An epic real-time strategy game spanning 10,000 years, in which players are the guiding spirit in the evolution of small stone age tribes. Starting with minimal resources, players are challenged to build their tribes into great civilizations.
Gamers can choose from one of several ways to win the game, including: world domination by conquering enemy civilizations, exploration of the known world and economic victory through the accumulation of wealth.
Age 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.
Conquer the world by battling on land and sea, or build a more peaceful world, establishing harmonious relations in order to trade and accumulate wealth.
In Age of Empires, there are many different multi-tribe scenarios you can choose from. Each with one or more victory conditions. Do you want to take part in a quick race to domination? Or an epic affair involving exploration of the known world and the accumulation of wealth? It's up to you. Choose your favorite form of world domination.
You will see the real-time results of your resource management decisions. Consider your options and move forward – assign civilization members to hunt, explore, conquer, or build. Know your place; not all civilizations will excel at the same skills -- if you are from the desert, you might not be an expert on ships and marine warfare. As you move through time you will be able to apply new technology to advance the state of buildings, weapons, tools, and ships.
Paths to Victory
Your challenge is to build your tribe into a great civilization by obtaining and managing resources and conquering or cooperating with other tribes.
After selecting a culture, you build your way up from a small Stone Age tribe to a mighty civilization through economic and military means and applying new technology. Choose wisely, your buildings and units will upgrade and improve as you pass through ages such as the Tool Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age.
You are also free to choose the technology you will use to attain your glory (or destruction) such as: archery, cavalry, naval warfare, siege warfare, hunting, foraging, religion, and government (although you won't have access to them all in any one game). Different strategies must be employed depending on your ultimate goal. Many more technologies are available than could ever be researched in the span of a single game.
Multiplayer Game Support
Internet play for up to eight players via GameSpyArcade.com, over a LAN or modem to modem.