September 21, 2020
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Publisher: MacSoft    Genre: Strategy & War
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 233 MHz    RAM: 64 MB

Age of Empires II
December 3, 2001 | Michael Phillips

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Is there anything more fulfilling than devising an extremely creative plan and then executing it brilliantly on the field of battle, eviscerating the enemy with stunning lethality? Well, perhaps a business luncheon with Steve Jobs, followed by dinner with the beguiling Bernadette Peters, but aside from that, I think not! Alexander the Great knew such fulfillment, Napoleon tasted it and now, thanks to Peter Tamte and the happeniní kids at Bold Games, Mac users everywhere can experience such glory. Thatís right, Age of Empires II: Gold Edition is storming the walls of our beloved Mac OS! So, is this latest real-time strategy game (RTS) for our platform as sharp as a bastard sword or dull as so many butter knives? If General Patton were alive and a Mac user (why wouldnít he be?), would he enjoy it? Will playing Age of Empires II: Gold Edition make you a better person and help you achieve a state of Zen? Yes, yes, and um, sure, why not? Read on to learn the nitty gritty on this fine game of strategy warfare...

Gameplay: Hold the Line!
My first great real-time strategy game love affair began with StarCraft; I still play it to this very day. At least, I did until Age of Empires II: Gold Edition (AOE II) showed up at my door. Age of Empires II is one of the deepest, most immersive RTSs ever created. Not only is it exceedingly fun and challenging, but one might even learn a little something about world history by playing. Donít worry, the educational aspects of AOE II arenít required. Heaven forbid we learn anything from a game!

First and foremost, Age of Empires II is a game of intense strategy-warfare. Sporting 13 Civilizations (plus 5 more from the built-in Age of Conquerors expansion pack), 5 story driven, historically accurate single-player campaigns (plus 4 more from the built-in Age of Conquerors expansion pack), intense multiplayer action, dozens of units, lush battlefields complete with hills, oceans, rivers & lakes, a complex technology tree, amazing wonders such as the Hagia Sophia at Constantinople and full Mac OS X support, this game will keep players occupied for hours on end.

First, let us discuss single-player Age of Empires II. Single-player AOE II is the perfect way to get acquainted with the game and ready for multiplayer action. For those completely unfamiliar with Age of Empires II, the game features an excellent tutorial campaign that teaches all the essential basics any leader needs to rule the world. In game help is excellent overall, with enough experimentation AOE II is quite easy to pick up for those of us who canít stand reading through a manual so thick it could kill a man.

Aside from completing the tutorial, AOE II contains 9 total campaigns, each based on historically accurate leaders and events. For example, one campaign from the Age of Kings set involves Joan of Arcís rise to power. While another from the Age of Conquerors set depicts Attila the Hunís reign of terror. With each victory in a campaign, more of the historical figureís story is revealed. Thus, adding intrigue and incentive to each campaign. Furthermore, campaigns donít feel dull and lifeless; they are full of scripted events, such as enemy ambushes and character dialogue. Campaign missions arenít just about resource gathering and outnumbering the enemy, many involve tasks such as safely guiding a character from one city to another, protecting a cathedral or assassinating an enemy leader.


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