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gaming since 1997

Age of Empires 2

A rule in movies states that a sequel mostly sucks. As you know this rule doesn’t apply on the gaming industry. Unluckily for the movie-industry technology has nothing to do with a great movie.
Luckily for us, it has everything to do with great games, provided it has something called great gameplay.

In this case both are present. The sequel of Age of Empires not only looks better than it’s predecessor, it also has better gameplay. Why? Well for instance, you don’t get wacked in ‘easy’ mode anymore – yeah I know, you probably wonder how stupid I am – but who knew Age of Empires 1, knows that it was far from an easy game to play.

Other great improvement is formation of military troops. Now you can guide and command your troops much easier without loosing overview. Yep, easy is the keyword here. These kind of games, that have a player’s guide the size of The Bible packed with them, should scare the shit out of any normal human being, but for this game you can throw the manual away, unless you are a moron who thinks that Pokemon is an intellectual challenge.

Everything is very intuitive…mmm wonder if Microsoft have something to do with it?
The amount of map types and tribes to play with is far greater than before and off course, because the timeline starts where AOE 1 ended, technologies are different.

This takes the concept one step further and doesn’t make the first game obsolete. Smart thinking, in a marketing kinda way.

Playtime is also faster, meaning units move alot faster and efficiently. Do I hear someone say:”improved AI”? Not entirely true. The old trick with the walls – you immediately start to build walls around the towncenters of your opponents – is still there. But hell, without these tricks, gaming would be as boring as …. euhh something very very boring.

One thing that’s real cool about this game is the fact that each tribe has his own special warrior type, eg: the japanese have a samurai, the saracens have a heavy camel (!) etc.

You can also set your population limit which was a flaw in AOE 1. It’s great to have an army of 100 armoured knights crush the stupid computer’s little backward society. On the other hand, if you set the game to more difficult setting, it’s no fun to have three different armies having a go at your walls at the same time.

But anyway, this game is addictive, very addictive, in such way that I have only tried 1 campaign yet (who needs campaigns anyway?).

And technology? Yes, the game looks a lot better than it’s predecessor and it’s faster. Hey, Microsoft sucks but they would REALLY suck if they could screw this up.

You gotta give ’em some credit sometimes how difficult it may be. Good job Bill Boy!

Our Score:
8.0
related game: Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings
posted in: Microsoft, PC, Reviews
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