Age of Mythology: The Titans
System: PC
Publisher: Microsoft 
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Released: September 2003
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Capabilities: Online Play

Review Written: October 23, 2003

The Titans is the expansion to last year’s real time strategy game, Age of Mythology, and is developed by Ensemble Studios, the same folks who made the fine line of Age of Empires games. Interestingly enough, The Titans isn’t the standard expansion pack where there’s mostly changes and additions to existing civilizations. Instead, a whole new civilization, Atlantis, is added to the existing Greek, Norse, and Egyptian civilizations and each of them also get the ability to create “Titans,” which are mammoth God-like units, that are practically invulnerable and can only be destroyed by a massive army.

Now the Atlanteans have some distinct advantages over the other three classes in The Titans. First off, their exclusive Myth units have some vicious looking attacks. Their “Behemoth” can brutalize the foe with his powerful head-butt. Then they have the more intriguing “Promethean” unit that is one mass of clay, and when initially killed, it splits into two units that also then need to be vanquished. The Atlanteans also have a few devious God powers. The most notable power is the one from their God, Kronos. He has the sneaky ability of teleporting any building across the map as long as it is not in the fog of war. This can churn out some rather cheap tactics where you can teleport a few pairs of towers right outside your enemy’s gates so you have an advantage when you start your onslaught against him.

I actually thought the Atlanteans were easier to learn how to control than the other civilizations. One big plus for them is that their villagers don’t need to drop off resources at anytime, so that means their resources grows the fastest than any of the other factions. They also can build town center expansions before anyone else because they don’t need to advance in age before the other classes, it is actually vital that you do build these expansions in quick order because the Atlanteans gain favor (resource for worshiping the Gods that is used to create the Myth units) from the amount of town centers that are constructed. The last significant advantage this new civilization has is that any of their human units can be converted to a hero unit at any time you desire, but at a price of course. So as you can see with all these advantages the Atlanteans have, especially with spending a lot less time on resource management, then this would be a prime faction choice for any RTS novice player.

Besides the addition of the Atlantis race, there are a couple other enhancements in gameplay. There is now a limitless cue of units for you to create. So if you want to do some old-school RTS action by gathering up one gigantic force of fighters, than feel free to do so. The other main addition is the Titan units. They automatically appear for your class as soon as a “Titan Gate” is constructed. They are available late in the game, right near the time you can make a Wonder. And just like Wonder’s, the opponents get notice of once you started building a Titan Gate so they can prepare for the forthcoming destruction. These humongous Titan units do wealthy amounts of damage, and watching two Titans duel each other simultaneously is something to marvel at.

It’s too bad there weren’t any other enhancements to the three existing civilizations. Expansion packs usually balance out the playing field, addressing key complaints about blatant obvious advantages and disadvantages to factions ala with Blizzard’s Warcraft and Starcraft expansion titles being the most noteworthy. Sadly, no such enhancements are found, and while the new civilization and addition of Titan units is appreciated, the lack of any other new units or technology upgrades to existing factions leaves me disappointed.

All the same textures, unit models, and animations from the original Age of Mythology remain in tact in The Titans. It is still hard for me to except that the main game engine is in 3D. This is because the main overhead view for gameplay still looks similar to the old Age of Empire titles, but once the camera zooms in for the cut-scenes in-between campaign missions is when I realized how ugly some of those character models can be. They definitely don’t stack up to the stellar, and far better textured models in Warcraft III, but thankfully the cut-scenes aren’t a key factor in RTS games, and the graphics as a whole are acceptable in their in right.

At least the new Titan units and most of the Myth units stand out from the rest of the human character models. The animations for some of the God powers are also a thing of beauty. Some that come to mind are the meteor storms that rain down from the skies above, and a bolt of lightning that strikes a unit dead.

Most of the same background tracks from before are recycled in The Titans, but thankfully the soundtrack in Age of Mythology is so fitting to the Mythological theme being presented that there was no need for additional tracks. A new little melody is played for whenever Titan units wreak their rampage, but aside from that and new voice acting in campaign missions, everything aurally from before is still in place and sounds just as good as it did the first time.

There are over a dozen new campaign missions in The Titans. If you’re like me, that’s what I head for first. The new campaign missions cover all four factions and takes about 15 to 20 hours to beat overall, so rest assured the amount of new single player material will keep you occupied for a while. Then there’s the standard map editor that’s packed in again where you can create your dream battlefield and share them with everyone online. Online play is also a blast, as Microsoft optimized the ESO matchmaking service to support buddy lists and implemented other bells and whistles to make finding an online match faster and more convenient.


Graphics: 7.7
Sound: 8.8
Gameplay: 8.8
Replay Value: 9.0

Overall: 8.6

If you’re a big RTS nut like myself and already own Age of Mythology, then by all means go out and buy The Titans expansion right now. A whole new civilization and a slew of new campaign missions are well worth the price of admission. While I still would have appreciated more enhancements to the previous factions, what they included here is still justifiable for a purchase, and shouldn’t be missed any fan of the popular line of RTS titles from Ensemble Studios.

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