1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Age of Empires II Gold Edition (Video Game)
This bundle surely represents the pinnacle of god-game design. I have not played anything, except perhaps Command & Conquer, which comes close to this for playability. When launched, the game required a powerful computer to get the most from it, but in 2014 even the most basic computer should have no trouble running with all the graphic options enabled.
The game usually begins with town-building process, whereby rock, metal and crops are mined and harvested for gain, which funds buildings, a population of villagers (who do the work), and an army to defend it and attack other towns. The game structure is a simple progress through ages, with technological and other advances helping to bolster your town and army and make it strong enough to defeat invaders and win the game. The graphics, though old-looking now, are still attractive and solid, but the underlying game engine is as formidable as ever, providing strong opponents. The game works very well for solo playing, but it steps up greatly when played against human opponents. A typical game lasts anywhere from an hour to several, and with such a vast and infinitely varying landscape, no two games are ever alike. This means it never gets boring.
If you fancy making your own game scenarios, the map builder is a thing of wonder. It is easy to use, and can create maps of tremendous complexity. I have been playing this game more or less continually since its launch. It is easy to get into, but very difficult to master absolutely. You can play the same map many times, and every time will be different. Overall then, it's a very easy game to recommend. That it is still available after all these years, and still holds the price it does, is testimony to its longevity. Microsoft's shift to Xbox meant this game was doomed, but it lives on nonetheless. It is surely one of the greatest games ever made.