Age of Mythology: The Titans Expansion
|Publisher:||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Genres:||Strategy / Real-Time Strategy|
|Release Date:||September 30, 2003|
|Game Modes:||Singleplayer / Multiplayer|
This unsung AOM expansion has a lot going for it.
Much like Ensemble’s The Conquerors Expansion, you get quite a lot of stuff with The Titans, Age of Mythology’s only official follow-up expansion. A twelve mission campaign continues the story from the original and follows the exploits of Kastor and crew as the game’s new fourth civilization – the Atlanteans. Hard times have befallen the Atlanteans and Kastor (Arkantos’ son) is eager to see his countrymen regain their former glory. Overall the Atlanteans as a civilization are easily the most mobile group, with useful drop-off carts that hasten resource gathering. They also have some nice teleportation and hero powers.
The latter is a faster and cheaper alternative to re-building entire bases in both the campaign and multiplayer. Besides being migratory, the Atlanteans receive a special bonus when fighting against myth units thanks to their ability to instantly upgrade any lowly unit into a ‘Hero’, thereby inflicting bonus damage against mythological creatures. It’s not free and might not be completely feasible to Hero-boost your entire army, but overall this ability offers a serious edge against myth-based armies. New gods that come on the Atlantean side include Kronos (the legendary king of the Titans that grants cheaper myth and siege units), Gaia (useful for defensive, economy-centered play) and Oranos (Greek for ‘Uranus’, who further boasts mobility).
As you’d expect from the title, the centerpiece are the Titans themselves – gigantic, slow moving and monstrously sized creatures that you summon only after advancing to the final age, and even then after researching and building a Titan Gate. But whilst costly and time-consuming, bringing in a Titan to join the fray is the equivalent of researching nuclear weapons in a modern-set game – it’s no surefire solution you’ll smash your enemies to bits, but it does lend an enormous combat advantage. Each civilization has its own Titan which they can only summon once, and each is extremely sturdy and capable of dishing out insane damage values as they stomp infantry like ants and smash buildings like LEGO. The only problem is that the system sort of breaks on island-based maps, where you realize Titans are too big to be hauled around in boats. This too often results in stalemates on skirmish maps.
The Atlanteans also have their own batch of minor gods and special units. Some of these include the Man ‘o War, which is a water unit, the self-repairing Automaton and the Promethean, a clay creature that divides into smaller bits when destroyed, and the self-healing Behemoth. The missions themselves are a tad more creative, even when the majority are production based. A few interesting ideas include capturing Vaults of Plenty spread across the map to provide a steady stream of resources in place of traditional gathering. Later levels are a mix of defense and attack missions as you face off with the Titans themselves.
Players of the original Age of Mythlogy should find plenty to keep them occupied here, both as far as the singleplayer campaign or the Titan-centric mayhem of multiplayer matches.
System Requirements: PIII 450 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 1.5 GB HDD, 32 MB Video, Win 98/ME/2K