What reviewers have to say on every Age of Empires PC game

What reviewers have to say on every Age of Empires PC game

For more than 20 years, Age of Empires has preserved its fan base by keeping the real-time strategy game interesting for casual players and history buffs alike. Winning multiple awards and being ported to other devices is enough proof that this game is worth playing. Most video game critics have enjoyed their experience playing Age of Empires on its original platform, but all of them must have something to say about each game in the series as well as their expansion packs. This article will highlight what video game reviewers consider the best parts of every title in the Age of Empires series.

Age of Empires (1997)

The original game was lauded by reviewers as one of the best games Microsoft has released at the time. What most critics like about the original Age of Empires are the visuals and sound effects which make the game just as enjoyable as Warcraft and Civilization—two games that Age of Empires took inspiration from. Reviewers also praise Age of Empires for being palatable enough for solo players instead of capitalizing on its multiplayer mode to cash grab. Age of Empires’ simple gameplay and clear-as-day tutorials added to what makes spending time on it worthwhile.

Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome

The expansion pack to the original Age of Empires has received favorable reviews from critics due to the improvements it brought to the base game such as better pathfinding and unit queueing. The Rise of Rome also brought in new technologies, new civilizations and new campaigns to shake up the strategizing of most players during the formation of the Roman Empire. The sound quality and artificial intelligence has been greatly improved, making gameplay a lot less tedious than the previous version.

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings

The direct sequel to Age of Empires, Age of Kings is the highest-rated title in the franchise due to even more improvements in its AI and better gameplay mechanics. Reviewers consider Age of Empires II to be the most important piece of nostalgia to the real-time strategy game series as the game itself is beginner-friendly in that there is no need for micromanagement and that players can simultaneously improve their civilization’s economy and strengthen their military force. Its Definitive Edition gave players an even better experience in terms of audiovisuals. Overall, reviewers believe this is the title that skyrocketed the franchise to the popularity it relishes even today.

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors

Adding to the wonderful experience brought by The Age of Kings is the first expansion pack of the game, The Conquerors. Once again, this expansion pack introduces new civilizations and technologies but what critics like best about The Conquerors is that it features smarter villagers and rebalances each of the civilizations’ damage outputs for each military unit to accommodate the newly released cultures.

Age of Empires II: The Forgotten

Video game reviewers have also praised The Forgotten despite being initially a fan-made expansion pack due to the visuals that stayed true to the base game’s designs. Fans have also praised the introduction of a bigger map for the five new civilizations brought into the game as well as the addition of new game modes for those who spend more time in the multiplayer setting.

Age of Empires II: The African Kingdoms

Critics and fans liked The African Kingdoms expansion pack for further extending the base game’s scope in terms of maps and playable civilizations. Many players think The African Kingdoms is just as good as The Conquerors in terms of gameplay improvements but in terms of audiovisuals, the third expansion pack takes the cake. All playable civilizations in Age of Empires II have also been rebalanced once again as new factions emerge yet again.

Age of Empires II: Rise of the Rajas

Rise of the Rajas is hailed by many reviewers and long-time Age of Empires players as an excellent gesture by Microsoft, paying tribute to the most prominent rulers in Southeast Asian history. The expansion pack introduces new civilizations that at first glance seem to have broken abilities but in reality are built just right. Even more improvements in the visual department didn’t go unnoticed by those who wanted to come back to playing Age of Empires II.

Age of Empires III

Age of Empires III wasn’t as praised as its predecessor, rather the two games are being compared to each other in terms of the quality of its graphics and gameplay mechanics. What reviewers like about Age of Empires III is the number of playable civilizations available and how far apart they are spread across the overall map. Micromanagement is lessened in this game and a few adjustments to controls have been made, making it simpler to play than Age of Empires II. Its Definitive Edition released last year became more favorable with reviewers who, in hindsight, appreciated how this title tried to bring something new to the table instead of surpassing its predecessor.

Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs

The WarChiefs gives players the chance to be a hero for the Native American tribes as European colonizers make their way to the New World. Critics and fans have noted the added bonuses from structures for the Native Americans as well as the Europeans. According to reviewers, the interesting twist in the narrative is part of what makes WarChiefs an excellent expansion pack to the base game. Critics say The WarChiefs carries on the base game’s intent of introducing new content and shaking up how Age of Empires players formulate strategies.

Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties

As far as expansion packs go, The Asian Dynasties has fulfilled its role well. Apart from the happenings among European and American civilizations in the base game, this expansion pack introduced great changes to the atmosphere of Age of Empires III. The visuals are vibrant, according to some critics, but what made The Asian Dynasties stand out is the option for Asian civilizations to export their resources to other countries as a way to improve their economy. The wonders system makes a comeback in this expansion pack as a way for the Indian, Chinese, and Japanese factions to advance to the next period.

Age of Empires IV

Reviewers have commended Age of Empires IV for serving as a remake of Age of Empires II as opposed to being a direct sequel to its predecessor. Age of Empires II wasn’t a perfect real-time strategy game, but long-time players can tell that Age of Empires IV presents more direct improvements than Age of Empires III ever did. Obviously, critics and fans hailed its improved graphics while they have noted the comeback of the co-op modes for difficult campaigns and a plethora of historical battles previously left out in the second version of Age of Empires.

Age of Mythology

The spin-off game of the franchise has earned some praise from reviewers and fans as well in terms of improved graphics and decent AI for an old game. Critics have also appreciated the game’s linear storyline that involves three different mythologies of the ancient world: Greek, Egyptian, and Norse, which makes for substantial single-player content. Entirely new gameplay elements such as the use of monsters and the summoning of gods to aid the civilization in times of conflict was also something reviewers find noteworthy.

Age of Mythology: The Titans

What critics like about this expansion pack is the inclusion of the easy-to-play Atlantean faction and the inclusion of Titans, beings whose power is comparable to those of gods, to be summoned in battle. Despite this, players will enjoy being in other factions as they have been rebalanced in relation to the new civilization. The Titans provide additional single-player content but the multiplayer mode is also great.

Age of Mythology: Tale of the Dragons

The only addition this expansion pack brings is the Chinese mythical civilization, complete with three major deities to aid this new faction. What reviewers like about this expansion pack is its design and gameplay which didn’t stray from the main series. Other than that, critics dismiss this game as another add-on to the Age of Mythology title.

Multiple reviewers and fans voicing their opinions on the Age of Empires games would be enough to persuade people interested in the real-time strategy genre to try the series, or even one of its titles, out. This award-winning, 24-year-old series remains strong despite several notable shortcomings, even going so far as to establish a respectable esports community that brings players closer together. It’s not too late for beginner players to join in on the fun, and if you’re considering being a part of the fan base, Age of Empires is totally worth playing.

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