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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

 
  Age of Empires
Preamble:

AOE is so similar to Blizzard's Warcraft 2 that a player will find it relatively simple to get into gameplay. It has the research structure, individual unit sounds and realtime feel that made Warcraft 2 a huge hit that you may wonder if AOE is all that different. But from the start it is very different. There is a feeling of real history in this game by Microsoft and Ensemble Studios. Bruce Shelley of Civilization fame is the architect of this fine piece of software that will grace many desktops. His approach seems to complement Warcraft rather than try to be very different. The similarities are obvious but the differences are as well. Campaigns have a historical 'being there' feeling that makes you feel like the past is relived as you play. The technology tree is easy to comprehend as you advance through the ages but there are many paths to take depending on the available resources. Much is focused on improving your military units with better armor, weapons and capability. But your villagers need attention as well to make sure that the increased demand is kept up by speeding them up and improving farms. The sheer variety had me scrambling to utilize all of the capabilities of the units that are available.

Installing:

These days, installing is seldom an issue and Microsft products are pretty straight forward. What can be a problem is DirectX. AOE would not run at first for me no matter what I tried. I went to MS's customer support and had to get help for that too( the page would not accept my registation-login & password). But when help came, it was clear and concise on what to do and I was soon on my way. I choose the 178Mb install and it ran very smooth. Only thing I did notice is that when I run at the highest resolution, there is a filmy band on the right hand side that distorts somewhat but this could be my video card incompatibility( why, I have no idea but that was the explanation). You can Alt-Tab back to Win95's desktop with no problem and runs smooth regardless. The introduction shows a very good animated battle, giving you a taste of things to come.

Review ID Number: 190
  Product Details
Microsoft
Review Date: 2001-04-20
Reviewer: Nick Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
 
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