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Age of Mythology

aka: AOM, RTS 3
Moby ID: 7662
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Age of Mythology is a spin-off title from the Age of Empires series of real-time strategy games, sharing most of its gameplay with prior titles in the series. However, as opposed to the numerous civilizations that are present in Age of Empires which differ in statistics, tech tree availability and a few unique units and upgrades, Age of Mythology has three factions which differ visually and functionally in their entirety - the Greek, the Egyptians, and the Norse. Each civilization has a different economic model, a different tech tree and unit roster, a different play style, and a different way to acquire favor from their gods.

Other than introducing a 3D engine, the main feature that Age of Mythology brings are myth units and heroes, as well as choosing gods to worship. Gods are split to major and minor ones - major gods act as subfactions (not unlike "countries" in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2) which have their own bonuses and abilities, and each major god has a selection of two minor gods for each age transition. Each minor god brings their own unique units, upgrades and god ability, and only one can be chosen per age.

Myth units are available for training at temples (or docks if they are seafaring) and require favor to produce and upgrade. Heroes are special units who are more effective at fighting myth units than regular human units, while human units still have entire series of upgrades. Certain units also have special abilities which require time to recharge, such as anubites jumping towards their target, or minotaurs throwing their enemies a considerable distance.

Certain economic changes have been made as well, such as farms and fish schools being infinite food sources.

Age of Mythology has a single campaign with 32 missions, titled "Fall of the Trident". The storyline is unified and played from the perspectives of all three playable factions, whose representatives (Atlantean/Greek hero Arkantos, Egyptian pharaoh Amanra, Greek heroes Ajax and Chiron, and more) end up interacting with each other despite the large geographic distances between their homelands in order to stop pirates and followers of the evil cyclops Garganensis from unleashing an imprisoned titan. Skirmishes and multiplayer matches take place on randomized maps which follow several preset templates and feature multiple game modes.

Spellings

  • エイジ オブ ミソロジー - Japanese spelling
  • 神話世紀 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 神话时代 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

490 People (246 developers, 244 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 89% (based on 66 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 84 ratings with 6 reviews)

The true successor to Age of Empires!

The Good
Several games have tried to become "Age of Empires 3". All have failed. (Empire Earth comes to mind...) O man, where to start! First of, the graphics are terriffic. While they may not be as good as Command and Conquer: Generals, they are still really good. The different civilizations are pretty varied. Although there is only nine different major gods you can choose from in the beggining of the game, every time you advance an age, you get to choose from two different "minor" gods, which gives you new abilities, technologies and units. Each of the three cultures, Egyptian, Greek, and Norse, are radically different. Each have different units, ways of gaining favor and different buildings. Some can get Calvary, others can get camels etc. This difference between civs is much more pronounced than other RTS. In other ones, most of the civs have pretty much the same units and techs except maybe one or two bonuses and a unique unit. AOM changes this, and makes each civ much different. The "minor" god feature also can have 2 players who start out the same major God, have at least slightly different bonuses. The "God Powers" are really cool. Each God has one that you get to use once. These do something pretty terrific that can change the course of the game. The powers varied from destructive to productive i.e. Meteor, which unleashes a meteor storm on your opponenets (duh) to being able to make a forest or gold mine appear. The game come with a campaign that lasts about 30 missions. (Although the ending is pretty bad. ) Also, if you don't know what a unit does, you can right click on the picture and it will automatically bring up the stats, what it's good against etc.

The Bad
The learning curve is kind of tough. When you build a myth unit, you may not know what to do. Some kind of silly stuff in the campaign, like people in those light armor suits or in "Egyptian clothing" in the middle of a tundra. Occasionally, when there's a close up cut scene ala Empire Earth, you will se some kind of ugly textures, although alot better than empire earth. Finally, units seem to move kind of slow. Even the Calvary, which zip around pretty fast in AOE. O, just remembered, the maps are small. I mean really small. Even the largest setting is dinky compared to AOE's map.

The Bottom Line
If you played AOE, you will like this game. Although the slightly steep learning curve may turn off some casual gamers, this is defenitely a must buy.

Windows · by James Kirk (150) · 2003

The undisputed Age of Empires III

The Good
*2nd Review Update

So there I was, hearing rumors of an Age of Empires III that turned out Age of Mythology. Unfortunately for us AoE fans, Age of Empires III turned out to be a pile of crap. At least AoM wasn't disappointing at the least. Hah, they finally use "mythology" has a main theme. See this is what happens when people start thinking "Medieval RPG". Hey, nothing can go wrong with "Medieval RPG Thinking" :p

Graphics
So Age of Mythology did a total upgrade to old AoE II game play. From 2D to 3D and very stable I might add, which was still rare considering 3D graphics were quite new, very unstable for a lot of games.

I remember the first time I saw the intro cut scene. My jaw was in awe. The sight of mythological units was somewhat amazing. The fact that I've never seen a giant beetle unit is very much memorable.

New Factions
The game itself comprises of the different approaches, which is represented by the 3 different races:

  • Greek;
  • Egyptian and;
  • Norse. Each with different units, different abilities but also different techniques and styles of playing. It’s like playing cards, the difference is the Greek is Poker, Egyptian is Blackjack, and Norse is Bridge. They all have different rules of playing which makes it all more complicated (and fun!). GODS - Technological Tree
    The age advances now are represented by gods. Each race has different gods which represent an outline of a technological tree. The first choice is to define 1 out of 3 possible Major Gods, which will branch into several Minor Gods. Each God has their own specialties effecting units, powers, and game play tactics (ie. production, etc.) Units
    The units are divided into 3 major groups:
  • Basic Units (good vs Hero Units);
  • Hero Units (good vs Myth Units);
  • Myth Units (good vs Basic Units); Well its a little more complicated than that, since some units don't follow the rule above (replace "good" with "usually good"). Basic units are the main bulk of the army. Infantry, Ranged, Cavalry, Artillery --> the numerous and often cheap. The hero units are the leaders of your armies. The elite single unit that can fight off many units at the same time and usually gifted with unique powers. Myth units are the monsters in the game. The representation of the wraith or blessings of the gods in physical manifestation. The presence of these “Myth Units” is the soul of what Age of Mythology is all about. Strategy and Tactics
    This is the most unique and complex RTS I've played yet. To a certain point I must dare say balance of the 3 races (and their hybrids) out-maneuver Starcraft which by most veteran RTS gamers is considered to be the most perfect balance of RTS gameplay in existence...probably because of its simplicity that compliment each of the races. AoE however is not simple. The races introduce very complex and extremely different methods of game play, may it be its combat tactics or its production strategies. The existence of "favor" for example (a requirement for certain buildings, powers, and units) differ for each race. The Greeks gain favor by worshipping at temples. The benefit is the more worshippers there are, the more favor is generated. The disadvantage is that this effects your population limit. The Egyptians generate favor by creating obelisks. The advantage is that you have a passive flow of favor from each obelisk. The disadvantage is it takes awhile to build. The Norse generate favor only by combat. The advantage is besides wiping out (or being wiped out for that matter) enemy units, generation of favor by the Norse is extremely fast. The disadvantage is of course, you have to fight a lot (and try not to die too much). That is a simple example of the differences of each race. The Greeks in general are the "default race" found in most RTS games. The Egyptians however have a unique and powerful Pharaoh which helps hasten production and buildings. The Norse have a portable or moveable supply wagon (read=supply depot). The differences obviously affect unique strategic and tactical approaches during game play. Especially in multi-player. Campaign Story
    In the campaign mode, you play Arkanos. Naval commander, protector, and son of Atlantis. Obviously fictional it seems, even from a mythological point of view, but I must admit the story plot leads into very interesting way. Besides advancing in the game to find out and experience new units and technologies, the story itself is also as addictive. The plot brings you around the world from Greece to Egypt to Scandinavia though what seems to be an underground subway route :p

    **The Bad**
    Only one thing I've found that is depressing. Unit stances. Not short keys. You actually have to click to set the "aggressive", "defense", etc. stance. Although there is a "global" stance option, I doesn't help much in fast maneuvers though.

    **The Bottom Line**
    Age of Mythology is an excellent sequel to the Age of Empires series!
  • Windows · by Indra was here (20755) · 2007

    It has the base of a great RTS, but it's too flawed to recommend.

    The Good
    A fantasy-styled RTS where the Gods actually care about you, unlike other games where churches and other religion-based structures and units are there only to make your units happier or to keep a God happy enough not to blast you to pieces. Age of Mythology gives you a reason to please the Gods, and that's really what this game is about.

    Age of Mythology is your standard RTS set in a fantasy universe, but with a twist of Age of Empires in it. You begin with your standard units - spearnen, archers, etc. - but as soon as you're pleasing your God(s), other units and powers come into play, such as cyclopses, wolfmen, even dragons and phoenixes, as well as four mighty powers that can dramatically change the course of battle. Meteors, underground passages, the ability to turn night into day, healing powers, and more are there for to use, if only once during a battle.

    Your heroes are good fighters, and they also have special abilities that might heal other units in battle, or increase their attack power temporarilly. And if they die, they can be revived.

    Three races to choose from, with their own set of Gods, makes for diverse gameplay. With three main Gods per race, and a number of Gods to choose during the four epochs, fighting an opponent - even if he chose the same starting God/race - will be unique, since chances are neither of you will have the same sets of units or spells.

    You can build walls and buildings on any flat ground (or ground on a slight incline), rather than all other RTS games where you must place them on a tile. A small detail, buit it was neat to see.

    The Bad
    To be frank, the game is simply too small. With such a great base, it was diappointing to find that you were very limited in what you could do. First of all, the "large" map is the size of the "small" map on just about any other RTS game, so if you were hoping for a lengthy epic battle, you'll be disappointed, since the enemy is right around the corner. There is also no random map generator! What gives? That's almost the standard in RTS games now.

    The opening cinematic shows a gigantic legion of fighters going after the enemy. What a load of crap. There is no possible way you can create an army that large. Why? Because of the way the population limit works. First of all, you can only build ten houses to increase your population limit. After that, the only way to increase your limit is by building town centers - but you can't build town centers anywhere, like most games. Instead, you have to find "abandoned settlements" and build them there, and most maps typically have four or so on the map. So, you'll be fighting for these most of the time, but let's say you find the four on the map and you manage to keep them. You're still not going to be able to build a legion of fighters. No, you're still stuck with a very small (at least small compared to the cinematic, or even an average army size in Age of Empires) army. Don't get me wrong, with strategy your small army can beat the enemy, but I wanted to see a large mythical battle, not just a tiny skirmish.

    Another reason the town center thing sucks is - let's say you're playing a two-on-two game, and suddenly you're attacked by your two enemies. You fail to defend yourself and doom is imminent, so you do the only thing you can - retreat to your ally's base. But what can you do now? You can't just build a town center and try and rebuild, like so many classic battles in Starcraft and Age of Empires. You either have to find an abandoned settlement or...well, die. Your choices are so limited, it makes it pointless to try to retreat.

    There also isn't that many different units. Each race gets their own set of units, but they're almost identical. Each race gets the standard fighter, standard ranged unit, a few units on horses, a few stronger fighters and a few siege weapons, with some boats. The only real difference between the races are the mythical units and - hold on here - there are two myth units per race. Two. Yeah. Two. Well, no, there are more myth units, but you can only HAVE two different types of myth units in a battle.

    But, what does it matter, having such a limited amount of units when your armies are so small anyway?

    The game has the base of a great RTS, but the sheer lack of size of the battlefield or range of units or potential population size makes this game disappointing and not fun.

    The Bottom Line
    It's a fantasy style RTS game where the Gods are of some use. Those that enjoy smaller battles will certainly love this game, but those, like me, who love battles that last hours at a time will absolutely loathe this game.

    Windows · by kbmb (415) · 2003

    [ View all 6 player reviews ]

    Discussion

    Subject By Date
    disc 2 dolphin-san Apr 22, 2008

    Trivia

    1001 Video Games

    Age of Mythology appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

    Board game

    The game was adapted into a 2003 boardgame of the same name published by Eagle Games.

    Code

    Age of Mythology has over three million lines of code.

    Engine

    This is the first game in the Age series, developed by Ensemble, to use a 3D engine.

    Mountain giant

    The mountain giant unit has a unique, little-known special attack – it can kick dwarves like soccer balls.

    Online servers

    The game's online servers (which were hosted on Ensemble Studios Online or ESO) were shut down by early 2013.

    Sales

    In 2003, Age of Mythology won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

    Awards

    • 4Players
      • 2002 – #7 Best PC Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • Computer Games
      • March 2003 (No. 148) - #4 in the 10 Best Games of 2002 list
    • Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (Entertainment Software Association Germany)
      • 2003 - Gold Award

    Information also contributed by Maw, PCGamer77, Pseudo_Intellectual and Xoleras.

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    Contributors to this Entry

    Game added by Kartanym.

    Macintosh added by Corn Popper.

    Additional contributors: Andrew Hartnett, Unicorn Lynx, Corn Popper, Maw, Zeppin, Paulus18950, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Plok, FatherJack, Zhuzha.

    Game added November 3, 2002. Last modified March 3, 2024.