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Age of Empires combines great graphics, real-time strategy and an intriguing plot (our own history!) to raise a phoenix from the ashes of wayside, ordinary strategy games. Some of the more memorable features that make this game truly enjoyable include hunting and foraging for food, building and upgrading armies, establishing and strengthening a society and, ultimately, fighting war.
Food gathering is one part of Age of Empires that is truly impressive. Instead of mining gold to support your society (although you DO have to mine gold), food is a separate issue unto itself. You can build farms, fish, forage for berries or--my favorite--gather a hunting party and seek out prey. Beware, however, that if you choose to take on an elephant, you better have a bunch of hunters or the irate elephant may decide to trample you instead.
One thing that is annoying is the maximum limit on men. When a larger army is needed but your population is maxed you will have to send out workers to be slaughtered in order to make room for more military units. This seems slightly unrealistic when you have city is large enough to accommodate many more people.
The complex features of Age of Empires are engrossing. In addition to having the above choices of gathering food for my people, players also had to chop wood and mine both gold and stone for their needs. As your society progresses through the ages, so does its need for different minerals (e.g., gold and stone). As the ages pass, you'll find the new technology (as it becomes available) allows you to create bigger and better armies.
Going head-to-head with famous war strategists is also interesting. Although it is doubtful a player's soldiers would stand up to the likes of any of history's finest warlords, it is still neat to see names recognizable from history as well as the armies they lead. All things considered, Age of Empires is an enjoyable gaming experience which is enough to quell even the hungriest real-time war strategists among us.
Graphics: Intricate detail and bright, beautiful backgrounds.
Sound: Great ambient sounds, music, and battle sounds.
Enjoyment: Although the building at the beginning of a mission is slightly repetitive at times, the game is still extremely enjoyable.
Replay Value: Real-time strategy games are always replayable.
Age of Empires is not only a different game each time you play. It's a different game, period. Beautiful graphics, twelve civilizations, a comprehensive technology tree, dozens of units, randomly generated maps, and a rich soundtrack, add up to a more complete gaming experience. Age of Empires sets you within an historical context, not in a purely fictional world.
In Age of Empire, you are one of twelve powerful ancient civilizations, ranging from the Persians to the ancient Greeks. Though you start as only a small village, with just a few tribesmen, you must hunt and gather food, advance to more a sophisticated age, start learning self-sufficiency and technology, and then make the full leap to civilization. Competing against you are other cultures with whom you can fight, trade, or negotiate as you all try to progress from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
The incredible hand drawn and 3D rendered graphics create an unparalleled, involving experience. This attention to detail brings your gaming experience into focus. Because in a great gaming environment there is no substitute for quality.
In addition to this engaging and fun graphical world, Age of Empires includes a captivating and original musical score - a dramatic backdrop for your adventures. The CD-quality sounds of Age of Empires adds to the epic flavor and enriches the gaming experience.
Age of Empires sets you within an historical context, not in a purely fictional world. But of course, if you would rather diverge from the beaten path, Age of Empires includes a built-in scenario editor so you can create your own conflicts and scenarios. Finally a game with real-time decision making. You will see the real-time results of your resource management decisions. Consider your options and move forward - assign civilization members to hunt, explore, conquer, or build. Know your place; not all civilizations will excel at the same skills -- if you are from the desert, you might not be an expert on ships and marine warfare. As you move through time you will be able to apply new technology to advance the state of buildings, weapons, tools, and ships.
Age of Empires also brings you the expanse of the unknown. You have room to roam -- the maps are large, plenty of room for you, and up to eight other players, to play in a multiplayer forum. In Age of Empires, there are many different multi-tribe scenarios you can choose from. Each with one or more victory conditions. Do you want to take part in a quick race to domination? Or an epic affair involving exploration of the known world and the accumulation of wealth? It's up to you. Choose your favorite form of world domination. Players can conquer or cooperate with existing tribes in a multiplayer environment via the Internet (through the Internet Gaming Zone), over a LAN or modem-to-modem.
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Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings, Age of Empires III, Age of Mythology, Warcraft 2, Civilization 2, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Caesar 3