The classic strategy, what good times we have had with it. Call me nostalgic, but every time I see a screenshot of Age of Empires 2, Empire Earth either Heroes of Might and Magic, a shiver runs down my back that reminds me of the snottiest me. However, there is one that even today, in this age of boasting past jewels, is missing from the lists: Age of Mythology.
He seems like the black sheep in an almost perfect family. With 4 deliveries of ample value within the genre and with at least 2 of them forming part of the exquisite league of “video game history”, Age of Mythology it tends to be considered a minor game, and you would be wrong if you think so. Therefore, with his Retold version just announced and with a view to giving it the same treatment as the Definitive Edition of its honorary brothers, today I come to vindicate that delivery of 2002. One with a lot to offer even today. But, if you don’t feel comfortable with its aesthetic, I give you 3 reasons to mark on your list “games I look forward to” East remaster.
As if God of War had an episode on The Simpsons
If there is something lacking in strategy games, it is a campaign mode. A kind of narrative line clearly differentiated in its way sandbox, which seeks total freedom of action and reaction of the player. Although it is not entirely true, many of these misnamed “story mode” find that common thread under the umbrella of a “historical military campaign” without much incentive beyond assuming a kind of tutorial. Age of Mythology saw that lack as an advantage for tell a story that might well seem like a The Simpsons parody.
The Ensemble Studios team was inspired by The Iliad and The Odyssey —the Harry Potter of the 8th century BC—, but he took advantage of the liberties of some stories that dabbled with the mythological to tackle a more epic story, typical of a contemporary adventure with “the hero’s path” as a promise. This put us in the shoes of an Atlantean general who had to defeat the Cyclops Gargarensis, determined to open several doors to the underworld, and thus obtain the favor of Poseidon to save his beloved Atlantis. This led us to fight against hordes of followers of the Cyclops throughout Asia Minor (with the Trojan War in the middle); Iron Age Egypt; or the Nordic Norway with a war between Loki, Thor and Odin, that is, the normal thing in those parts. Said like this, it sounds epic —which it is—, but the most curious thing is that none of these periods are contemporaneous.
The Viking Age, as we know it, began in 793 with the first Norse assault on Britain; the Egypt we see does not seem contemporary to the fall of Troy, not the one written by Homer at least; while Atlantis would have gone to explore the bottom of the sea around 5000 BC (although according to research of dubious quality). But, Did any of this matter? not the least. Everything seemed a parody of the Classical Era. Almost like an episode of The Simpsons that sought to capture key elements recognizable by the average viewer to lead a decaffeinated plot and, above all, varied. This is perhaps the best and most important adjective for the game.
I wasn’t constrained by history
Age of Empires, despite having certain licenses, since its origins has tried stick to the history books the maximum possible. The Xbox Game Studios team bragged about it, and rightly so, with its fourth installment and those lovely videos wearing armor, trebuchets and other war tools. Age of Mythology warped the gameplay and foundations of Age of Empires for its own benefit. While Age of Empires 2 delighted us with more than 10 civilizations —counting those available through expansions—, this game reduced everything to just 3: vikings, atlanteans/greeks Y egyptians.
Chinese civilization came with its own pantheon in a DLC somewhat lacking in ideas, but with potential
An apparent problem if it weren’t for the fact that each one was completely different from the previous. We not only talk about how they behave or the objectives they seek, in addition to the aesthetic section, but each one had unique units as well as a research tree Y exclusive gods. The Norsemen, for example, were not sedentary—although not the best definition for it—but instead sought to move around the map in search of resources and sieges. Meanwhile, the Egyptians, through the pharaoh, had a certain inclination to divine favors and help from them. All this lies in a dynamism that the main saga could only dream of.
Like it or not, he made the logos and the myths fight once more
Oh the gods! Although everything I have told you I keep in the memory of my childhood, this speech of the “logos vs myths” It doesn’t come from there. I wasn’t such a special kid to get into these discussions, but revisiting the game I’ve realized how it benefits from classical Greek speech. Why? I don’t want this to be a history class , or philosophy, but know that it was impossible to face the game without “going through hoops” of the gods.
Yes, playing Age of Mythology without searching for mythology is like playing Call of Duty without wanting to kill, but the situation is getting worse. The “logos vs myths” seeks to differentiate what cannot be explained from the natural world, leaving it in the hands of the famous phrase “It will be a thing of the gods, what do I know“. The Atlanteans reach the Bronze Age earlier, so they benefit from their manufacture, but quickly fall behind the rest. The reason was none other than while the Greeks searched for science, the competition depended on the myths.
Here the situation of anyone who does not see the “magical arts” came into play: either you surrender to the gods and have a balance between science and faith, or they devour you. A curious detail within the Egyptians was to depend on agriculture thanks solely and exclusively to the fact that Rah blesses us with rain. Meanwhile, if you wanted to control the demographics of the place, instead of betting on the “natural” or scientific, it was time to entrust yourself to a supreme power of the god Hathor so that a plague of locusts devour the cornfields and create a controlled famine. Believe me when I tell you, it was a chaos very easy to enjoy.