Articles tagged with age of empires

EGX 2017 Impressions:
Posted by Mark at 18:25

Alright, I was wrong- Sunday was heaving.

Microsoft was the other absentee at last year's show, but they were back this year- although notably while Sony had the PS Access lot on stage all show, and Nintendo had not only their usual stage show but also announcers over on their tournament booth, Microsoft had nothing.

Well, they had games, obviously. But no stage, which is increasingly unusual for a show where Twitch rock up with a full arena and even Dissidia (ref. Thursday's article) got a stage to itself.

The three main pillars of their booth were Forza 7- skipped today because they just released a demo, Sea of Thieves- skipped since it's been on closed beta for donkey's, and Middle Earth: Shadow of War- skipped because I don't particularly care, even if it was guarded by a massive fibreglass dragon.

Tucked into a corner of the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (skipped because it's basically already out) area was Age of Empires: Definitive Edition.

Much like with Total Warhammer II, being a big PC strategy game it's hard to get a feel for it on the show floor, especially as its surprising popularity meant people had to be swept through the booth on a timer. However, it's clear that this is closer to a 'proper' remake than AoE 2 HD was, which just seemed to be the original game running at 1080p.

Also managing to clock up the square footage was Super Lucky's Tale, the cartoon platformer unveiled at E3 which, going off the EGX demo, might not be shit. Admittedly it's not going to make Mario shake in whatever footwear the poor sod his hat's possessed was wearing, but it's an entertaining enough straightfoward platformer.

The demo had you reunite three robot heads with their respective bodies in order to wake up a golem. The first of these was right next to the bodies- a simple tutorial- the next at the top of a small tower, and the third behind a more involved course including enemies and jumping puzzles.

Inside the Golem was another decapitated automaton whose head needed to be carried along a fireball-filled gauntlet, while Lucky himself was being chased by a larger, sentient fireball. Nothing new, but tighter and more focused than last year's Yooka-Laylee.

(Also, quite charmingly the Lucky demo pods all had bright orange controllers with light blue trim, and 'Lucky' laser-etched on them. Clearly an ad for their Design Labs customisation service, but clever nonetheless)

A few smaller games knocking about on their booth included Huntdown, which is doing the retro arcade run-and-gun thing very well, Robocraft Infinity which is combatitive Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts And Bolts, and Away: Journey to the Unexpected which starts with a late-80's-early-90's, Samurai Pizza Cats-era anime opening and hammy Japanese theme tune.

It's a kind of RPG-like game, not dissimilar to Elder Scrolls, but aiming to be a little lighter and have a- quote- 'wacky' sense of humour. So it could be good, or it could be another Citizens of Earth.

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Posted by Mark at 17:16

Announced during the franchise's Gamescom stream, all we have to go on at the moment is a trailer, which contains precisely zero gameplay:

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Continuing Microsoft's outsourcing of their RTS stable to Sega, this game will be handled by Dawn of War devs Relic Entertainment.

Also there's going to be a "Definitive Edition" of the first AoE. But never mind that- AoE IV!
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Posted by Mark at 11:17
Just shy of a year and a half since it started, Gas Powered Games have announced that development has ceased on the online RTS.

In a blog post, a GM states that there will be nothing new made for the game, because they simply couldn't make the numbers add up:
Why no more content? Because creating top-tier content, as we have been for the last year and a half, is very expensive—too expensive to maintain for long, as it turns out. We can no longer afford to keep creating it. AOEO already has a very large amount of high-quality, hand-crafted entertainment, and adding more is no longer cost-effective.
The game will continue to run and all the content will still be available for the forseeable future. Support in the form of customer service and tournaments will also continue, although bug fixes are looking to be unlikely.

AOEO joins Microsoft Flight, which went to the wall last July, as another failed attempt by Microsoft to enter the free-to-play market.
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Posted by Mark at 16:14
Looks like we're getting a new, free to play entry into the popular RTS series as Microsoft announces Age of Empires Online.

The game looks to be much the same as the Age of Empires of Old, albeit with a new, cartoony graphical style.

There's a website up for the game, which happily confirms that Robot Entertainment, the studio formed from the remnants of original AoE developer Ensemble, are on development duties, although the beta sign-up page worrisomely asks if you're played Farmville or Mafia Wars, amongst a handful of RTS titles.

The press release says the game will feature "A persistent online capitol city" and "Cooperative multiplayer quests", although doesn't confirm the inclusion of the most memorable feature from when I used to play multiplayer AoE, where everyone else has to chase my solitary villager around the map for six hours.
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Posted by Duane at 16:30
Leading Mobile Phone Games Developer/Publisher, Glu, is set to bring another Microsoft Game Studio's title to the mobile phone market.

Namely, Age of Empires III.

The company previously released a mobile phone version of Project Gotham Racing, which Pocket Gamer called "best mobile racer".

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Posted by Duane at 10:29

ge Of Empires was originally released in 1997 and even today it is a very popular game. It was a fantastic game involving the utmost in strategy to ensure that you were able to complete the game. The original game was so good that it spawned four sequels including this new DS one. This one is unique as well, as it was released in North America before Japan and had an entirely new style.

Age Of Empires has generally been reserved for a straight up real-time strategy game, where you would go mine gold, harvest your food, then collect enough money to go and build yourself an army trying to take over the world. While that does come off sounding a little childish, on this Age of Empires: Age Of Kings for the Nintendo DS, they had some limitations. For the system, it would be fairly difficult to have all of the characters moving at one time, keeping track of all the things that were going on from all the battles to just the people going back and forth with supplies. What they had to do is create a way to scale it back so that they could have action going on, even if it were a bit limited.

How they were able to do this was make it turn based. It is set up so that an entire team does everything they can with their units/buildings, and then when they end their turn it switches to another person to run amok. With this style, it is like a tactics game, but is a full bloom. The storyline is very limited as well, so it is not exactly an RPG, while your units do gain levels from battles. For those whom have not played a strategy game, in a way it is like Disgaea: Hour Of Darkness, melding up with Starcraft. The simple question is... Was this a good idea? The DS has taken off shoots from other games from established series, like the Prince Of Persia, which ended with substandard reviews. I can safely say up front and in the beginning that they have put this game together very well.

When you start off in the game, you have a few objectives. They always involve raising an army, and destroying the opponents on the map. Of course you also need to raise farms and goldmines to supply your kingdom with enough material to do so. When you build a mill, you create food stocks. These will be used to pay part of your units and for the buildings you will create. There are limited areas where you can place these, only where there are wheat field locations. Depending on the terrain around them, you can also build farms as well to increase the food stocks created. Then you may also build mines wherever there are gold deposits. Unlike the mills, you can only build the mine, but nothing else to increase the cash flow. Each turn these funds are automatically taken care of for you, so you do not need to send out units to collect food, and bring it back to base.

When developing your city, the buildings must be put around your town centre. These buildings will be things like your barracks, and stables to raise your armies. There are other buildings that will not allow you to produce units, but rather affect which units that you can raise, or even the technology research options available to you. You have different types of units as well, ranging from the villagers that just build the buildings. They will be the foundation of your empire in the beginning, but as you near the end of the level you may find yourself sacrificing them to the enemy for more units to bring to battle.

Secondly you have your army people. These will depend on which era you are fighting from, and eventually you can even train units like the Samurai. Then you have your horse typed characters that are generally masters of the battlefield, and have problems taking down buildings. Then there are characters like the archers, and later gunmen, that can shoot over several squares to take out leagues of enemies without the fear of retaliation. You will have your monks that can heal your groups if they stand next to them, or can even convince enemy units to join your team and fighting for you. You have your siege units as well, which have troubles crossing things like mountains, but are fantastic on the plains. Generally they are created to either fend off other units, or easily destroy buildings. Each unit has an opposite counterpart that can be devastating to them, so diversity is the key.

Finally you have your main character on each map. They have powers that can affect all the units on the map, or at least ones close to them. They are the most experienced units, and as such they also get a large stat boost to help them cleave down their enemies. Their powers can heal the people on the map, or give boosts to their abilities to take down enemy units/buildings. They will be the most used units, and you may even have them enter battle a hundred times before a map is completed.

Each level of the ground is important as well. With each unit with a preference of attack, it is very important to set up your units on them. Horses love the plains, which makes it easy for them to run up on enemies and beat them into submission, while units like the archers and gunmen love to be put up on hills, so not only can they shoot downwards on people, but because they are up higher, they can even shoot further. Each level affects the range of attacks, like if you are in a forest with an archer. Because they would have troubles finding the enemy, plus with all the tress in the way, they lose their range of attack. Fighting in the forest can be good though, because the unit can receive a defence bonus, so it is always a balance of things.

You have other aids when it comes to your battles, which can give your units or buildings other special abilities. You will receive these by levelling up your technology. Technology is the priciest thing in the game, later on even taking up to 1000 gold pieces to level it up. These are invaluable as they pump up the attack or defence power of your units, allow them to be able to attack further, or even unlock new units for you to create. Each turn you can only research a single point, and once it has been created you have it for the rest of the map. There are also several levels of these tech points that come available once you “Age Up” your town centre. When this is done it rolls out new units for you to create as well, but the price is fairly hefty. It takes a combination of food, gold, and how many technical things you have researched to progress.

The game does come up very well, but there is only one issue that I have. The computer has a lapse of judgement at time. Generally the enemy does not like attacking villagers for whatever reason, and as such you can use them as human shields to funnel the attacks to a single point. This ensures that you can use them to hold of unwanted attacks, while maximizing on your own. The computer also neglects to attack every option on the map, while they are very effective with the attacks that they do end up choosing. You can generally leave your goldmines unprotected without the worry of them being destroyed.

A neat feature in the game allows you to achieve points after each map. Using these points allows you to unlock additional units for the game, which can be used when you have a market on the map. In addition to characters you can also unlock additional maps for you to play wirelessly against all of your friends. When it comes down to it, the game is put together very well. Everything flows from turn to turn, and the objectives are nicely outlined. The characters are quite unique which allows you to have free rein over the level of strategy you wish to use to conquer your opponents. The game also supports the multi-card play which allows you to play against up to three other people on the DS, so long as they also have the game. It is even more enjoyable playing against someone else, rather than just the computer, so if you can not only buy the game, but also get your friends to do it as well.

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