previews\ Sep 14, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Age of Mythology The Titans - PC - Preview

Last year, the three big RTS developers released sequels to their greatest franchises, this year they are releasing expansion packs to those games. Expansion packs always have to be better than the original game because they add more units, further refine the AI, and most the time add a new race/civilization to the mix. How is the latest expansion pack of Age of Mythologies: The Titans shaping up? Read on to find out!

The Atlantean’s are the newest civilization added in this expansion pack, and they worship the Titans gods. In Greek Mythology, the Titans were the previous rulers of the Universe until the Olympian Gods, under the leadership of Zeus, over threw the Titans and their ruler Chronos. The Titans have risen again and they want revenge! Playing as the Atlantean’s, players will experience twelve new campaigns as they try to take back what was theirs. The three main Gods the Atlantean’s worship are: Gaia (Goddess of Mother Earth), Oranos (God of Sky), and their son Chronos.

The Atlantean’s really mesh well with the previous games civilizations: Greek, Egyptians, and Norse. This race has a few advantages in comparison to the others. They are allowed to use their Titan God powers more than one time to help decimate their opponents and they can even promote certain units to hero status. One of the best features of this civilization is that they don’t have the need for the “storage” buildings that other civilizations do, the only downside is that the workers now cost more resources to produce. The only way to increase the Gods favor is to take over as many settlements as possible, so they have the ability to make settlements from the First Age.

The god powers are as fun as ever, but one of the more interesting ones is the “spider lair.” This is a trap spell, which means once enemy units touch it, a group of hungry spiders come out from the ground and have a feast upon the enemy. The last one I will mention has to be the best one conceived, and it is called “time shift.” It allows players to transport any of their buildings to another location on any part of the map that you have explored, in your line of sight. This comes in very handy when attacking an enemy, you can shift a military building over, so you can produce more units that will get to your position faster.

Even though there is a new civilization, Ensemble Studios didn’t forget the other races. Each civilization will get its own Titan unit that will do devastating damage to the enemies. When these units come out on the battlefield, players know they are in serious trouble, if they don’t have their Titan ready for action.

The biggest addition to the game, besides the new civilization, is the inclusion of the “repeat build” button. It allows players to set any of their buildings to produce an unlimited supply of units as long as they have enough resources. This is something that should have been included in RTS games long ago! It really helps minimize the micromanagement that the players have to constantly worry about, especially when they are knee deep in battle, and in serious need of reinforcements.

Being an expansion pack, the game is built off the graphics engine that the previous game had, with minor improvements. It is a good thing that the previous game was gorgeous and this expansion pack shows that the graphics have stood the test of time over this past year! Even though this beta is not fully optimized yet, it still runs smooth as silk on my computer system with no slow down at all, which bodes really well when the game is released.

From what I can tell from this beta version, this expansion pack is going to blow your socks off. With new additions, gameplay improvements, and many other things, you will not take this game out of your CD drive for a long time!

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