Age of Empires: The Age of Kings

THQ flaunts Age of Empires DS sequel

THQ flaunts Age of Empires DS sequel

Big beasties for Mythologies.

THQ has whipped the wrappers off an autumn-bound Age of Empires sequel for DS.

Dubbed Mythologies, it's based less on factual history and more on giant beasties and tales of old.

You'll be able to play as one of three civilisations, spanning four environments: Greece, Egypt, the frozen north and one other.

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Age of Empires: The Age of Kings

Age of Empires: The Age of Kings

The art of shrinking thinking.

Let's hear it for turn-based strategy. Too often decried for being a plodding throwback to the 16-bit era, it's a tried and tested gameplay format that is long overdue a comeback. Real-time strategy is all very well but, a few notable exceptions aside, most RTS games are more about the real-time and less about the strategy. Frantically harvesting resources and churning out combat units before click-dragging the whole bloody lot and flinging them at the enemy - there's not really much room for nuanced thought in that equation. By using the lowly chess approach, turn-based games force you to ponder, to think and to - hey! - strategise.

In transforming Ensemble Studios' flagship franchise to the diminutive DS, Backbone Entertainment has shaken things up in a mostly refreshing way - the most obvious change being the shift from RTS to turn-based play. The game has a few pressing flaws, of which more later, but none of them stem from the slowed-down pace. They've ignored last year's Age of Empires III and looked back instead to 1999, and Age of Empires II, for the foundations of this edition. It's a wise move. Wise because the third game was something of a disappointment, but also because its relatively lo-tech predecessor is a far more suitable candidate for the shrinking process required.

To Be This Good Takes Ages

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