"Age of Empires'
historicity will certainly set the scene and add depth to the gameplay, but
won't bog it down."
Gamecenter, May 1997
of Empires presents you with an opportunity to shape history.
As you immerse
yourself in Age of Empires, you sink into an historically accurate world of eat
or be eaten. You'll get to see how good your survival, resource management and
commanding skills really are as you take part in the rise of civilizations in
the Age of Empires.
You begin by choosing from among 12 real ancient civilizations, and your choice
of civilization is tied to the type of technology which will become available
to you. The architecture you build, the armies you amass, will all reflect your
culture. As in world history, the differences between the tribes and their
technologies become more apparent at key moments in history (such as the
dawning of the Bronze Age).
Bruce Shelley on the civilizations of Age of Empires:
The 12 cultures in the game use four different building
sets. The buildings of an Asian culture will look quite different from those
using the Egyptian or Greek set. Each culture has a unique tech tree. No
culture has all the possible technologies. Some have better soldiers, some
better cavalry, some better ships, some better priests, and some have economic
advantages. For example, Shang (Chinese) villagers move faster than the
villagers of other cultures, making them more efficient in resource gathering.
The Egyptian priests can develop the greatest range, making them more useful
for converting enemy units. Each culture has to be played differently to take
advantage of its strengths and overcome its weaknesses.
Age of Empires also includes a 40,000 word encyclopedia that provides
historical notes on Age of Empires. The encyclopedia discusses the different
cultures available for play, the game technologies, the rise of civilization,
and the rise of ancient warfare.
Age of Empires isn't exactly like the real world though. In the real world
leaders didn't have the option to limit or expand how they would rise to power.
And they probably didn't have as much fun as you will with Age of Empires.
Men make their own history, but they do not
make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by
themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from
the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on
the brain of the living.
Marx (1818-83), German political theorist, social philosopher. The Eighteenth
Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, sct. 1 (1852; repr. in Selected Works, vol. 2,
1942). From The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations: Copyright (c) 1993, 1995 by
Columbia University Press.