lo que mis fieles amigos de IGN tienen que desir de AOM the titans

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[CP] Lord Strike

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5 Jun 2003
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With three big expansions for each of the three major brands in the RTS market, it's been a very good year for strategy gamers. And while gamers have already been able to feast on the expansions for the Warcraft and Command and Conquer series, it's taken us just a bit longer us to finally get our hands on the expansion to Ensemble's Age of Mythology series. But as we suspected, it's an expansion well worth the wait.

Ten years after the fall of Atlantis, the House of Arkantos is again called to action. You play now as Kastor, son of Arkantos, the first game's hero. Arkantos has since transcended his mortal state and he and the god Poseidon move away leaving the Atlanteans to fend for themselves. On the heels of this abandonment, the Titans begin their rise to power. Formerly imprisoned during the Titanomachy, they're starting to break out and the Atlanteans see their salvation in an alliance with these ancient powers. Needless to say, this alliance isn't something that the other civilizations are anxious to support.

This is the basic background for the 12 missions of the single player campaign. And though you'll have the chance to take a commanding role leading the forces of the Norse and Egyptians, most of the time you'll be playing with the game's new Atlantean civilization. The missions retain the same sense of limited aim that was so refreshing in the core game. Rather than tasking you with eliminating all of your enemies, the missions in The Titans come with much less comprehensive goals. You'll need to rescue certain units, destroy particular structures or merely avoid destruction long enough to escape the level entirely.

The Atlanteans differ from the other cultures in a number of interesting ways. To begin with, all Atlantean units, including villagers, have the potential to become heroes. This makes them much more effective when dealing with the myth units of other civilizations and, since they're not limited to a set number of named heroes like the Greeks, you'll now be able to field as many heroes as the Egyptians and Norse did in the previous game.

To protect these hero units, you'll need to fend off attacks from enemy soldiers. Continuing the rock-paper-scissors design of the previous game, heroes kill myth units, myth units kill ordinary soldiers and ordinary soldiers kill heroes. On the myth side of things, the Atlanteans can field self-repairing automatons who are great at taking on enemy forces, flying Caladrians who can heal your units or satyrs who can throw spears at distant enemies. Nearly 12 other myth units round out the Atlantean forces. Human-wise, you'll be able to create the same types of units that comprise the infantry-cavalry-archer dynamic along with a few new siege weapons. I quite like the Fanatics, who are equipped to take down any non-ranged enemies and the equally all-purpose Contarius cavalry.

A handy repeat button lets you queue up a number of units and then lock that production sequence down. When the building completes the last unit in the series, it starts over again at the beginning. This is an awesome feature as it lets you focus on the tactics of battle while ensuring that a sufficient number of reserves are being built up at your base. Resource juggling can become a bit of an issue here but an awareness of your villagers and population cap can help you keep things in line.

Rather than gaining favor through worship, combat or construction like the other civilizations, the Atlanteans only generate favor through ownership of town centers. Since they can construct town centers in earlier ages than the other civilizations, they can get a real jump on favor collection. In terms of other resources, the Atlanteans don't require any special collection building to turn in resources. A new structure, called the economic center, provides all the upgrades that would normally be found at mines, granaries and mills. You can also now hover your mouse over a particular resource to see how many villagers are collecting from it.

The Titans take a role as the gods of the Atlanteans. Kronos is probably my personal favorite as he allows you limited control over space and time. Through his intervention you can immediately deconstruct any building on the map and repay its owner its build cost. Kronos also allows you to expend resources to teleport your own completed buildings to any point your heroes can see. Oranos' shockwave power is perfect for taking out small groups of units. You can also transport units between any of his sky passages located on the map. The third Titan, Gaia, can create forests for you to harvest and will automatically heal your buildings.

Other minor gods play important roles as well. As you advance through the ages you'll open up more and more of these lesser gods. Some, like Oceanus, grant you certain healing abilities. Other Titans have more directly destructive designs. Hyperion can target a group of units and make them hostile to all forces on the map, while Helios' vortex power will instantly transport all of your military units to a given location. The Atlanteans also benefit from reusable god powers. Though Prometheus' ability to grant hero status to regular units is exciting enough, the fact that you can use it a couple of times per game makes it even more attractive.

But though the Titans are the gods of the Atlanteans, the Titans of the game's title encompass a bit more. Each civilization in the game gets a new super Titan unit, accessible very late in the game. For the Norse, it's a large ice troll; for the Egyptians, it's a giant hawk-headed warrior. These monsters dwarf every other unit on the map, both in terms of size and strength. It's not rare to see heated multiplayer games where one side is desperately attacking enemy forces who are trying to dig up a Titan for their use.

While the Titans look great in action, you won't be seeing them nearly as much as the other cool units and effects in the game. Everything's rendered in such a way as to preserve continuity with the rest of the series and you'll be hard pressed to tell which units are new and which ones aren't. The real eye candy is reserved for god powers though. You definitely don't want to miss the warm rays that surround Gaia's lush spells or the bizarre blue energy that accompanies a building's time shift (complete with the pieces of the building falling together over time).

So far, so good, right? Well, if I had to find something wrong with the overall conception of the title, it would be that Ensemble's simply broadened one of the existing pantheons rather than incorporated something entirely new. Granted, the Norse, Greek and Egyptian mythologies have a tremendous resonance and are among the more complex belief systems to have survived. So the team at Ensemble has a limited field from which to pick the new civilization for the expansion.

Though the Atlanteans are definitely distinct, they do bear a strong resemblance, at least cosmetically, to the Greeks. How much better would it have been to include something much newer? Contemporary civilizations like the Celts, Indians or Persians have mythologies as exciting and intricate as the Greeks, Norse and Egyptians and I can't help but think that any of those civs would have made a more interesting choice than the Atlanteans. But perhaps that's something Ensemble is planning for a possible sequel. Perhaps they'll even go further east to encompass creatures and heroes from Far Eastern myths. Hint, hint.

There are also still a few features missing from the game. For one, I still can't fathom why Ensemble's done away with the excellent and informative post-battle stats screens for the single player campaign. Sure, not every mission requires you to go head-to-head with each of your rivals, but it would still be nice to see some info on how your economy and military stack up against those of your rivals.
 

[CP] Lord Strike

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5 Jun 2003
1,800
Hotkey tips on mouse-overs would get players more familiar with the shortcuts they'll need to compete in multiplayer. That info is listed in the manual, of course, but it would be great to reinforce them with in-game tips. Player who bother to search for them will be rewarded with hotkeys for virtually every action in the game, from ordering construction to selecting buildings to queuing units.

Beyond that there were one or two other small gripes. Twice after loading a game, I found the objective banner completely disappeared. What's more, it appears as if the trigger to end the particular scenario also completely disappeared. Restarting the level from scratch corrected this problem in both cases and, if I hadn't wasted thirty minutes trying to achieve the objective anyway, I wouldn't even have bothered to mention it. I'd also like to see more continuity between the missions in terms of units. Since so many of your missions are near escapes, it would be great to reward players who manage to come through with most of their units still alive.

In terms of single player skirmish and multiplayer matches, the game offers a range of new personalities for AI opponents. Standard opponents are just that, the basis by which all the others are judged. Attackers start early and often with assaults on your base while conquerors prefer to build up massive armies before taking you on. Since they put almost no effort in to fortification, both personalities are susceptible to the same tactics they employ. Builders prefer to focus on the economy until quite late in the game when they are capable of fielding large armies very quickly. Protectors and defenders are more turtle-minded, with the main difference being whether or not they'll expand in to new areas or not.

Since the game isn't due out until Tuesday, we haven't had much luck finding online opponents. Still, the game's we've played on our LAN here at work have run quite smoothly. Ensemble has done much to streamline the interface of the multiplayer game, including options for quick match searches, new filters and even a friends lists complete within the ESO structure.

Closing Comments
I had an absolute blast playing this game again. While you'll get around a dozen hours with the new single-player campaign, there are more than enough multiplayer options to keep you busy. But even if you never venture online, the $30 asking price is more than enough to justify the new units and new missions for fans of the game. Since it's unlikely that you've read this far without already being somewhat interested in the game to begin with, that's as good an endorsement as you're likely to get.
Sure, I'd still like to have seen a completely new civilization based on an entirely different set of myths, but The Titans serves as a nice coda to the previous game, which I'm not sure would've been possible if the series had branched out a bit more. In the end, the balance and personality are what keep me coming back for more.



este juego tiene un puntage de 8.0
 

[CP] Lord Strike

Lanero Reconocido
5 Jun 2003
1,800
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NerothoS

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10 Jun 2003
600
ese titans me parece muy bakano la idea de los titanes, aunk AoM no me gusto Titans creo k va a cambiar las cosas, rulz esos bichos raros
 
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