SummaryMy personal favourite in the Strategy genre!
The GoodThis game is the sequel to Gamespy.com’s 2001 “PC Game of the Year” and it improves and rebuilds so much over the previous installment! The game-play is solid and fun! The graphics are good for 2005 (RTS wise), the sound and music work well with the action and the menus and head-up display are well designed and simple to understand.
The campaign doesn't change much from the tried-and-true formula of past games like Age of Empires but recreates more of history's real battles. The skirmish mode is good for a quick battle with the AI and is very extensive allowing for you to start in any of the 15 epochs and also allows you to limit it off.
A few great additions to the game are the Map Editor which allows you to easily build a multi-player or a scenario map and completely customize the settings for the specific scenario, and the Dictionary which contains info about most of the gameplay mechanics as well as every unit and building with a 3D model viewer in the corner allowing you to view the model for the unit, vehicle, or building that is selected. The latter also has options that allow you to see each model and info for the objects throughout the 15 epochs!
The BadOf course a great game isn't without its flaws. The battles aren't very complex: the AI is unable to strategically command units making for easy and predictable battles. Another huge problem is wall building, the Citizens have a tendency to get stuck inside a wall during its construction. The Citizen will not be able to move and construction of the wall will not be able to complete allowing enemies to walk through the incomplete section of the wall. Another problem is with selecting an epoch to play in skirmish and multi-player, the epochs are represented with numbers instead of the actual names! This can be a huge problem if you don't have the order of the epochs memorized!
The Bottom LineThis is a great Strategy game and my personal favourite ! It has few flaws (especially when fighting the AI) but keeps up with a great multi-player and a decent campaign.