Well, I’ve completed all the campaigns and “Age of Mythology: Extended Edition” and here is my thought on the game as a whole. I grew up playing this game in middle school and still have fond memories playing as the Norse, Egyptian and Greek powers in the main campaign from the first game but had no memory of “The New Atlantis” beyond images. I could remember almost nothing about the gameplay. When I saw “Tale of the Dragon” was coming to “Age of Mythology” via Steam I bought the hold game. Mythology and history are two passions of mine and I love seeing how mythology is interpreted to tell different stories. So, what do I think about this nostalgia buy? Does the game still hold up? I’ll give summaries of my thoughts on the campaign and my final thoughts at the end. Fair warning there will be some SPOILERS.
Fall of the Trident
“Fall of the Trident” is the campaign that teaches you how to play at the 3 factions in the first “Age of Mythology.” You start out in Greece with the hero Arkantos and proceed to travel around the world collecting more heroes including the amazing Queen Amanra from Egypt to stop Gargarensis and his allies attempt to bring about chaos through the release of the Titan Kronos on the world.
It is a lot of fun but doesn’t manage to really go deep with any of the characters, though I appreciated how much personality and character Ajax and Amanra have. It is great seeing heroes from around the world and though the early missions can be a chore the later missions are a lot of fun. My main issue is I bought this game on steam years after the release still ran into bugs during missions, with one that almost made a mission unplayable. This was outside of crashes too. These factors are what kept the campaign from being good.
Final Score: 7.5 / 10
The Golden Gift
The story follows Brokk and Eitri as they attempt to create a Golden Boar for the Goddess Freyja but are tricked into competing with one another by Loki. The game starts with them rushing to reach the forge and gold until and eventual confrontation with Loki when Loki steals the Boar for himself.
This is really short and is only 4 missions…so my expectations going in were pretty low. I appreciated how difficult the first 2 missions were but I hated that I learned almost nothing about the brothers. They feel exactly the same so there is nothing more than playing more as the Norse. What could have improved this game would have been better writing or giving some unique gameplay for the Norse for this campaign. Sadly we don’t get either. It was still fun just a downgrade from the main game for sure.
Final Score: 6.8 / 10
The New Atlantis
“The New Atlantis” campaign comes out of “The Titans,” the first “Age of Mythology” expansion. This game was a big improvement in everyway. In this we are given a new faction in the Atlanteans who have become refugees after the destruction of Atlantis last game and begin worshipping the Titans as the Titans are the only one who aid them in their 10 years looking for a home. The gameplay and god powers are fun and we manage to get a complicated story for this series.
The story follows Kastor who is leading the Atlantean refugees after the destruction of Atlantis and the death of his father Arkantos. Abandoned by the Gods and competing for land wherever they go they find sanctuary in the Titans which in turn leads to Atlantis’s old allies turning on them until Kratos’s plot is revealed. This is a good story as we see how driven and desperate Kastor his. His actions reminded me a lot of Arthas from “Warcraft III” as he was willing to go to any ends to protect his people. The twist on how to defeat Kratos is great and Kratos making you the bad guy in the story was clever too. I though this campaign was good. It was what an expansion should be. Also, I didn’t run into any bugs.
Final Score: 8.2 / 10
Tale of the Dragon
“Tale of the Dragon” is the latest campaign to come out of “Age of Mythology.” This expansion introduces us to the Chinese as a faction and they are really fun to play. There is a unique resource mechanic where you can use gardens to create resources you need and the greatest variety of siege units. I had a lot of fun playing as them and wish the campaign and story had been better handled.
The story follow Jiao-Long and the Emperor’s son Danzhu when they are called on the Emperor to investigate the natural disasters occurring all over China. Danzhu doesn’t stick around to help and quickly turns against you as you pick up Zhu and Zhi as allies and work to establish balance in the world once more. The mission variety is fun as is the world itself. What sucks is the bugs are as worse as the first campaign and the sound editing is atrocious to the point where in certain cinematics I couldn’t here the voice actors over the soundtrack. These things kept the game from being as good as the original campaign. This story deserved to be so much better.
7 / 10
I hope Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios in whatever form they are in can take the many things that worked about these games and either fix the problems and give us more expansions or just make a better “Age of Mythology 2” with more factions with new campaigns, units and gameplay. I’d pay for it as even though this series only reached good, it still holds up as an RTS. This series was never going to be the “Starcraft” or “Warcraft” level of RTS gameplay or story but it set itself apart of the “Age of Empires” series and I like what it was trying and what it did do. There is hope for this series yet if someone is willing to pick it up and tell more of the amazing stories drawn from mythology.
Final Score: 7.3 / 10