Ensemble Studios return with the first expansion pack for their top selling 3D RTS Age of Mythology. This extension to the game universe follows the story of the displaced Atlanteans and their search for a new home. Being an expansion pack, you’d expect more missions, a new storyline and of course new options, and that’s exactly what you get in Age of Mythology: Titans.The key to this title lies in the name, Titanst, the predecessors to the Greek gods who after a war were overthrown by the more familiar Greek gods we all knoe and love. At the start of the game the Atlanteans decide they must follow the Titan gods, much to the displeasure of their Greek counterparts, after they are guided to a new home by Kronos. The single player game follows Kastor, son of the original campaign hero Arkantos, who is now leader of the Atlanteans. With Kastor and his band of followers you must take on the other more familiar factions of the Egyptians, Greeks and Norse mythologies with the help Kronos and his Titan cronies.The gameplay essentially remains the same as the original game with the single player story spanning 12 missions. As before, the Atlanteans upgrade and progress through the different ages but Ensemble have also added the new additional Titan Age. Once this age is reached, players have access to the new and mighty ‘super units’ the Titans. Obtaining a Titan is not easy though, you need to not only reach the Titan Age but you also need to construct a Titan gate which is a lengthy process requiring much of your villager manpower, and boy does it take time. Once you’ve constructed your Titan, these massive creatures are the ultimate in destruction and with a few single blows can crush a building to dust and cause absolute chaos on the enemy and his buildings. During the single player game your armies progress and come up against other Titan units until eventually you get your hands on your very own Titan, but it takes some work to get to that stage in the game.So besides the Titans what do the Atlanteans bring to the game? The Atlanteans differ in a variety of ways from the other factions including resource collection. The Atlantean resource collectors don’t have to return with their harvested goods of food, lumber or gold, once they start collecting the resources simply start rolling in , but the cost of harvesting units is steep. Favour from the gods also works slightly differently with the Atlanteans, to earn favour the Atlanteans must expand their territory and town centres which is not easy, especially in multiplayer. The Atlantean Hero conversion ability on the units is also a very handy new feature whereby you can take any unit and upgrade them to a hero unit which gives your forces an instant and powerful boost against the enemy. Resource collectors can also be upgraded to a hero unit which gives them the ability to harvest faster. All these new abilities sound excellent but they do cost.The feature that made the original so entertaining was the worship of the gods and the power it brings. Being a new faction, the Atlaneans have their own main three gods and nine sub-gods to worship. Through these gods and the building of temples, players uncover some cracking new spells and abilities. Through the worship of the earth god Gaia, the sky father Oranos and their offspring Kronos, players have access to such gems as Time Shift, the ability to teleport a building to another location on the map, the ability to deconstruct an enemy’s buildings and even transport units around the map with the Vortex. I will give a special mention to the rather nasty Tartarian Gate which spews forth neutral beats that go on the rampage destroying anything in their path until the gate is actually destroyed, it’s particularly nasty. These are just a few, and I won’t spoil the surprise if you’re yet to play the game, half the fun is uncovering the new spells and gods, but trust me, they are fun.One thing to note about this expansion is the length. We managed to polish off all the single player missions in an afternoon. The missions themselves, while interesting and fun, weren’t too much of a challenge so seasoned players may find it a little easy, especially considering the Atlanteans are probably the easiest race of all the races to get to grips with. It’s worth noting though that Ensemble have also tweaked the other factions here and there which will please fans of the original title. They’ve also enhanced their online matchmaking service ESO with new features such as the buddy list and an improved interface.With the single player game being rather short, we found that this expansion pack’s strength is really the multiplayer which is great news for seasoned online players. Although the expansion doesn’t really add to the other races, the Atlanteans do s**e things up with their new abilities making the strategy rather interesting at times. There is of course the Titans, and watching your enemies squirm as they see your Titan Gate build time ticking down is most satisfying before going in and crushing them with your Titan. This really puts the icing on the cake. If you’re into multiplayer AOM then this is definitely worth nipping down the shops for.To sum up, Titans is a worthy addition to the series, even though the single player campaign is a little on the short side and possibly a little easy for the hard-core AoM player. The multiplayer game is where we’ve spent most of the time thanks to the new Atlantean race and Titans. If you love you’re AoM then definitely pick this up, and if you’re new to the series, perhaps just hang on and grab the Kings & Myths: The Age Collection which includes both the original game and the expansion as well as previous Age titles.
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.