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Age of Mythology: The Titans

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Age of Mythology: The Titans is a real-time strategy computer game expansion pack of Age of Mythology. It was developed by Ensemble Studios and released on October 21, 2003.[1]

The Titans adds a fourth civilization to the game, the Atlanteans, and 3 new major gods, plus new units, buildings and god-powers. It also includes many new features, such as auto-queueing (allows training of units indefinitely as long as there are sufficient resources), and the ability to summon a Titan, a powerful, gargantuan, godlike being that forms the game's focal point. Critics praised Titans with an average score of 84% according to GameRankings.[2]

Gameplay

One of the largest new additions to Titans was a new civilization, the Atlanteans. The Atlanteans have no specific hero units, but can convert any human unit into a hero. Citizens have no drop off point for resources, and town centers can be built at any time during the game.

A new unit, the Oracle, is introduced on the side of the Atlanteans, and their gods have special powers, such as Kronos' ability to move buildings from one location on the map to another, or Oranos' Sky Passages which allow instant unit transportation across the map. The goddess Gaia has the ability to grow lush from buildings, preventing enemy players constructing buildings nearby as well as providing a small healing effect to buildings. Other lesser god powers are available to the Atlanteans at any time during the game. Unlike the previous civilizations, however, Atlanteans can use certain god powers multiple times.

Atlantean Citizens are much more effective in work than their Greek, Norse or Egyptian counterparts and do not require drop-off points for resources; they instead use pack donkeys. They are also much slower to train, and much more expensive. Atlanteans gain favour through town centers. The more they control, the faster the rate of favor generation.

Most Atlantean human units can be transformed into heroes (including Citizens), which become a little bit better at everything they do. Myth Units, Naval Units, Siege Units, Titans, and Cheiroballista are the exceptions. As well as being strong against Myth Units, Atlantean heroes retain their own strengths and weaknesses, so, for example, Murmillo heroes are still weak against archers and strong against cavalry.

Titans introduces six new maps types, and seven new AI personalities. For the original civilizations, several upgrades and changes were added. The upgrade Beast Slayer, which causes the Greek gods' unique units to do bonus damage against Myth units. Hands Of the Pharaoh lets Egyptian priests pick up Relics; a power formally reserved for the Pharaoh unit only. Range of attack is also increased by two for Egyptian priests. The Norse gain the Axe of Muspell upgrade, which gives Throwing Axemen bonus damage against flying units.

In terms of bonuses for every civilization, the upgrade Heroic Fleet gives ships bonus damage against myth units. The non-Atlanteans can build Town Centers in the Classical Age in Titans, as opposed to Heroic in the original. Finally, the Titan unit is introduced to the Game. Titans are huge units possessing large amounts of hitpoints and armor while having high attack. They are almost considered a new victory condition since they are so destructive, but can be tackled with a large enough force and by repeatedly attacking (However titans can heal if you worship Hekate, minor god of Gaia and Oranos, then research Mythic Rejuvenation, it is unknown if this healing ability was intended.)

Plot

Characters

Kastor: Son of Arkantos and a soldier of Atlantis who helps defend the remaining, godless Atlanteans

  • Krios: Theocrat of Atlantis, he is killed by a Servant of Kronos at the start of the campaign, and has his place taken by the servant.
  • Ajax: Greek hero of the Trojan War and former companion of Arkantos who helps Kastor deal with the consequences of the Titans' release
  • Amanra: Queen of Nubia who assists Kastor in the aftermath of the Titans' release
  • King Folstag : Norse Frost Giant who summons the dragon, Nidhogg, to defeat Norse titan Ymir.

Campaign: The New Atlantis

The campaign is only a third of the length of the one in the original Age of Mythology, and this time focuses mostly on the Atlantean civilization and its leader, Arkantos' son, Kastor. Arkantos, who is now a minor God of Titan fighting (as mentioned in the game), also makes a few minor appearances here. The story is set ten years after the events of the Age of Mythology storyline.

The story begins with Kronos, who was still trapped in Tartarus, watching the Atlanteans. He sends his unnamed servant (nicknamed "Kronny" by fans of the game as this is seen as his name in the game's editor) to possess the body of the Theocrat Krios, the Atlantean leader.

It then cuts to the Norselands, where the suffering Atlanteans, led by Kastor and Krios, are trying to rebuild their civilization after it was destroyed ten years ago. Then Theocrat says he saw a temple in his dream. The Atlanteans leave the Norselands by using Sky Passages, and they come to a place called New Atlantis. Krios says it was the imprisoned Titans who helped them, and convinces his people, including Kastor, to worship them.

The Greeks are angered with the Atlanteans' new choice of gods, and attack them. The Atlanteans retaliate by destroying the entire Greek colony from which some of the attacks came. However, some of the Greek ships escape and go to General Melagius, ruler of that colony and other lands. He is angered by the destruction of his colony and prepares for an attack. The Atlanteans, however, still manage to invade Melagius's city, called Sikyos, and slay him. Just as the Atlanteans kill Melagius, Egyptian and Norse allies of Melagius come to aid the city. Kastor decides they are too powerful and flees. However, he does not go back to New Atlantis but instead heads up to the Norselands. His plan is that the Norse will not be expecting an attack. He destroys Norse temples and replaces them with Atlantean temples, to show his superiority. He also destroys the Tower of Odin, Odin's only stronghold on Earth, by using a god power from Kronos. Some Atlantean forces then sail to Egypt. The scene cuts to Egypt where Amanra, a comrade of Arkantos when he was still a human, is conversing with her troops. Arkantos suddenly appears before Amanra and tells her that the Atlanteans are coming to steal relics from the Egyptans. Amanra fortifies the protections around the relics, but the Atlanteans still manage to steal them. Just as the Atlantean army closes around Amanra and her few troops, lightning bolts kill all the Atlantean soldiers. Arkantos appears and tells Amanra that the Atlanteans are being led by Kastor. Amanra questions this, and Arkantos tells Amanra that Kastor is being tricked. He tells her to find Kastor and to help him. It then cuts to a new scene, where Krios congratulates Kastor on his work and shows him a Sky Passage that he has found. Krios tells Kastor that the Sky Passage will take him behind Greek lines. Kastor enters it with his troop and finds himself not in the Greek territories, but on Mount Olympus. Kastor believes that Krios made a mistake about where the Sky Passage went. He and his troops discover they cannot go back the same way they came, so they decide their only choice is to attack Mount Olympus. Using special temples that change his men into different myth units, Kastor sets foot on the peak of Mount Olympus. However, once he does this, the daylight turns a strange color. Kastor senses there is something wrong, and he leaves with his army. He heads to the Greek territories. When he gets there he sees Prometheus wreaking havoc on Sikyos. He wonders at this, and Krios tells him that he is a Titan. Krios tells Kastor that he allowed him and some lesser Titans to be free. Kastor realizes he has been tricked by Krios, who takes the form of Kronny and escapes. Kastor is then attacked by other Atlanteans who are under Krios's control. Meanwhile, Amanra meets Ajax, another companion of Arkantos. Apparently, Ajax was also looking for Kastor. Amanra tells Ajax that Kastor has been tricked, and that they must find him. All this time Kastor is being repeatedly attacked by Atlanteans. Amanra and Ajax rescue him with Rocs. Arkantos appears, and Kastor tells his father that he did not realize he was being tricked. Arkantos forgives him, and tells the heroes that two lesser Titans have been freed in the Norselands and in Egypt. Amanra decides that they will go to Egypt first, as that is her homeland.

The Titan in Egypt is Cerberus, and the heroes decide to awaken the Guardian statue, an immensely powerful living statue that also helped the heroes in Age of Mythology. The Guardian manages to destroy Cerberus. They then travel to the Norse lands, and they meet King Folstag, a powerful Frost Giant whose lands are being destroyed by the Titan, Ymir. WIth the help of Folstag, the heroes defeat the Titan and restore peace in the Norse lands with the help of the Niddhog Dragon.

The heroes then travel to Greece to find the peaceful green countryside destroyed and in flames—evidence of Prometheus's work. They spread the green lush of the benevolent earth Titan Gaia across the burnt land, both healing it and weakening Prometheus. They manage to overcome him in his weakened state. The heroes then venture back to New Atlantis, where they rescue citizens from Automatons. Kastor, Ajax, and Amanra enter a Sky Passage which takes them to Old Atlantis, where Kronos, king of the Titans, breaks out of Tartarus. To stop him, Kastor and his allies summon Gaia using special trees. She defeats Kronos and imprisons him once more. Kastor notices Kronny trying to escape in all the excitement. He jumps on top of Kronny and plunges a sword into his chest, thus killing him. Arkantos appears and tells Kastor that the Atlanteans need a leader, and that he will always be by his son's side. The Staff of Atlantis appears before Kastor, and he becomes the new leader of the Atlantean empire.

Reception

Titans was well received by critics, with an average score of 84 on MetaCritic and GameRankings.[2][3] GameSpot gave Titans an 8.3 out of 10, and commented "There's plenty more depth to be found here since having a brand-new civilization with three new primary gods creates many more...new strategies. On the other hand, it would have been nice to see the original civilizations get fleshed out some more...because experienced Age of Mythology players will want more than just one big reason to keep playing as their favorite factions."[4] About.com declares that the "most significant unit to come form Age of Mythology The Titans Expansion is the Titan unit itself. If you are fortunate enough to have the resources, these extremely expensive war machines can literally decide the outcome of the game, by destroying virtually everything in their path."[5] IGN gave the game an 8.9 out of 10 and mentioned "But as we suspected, it's an expansion well worth the wait."[6]

Game Revolution gave the game a B+ and said "While not innovative in any way, AOM: The Titans is everything you should expect from a quality expansion."[7] GameSpy gave Titans a 4.5 out of 5 and best summed it up with "Great new units and tons of gameplay enhancements make Age of Mythology: The Titans a model for how expansion packs should be done."[8]

References

  1. Age of Mythology: The Titans Info. MobyGames. Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Age of Mythology: The Titans - PC. Game Rankings (2007). Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  3. Age of Mythology: The Titans. Metacritic (2007). Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  4. Kasavin, Greg (2003-11-02). Age of Mythology: The Titans. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  5. Michael Klappenbach,"Review of Age of Mythology: The Titans Expansion," About.com
  6. Butts, Steve (2003-09-23). Age of Mythology: The Titans Review. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  7. Duke. Age of Mythology: The Titans. Game Revolution. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  8. Rausch, Allen (2003-10-09). Age of Mythology: The Titans (PC). GameSpy. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.

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