably know a few flaws before buying.
For one, I found the Atlantean infantry to be a bit odd. The majority of the units are “counter” units, meaning for example that a unit may be useful versus buildings, but can’t hold its own very well in any other situation. This seems to hold true. The bread-and-butter infantry unit, the Murmillo, is good against archers but is quickly felled by other units, even in large groups. With the other civilizations, the general infantry seems to hold up fairly well, except for units that are obviously specialized. I can only assume that the primary focus of the Atlanteans is myth units, which are highly versatile and very strong, and when grouped with human soldiers have some excellent skirmishes with enemies. I can’t say that the above is absolute fact, but the Atlanteans seem to lean in this direction.
In the vast realm of real-time strategy, this game could be accused of pandering to RTS rookies and excluding the more hardcore. I don’t necessarily agree with this notion, but I can understand it. The only difference between the Easy and Hard difficulty levels seems to be that the enemy civilizations will attack and pester you more often on Hard, and/or that your units don’t appear to be as effective.
While the Random Map sessions are still loads of fun, in my opinion they unfortunately don’t allow as much room for strategy as the core game did. Everything seems to be nothing but a race to see who can advance quickly enough to create a Titan, leaving the city you worked so hard to build as nothing more than a preamble. I didn’t feel as though I had time to enjoy my buildings and my units. Of course, part of the fun is finding ways to destroy opponent’s Titan Gate before they’re able to finish it, but I’m still left with the feeling that everything I did was just for that…a Titan Gate.
The Bottom LineI will admit that this game is most definitely not in league Supreme Commander, so if you’re looking for something of that caliber, look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a game with lots and lots of fun and nice visuals, or you’re either new to real-time strategy, give this a go. It is not the deepest of RTS games, but Age of Mythology: The Titans offers simple fun and an engaging atmosphere, and is a fantastic addition to anyone’s game library for $20.