By Zeus’ Beard! Age Of Mythology Revamp Coming In May

By Alice O'Connor on April 3rd, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Hadesraider

And yea, they did speak of times past when the Earth was more innocent. Gods and monsters moved among us, entire pantheons warred, and we were pleased. Yet today’s impetuous youth sneer “Yeah but it doesn’t even have ambient occlusion does it?” All right clever clogs, look here: following a little tease earlier this year, Microsoft has revealed the revamped Age of Mythology Extended Edition for release in early May.

Beyond obviously making Ensemble’s 2002 RTS play nicely with modern operating systems and monitors, it’s a bit shinied up with improved graphics and Steam gubbins.

Like last year’s Age of Empires II HD, Age of Mythology’s Extended Edition is more tarted up than rebuilt. The big list of changes includes improved lighting, water and shadows, Steam Workshop support for mods, Twitch integration, tweaks to the observer mode, and other odds and ends. The ‘Titans’ expansion is bunged in too.

What isn’t confirmed yet is the price. AoE II HD costs £14.99, which was expensive enough to make me think twice about buying what’s essentially a 15-year-old game. Even if it was revamped a little, GOG has set what feels like a fair price for old games and the improvements didn’t seem worth paying four times that. We’ll see how much AoM EE costs when pre-orders begin later this month.

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44 Comments »

  1. adamsorkin says:

    I’m going to buy this game a third time, aren’t I?

    • morse says:

      Reminds me of my dad. When I was younger we would play AOE together and then he would get addicted, stay up til 5am playing, and then give me the disc to “hide” from him. Eventually he would scour the house, find the disc (usually hidden between books on a bookshelf, without a case), and resume. Eventually he would break the disc in pieces, apologizing. A little while later he would buy the game again for us to play together. There are a few games that he has bought three times or so.

  2. Deathmaster says:

    And still no Rise of Nations :<

    • SuicideKing says:

      Fear not, it’s coming.

    • rockman29 says:

      Yes, Rise of Nations…

      Though I am kind of unhappy how expensive these are coming at launch… AOEII and AOM now doing that.

      But at least it’s there.

    • Warduke says:

      Anyone play Rise of Legends? Was always curious if that one was any good..

      • malkav11 says:

        It was great fun. Three nicely unique factions and a campaign mode that wasn’t as robust as its parent but still pretty solidly enjoyable.

      • neonordnance says:

        Yeah, the main flaw with Rise of Legends was that it was pitched as a spiritual sequel. It’s really more like Warcraft III than anything even approaching Rise of Nations. But it’s still a solid game with interesting units and fantastic art design.

  3. Fenix says:

    So I was a big fan of Age of Empires, and played all of them until AoE III made me cry and forget the series, but I missed AoM completely. I have seen people play it while I was watching a couple of times, and from what I remember it didn’t look all that amazing.

    So, considering I want to play the AoEII remake but still haven’t, would you people think it’d be worth it to get this instead?

    • SuddenSight says:

      [Agressively edited because my first attempt was a ramble]

      AoM is “gamier” than the AoE games, but it also has the best campaign, easily.

      Honestly, the original reviews for the game are still valid. The only big change needed to bring it to the modern world updating the matchmaking service (game spy is not that great). I might buy it out of nostalgia, but my original install discs still work just fine.

      Side Note: I would buy the new version in a heartbeat if they added Mac/Linux support.

    • Volcanu says:

      Hmm I haven’t played AoM since it came out, but as a big AoE I and AoE II fan it left me distinctly cold.

      I much preferred the ‘Conquerors’ campaigns from the AoE II expansion to anything in AoM. But that’s just my two pennies worth.

      EDIT – I’m also going to put it out there that the isometric, almost hand drawn looking visuals of AoE II have held up much better than the 3d visuals of AoM. It lacks soul.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      The AoEII remake is, from my experience, awful. Multiplayer, although it is there, is near unplayable due to random disconnects (you think it won’t happen to you, but it will). My favorite features are the ability to share an empire (I don’t remember if that was in the original) and workshop support.

      Hopefully this AoM remake will have more stable MP (I never could get the original AoM multiplayer working). And, as SuddenSight said, the campaign is the best in the series. I’ll wait for reviews to make sure it isn’t as bad as AoEII HD, but this looks quite promising.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Yes, shared control of the empire was in the original (or modded in later, not sure, i have the AoFE mod installed).

    • TWChristine says:

      If you enjoyed the other AoE games (ignoring 3 for the moment) then I really think you’d like AoM. With that said, I’ve never actually beaten the game! I got to the Norse campaign and then had to move, so everything was put in storage for several years. During that time I kept having a hankering to play it, but as it was an old game by then, it wasn’t easy to come by. “Local Game Store” then randomly had it, and I snatched it up quick (ironically maybe 6 months before I ended up getting everything out of storage). Since then, I’ve gotten back up to the Norse campaign, and imagine I’ll be completing it soon…and then on to the expansion!

      With that said, I think we’ll need to see what they mean by Extended Edition, and whether you think that’ll be worth whatever price they’re charging. In the end you might find it more beneficial to see if you can find a copy on Amazon or such.

    • Tams80 says:

      I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s very much like AoEII, but with a mythological theme, and ‘hero’ like characters/monsters that are more integral to the gameplay (but not like AoEIII). I’d say it’s between AoE and AoEII, but very heavily leaning to the AoEII side.

  4. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I would also have accepted the exclamation “By Poseidon’s beard!”

  5. Bremze says:

    I guess by adding Titans it’ll clear the low bar set by AoE II HD, but will this also remove basic functionality and be worse than a free fan-made modification?

  6. Chuckleluck says:

    I really hope they do something about the Titans expansion. The new Atlantean civilization was great, but the titans themselves were waaaaaaay overpowered. It basically turned the entire match into an arms race.

    • SuddenSight says:

      There was a button in the original that let you turn them off before starting a game. Not helpful if you wanted to random queue, though.

    • Halk says:

      Chuckluck, if you played this game on a high level than you clearly would know that the titans didn’t make this game an arms race. If you were able to built a titan on pro level of play you had won the game 10 minutes ago already.

      For a game this old it’s funny how balanced it is compared to a lot of newer games. No pay 2 win, almost 100% skillbased RTS game. Good campaign. I honestly think this is the best of the AoE series. With the gods and myth units it’s feel was a lot better. More refined campagin. Better matchmaking than the AoE1 and AoE2 (don’t know how steam will do it) I still play it online a lot on GameRanger but it has ‘issues’, so I already preorderred the Steam version. One of the biggest differences between the basic AoE gameplay and AoM is that the 4 races u have play completely different. With AoE you had some different races which had some different upgrades and a special unit, but in basic terms they were all alike. (sure u played some differently but they weren’t REALLY unique) Age of Mythology is a game where all 4 races (Greek, Egyptian, Norse and Atantean) are completely unique with their own style of play. Not to mention u can make different choices within those races for different playstyles aswell. If you liked AoE or AoE2 or just RTS games in general. This is a game is worth your money! Looking forward to beat you all when it comes out on steam muhhahaha

  7. SuicideKing says:

    Well, AoE II HD was a disaster, so I don’t know how this will turn out. Different developer, though.

    • Film11 says:

      How was it a disaster?

      • SuicideKing says:

        Go check out the forum threads if you want proper details…but from memory:

        It was buggy, glitchy, crashed, didn’t work properly for XP, multi-monitor support wasn’t done properly, they removed LAN functionality and Steam integration wasn’t done properly (lobbies etc. weren’t showing games correctly), connections used to drop, out of sync errors…

        Then there were other issues, like they changed icons for resources and the pictures for the farms, and most of the other changes were minor (new water, fog of war was softer…that’s it i think) and could be achieved by mods.

        Plus the game cost $/£15. Wasn’t fixed by Hidden Path for months, then they left to do something else, now the modders who created the Forgotten Empires mod are in charge.

        A slightly modified AoFE was later released as DLC.

        I haven’t followed it for months now, so don’t know the current state.

        I was planning to buy and have friends buy, but I could see it wasn’t going to be smooth days before launch so i held off.

        EDIT: Also read one of Chuckleluck’s post above.

  8. captain nemo says:

    Wow – AOM is back. Great news

  9. LegendaryTeeth says:

    Wow. It is $30 (20% off if you preorder). Are they on drugs?

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/266840/

    Guess I’ll wait for the 75% off sale. Was going to buy it right away since my wife still plays the old one all the time, but jeeze.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      That’s completely insane. But hey that’s Microsoft “Doubling down on PC” for you. No I won’t forget that hilariously dumb (and oft repeated-yet-never-fulfilled) official Microsoft statement.

    • SuddenSight says:

      Yeah, I’m not that impressed by what I’ve seen of this remake so far. The bravado with which they state that their game on steam will have achievements and trading cards may be the most ridiculous piece of advertising filler I have seen in a while. Too bad it probably has asbestos…

      • Tams80 says:

        Uh, how are these a selling point? Well, I can see how they could be. I don’t care for either, but I don’t think most of those who do would pay for them (which the trailer gives the impression of) and just see them as free benefits of using Steam.

    • Tams80 says:

      I can only speak for myself, but nostalgia will not make me pay anywhere near that. I thought Nintendo were a bit expensive for their old games, and while they don’t really add anything (not that these HD releases really add much) they at least work properly.

    • JackMultiple says:

      (sigh) sadly I’m not surprised, seeing as how AOE3 (a 10yo game) was $40 for like, forever. I refused to buy it until I got it for $8 at the beginning of the year. Maybe next year AOM will be affordable?

    • SuicideKing says:

      Well, that confirms our suspicion that Microsoft is completely out of sync with what goes on around it.

      I just hope Rise of Nations and any other re-release is priced sensibly.

  10. Tams80 says:

    I’m not aware about the Age Of Mythology community, but hopefully this won’t end up like AoEII HD.

    That really felt like a cash grab using the community’s efforts and if I recall correctly wasn’t in cases as good as the communities patches. I think the Forgotten Empire’s developers got renumeration for their work, but it still seemed a bit wrong; especially when Forgotten Empires was intended to be free (though of course they are entitled to make money from their work).

  11. RobinOttens says:

    I don’t think adding bump maps and making everything glow makes for ‘Improved Visuals’. And by zeus do I hope that photoshop art isn’t gonna show up in-game and replace the original’s art for the different gods. I really liked the look of the original. Also, none of this money is going to any of the old Ensemble devs is it? Or is all this rerelease business done by one of those studios that popped up after Ensemble split up?

    I’ll be cautiously keeping an eye on this, since I very much enjoyed AoM back in the day, but … harumph

    • SuicideKing says:

      Rights to the game belong to MS Game Studios, so no one from Ensemble gets a penny. Ensemble hasn’t been an entity for years anyway.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Hardly ever AAA developers see money directly from their games – it goes to publishers who sometimes gives them bonuses, sometimes don’t (Obsidian New Vegas Metacritic). Usually they get money to make game and that’s it.

  12. pepperfez says:

    The worst part is that I would probably be willing to pay that if it were on GoG instead.

  13. Zarathruster says:

    I don’t suppose there’s any chance Kohan will someday get the HD treatment, eh?
    *sigh*

    • JackMultiple says:

      ooo, nice thought! I still love Kohan and find it enjoyable still. But I’m on XP still so maybe it doesn’t work on 7/8? I will always have an XP partition around here somewhere, even when I’m playing Dark Souls 12: Die Another Death on the back of a juice box.

  14. unit 3000-21 says:

    I really loved that game but I don’t think it needed a remake. My original discs still work, and it still looks nice after all this years (in my opinion it even looks slightly better than Warcraft 3) plus I don’t need any of this Steam bullshit.

  15. Babaorum says:

    I will probably buy it again, but not at the current price tag. Well, let’s just wait a few months for the usual Steam sale and the -50% or -75% discount.