NASCAR Racing 2002
 
 
Urban Chaos
 
 
Project Eden
 
 

Age of Empires II: Age of Kings

Age of Empires II: Age of Kings
4.5
Platforms: PC, Mac, PlayStation 2
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Ensemble Entertainment
Genres: Strategy / Real-Time Strategy
Release Date: September 30, 1999
Game Modes: Singleplayer / Multiplayer

‘Tis good to be the king.

Capitalizing on the resounding success that was Age of Empires, Ensemble Studios scrambled to create a sequel that was worthy of its predecessor. Three years in the making and one year late of its scheduled release, Age of Empires 2 is every bit of a great sequel as it is a terrific game in its own right.

Just about every facet of Age of Kings has been improved from its predecessor, starting with the graphics and ending with the AI and interface. Yet in the greater scheme of things, it’s still the same game. You’re still tasked with finding a proper balance between gathering resources, advancing your technology and reigning bloody terror upon your enemies.

A New Age Dawns

Snap23_1

The graphics are noticeably improved.

Age of Kings is a chronological continuation of Age of Empires and its expansion, The Rise of Rome. The thing that sets the original as well as Age of Kings apart from other RTS games is the large number of technologies available to research combined with the fact that your empire moves through four distinct historical ages: the Dark Ages, the Feudal Age, the Castle Age, and the Imperial Age. Advancing to a new age opens up new buildings and technologies for your empire. Basically, it’s about as close to real-time Civilization as anyone has gotten, and the game’s full of options as a result.

Age of Empires II has on offer an impressive collection of fourteen playable civilizations from around the world. These civilizations aren’t drastically different, but they do offer subtle strategic variations for the shrewd player to exploit. The vikings, for instance, gain a tremendous bonus out of sea combat, and hence will be more efficient on coastal rather than desert maps. The French are famous for their cavalry charges while the barbaric Goths, known for their reliance on mass numbers to overwhelm, can fork out units faster and cheaper than most. Besides benefiting from special bonuses, cultures also posses their own special unit. The Britons have their famous Longbowmen, the Japanese command Samurai while the Persians have powerful War Elephants, to name a few.

Just as there is no real dominant civilization, there are no dominant units. The Teutonic Knights are very strong, but slow, which makes them easy prey for cavalry archers. The Mongol Mangudai (unique cavalry archers) are deadly to all infantry, but cannot hold up against foot archers or light cavalry. The Persian War Elephants are hard to kill and receive a bonus when attacking buildings, but they are very expensive and weak against cheap spearmen. Every unit, even the most expensive ones, have at least one critical weakness that you, or your enemy, can exploit.

Snap1_1Rushes are also not as efficient in Age of Kings, or at least not in the buildings phase of earlier ages. You can only train basic militia in the Dark Ages, and they are not very strong, nor are resources easily accessible for players to pour everything into a large, disposable raiding party. Also, you can garrison your almost-defenseless villagers in the town center where they can usually make short work of a Dark Age raid. In the Feudal and Castle Ages, the civilizations have access to towers, walls, and castles that make it possible to set up strong defenses.

In the Imperial Age, your attack options open up and you get access to powerful siege engines, including the trebuchet, which can reduce a building to rubble very quickly but is virtually worthless against anything that isn’t stationary. In the long run, players who dig into their home town and stay there will find themselves running dry on resources by the Imperial Age. This is a good a time as any to go on the offensive.

Although the game really shines in multiplayer, there are also four campaigns (plus a tutorial) set around historical figures that loosely follow the major campaigns of those figures. Joan of Arc starts out a peasant girl who must raise an army and drive the British from France. Ghengis Khan must unite the various Mongol tribes into a single army before setting out on his conquests. The Saracen king, Saladin, has to bring the other Middle Eastern kingdoms into line before driving the Crusaders from the Holy Land. Finally, Frederick Barbarosa sets out to rebuild the Holy Roman Empire in the image of Charlemagne.

The Ordeal of Command

One complaint you could throw at the original Age of Empires had nothing to do with the game itself, but with the advertising that showed armies arrayed in formation preparing to do battle. Unfortunately, Age of Empires, like many other RTS games, didn’t have the benefit of formations.

Age of Kings answers that complaint somewhat at least. When you grab a bunch of infantry and move them, they fall into a line for short moves or a column for long ones. If you grab different types of units like infantry, archers, and siege engines, they will fall into a logical formation with the most heavily armored units towards the front, ranged units next, and siege engines nestled in the rear.

It looks all very nice and organized during long marches, but the formation option has limited tactical value when swords and shields start clashing. Huge orderly armies quickly disband and work as individual units, and battles (especially large ones) once again degenerate into confusing click fests. Soldiers have short attention spans, so you must always shuffle control groups and constantly assign new targets just to keep your troops focused. The unit AI is overall improved from the first game, but is still a hassle to lead organized raids with.

Snap32_1Rally points are a positive addition over Age of Empires. Any structures that can build or garrison units can have a gather point set for them. Any unit created by that building will automatically head for the gather point, and if it is inside a building that the unit can enter, it will automatically garrison. The town center can set gather points on resources and newly created villagers will automatically start collecting that resource when created. This has since become one of the “must-have” features for all real-time strategy games.

While the interface allows for far better control of your armies, the AI is still the only major problem with the game. Never mind the behavior of your computer-controlled enemies, which are otherwise tolerable if a bit weird (eg: suicidal lone knights attacking Castles). The real issue here is when you command your own men who have a single-minded focus to kill whatever they see first. Leading large-scale raids into enemy towns is extremely frustrating because your army tends to split up and attack nearby buildings with complete abandon, ignoring more urgent threats. This entails that you babysit your army so they attack enemy soldiers first and buildings second, continually applying corrections as you go. Let them loose and it’s absolute mayhem with no hope of victory. Throw in a few catapults (which inexplicably inflict friendly splash damage) and you’re guaranteed to have a bad day.

The chaotic AI is only partly addressed by changing the unit behavior of the selected unit from ‘aggressive’ (default) to ‘defensive’, which makes them a little more manageable. Other options will turn your units completely inert, which in itself can have specific uses. For one thing, your catapults won’t launch boulders everywhere haphazardly, always killing your own men in the process. But there’s still no way of making soldiers ignore buildings and focus on just attacking other troops, and, when necessary, hostile Towers and Castles.

The less-than-ideal AI and extremely drawn out campaign missions are the only things keeping AoE 2 from a five-star rating, but it stands tall regardless. It looks great, is very well balanced, and is easy to get absorbed in. The game has more strategy and fewer mouse gymnastics than the average RTS game from the same period, and while it’s probably not the best RTS game ever made, it does offer some undeniable fun.


System Requirements: Pentium 166 Mhz, 32 MB RAM, Win 95/98/NT4/2000

Download Link

Magnet Link


Tags: Free Download Age of Empires 2 The Age of Kings Full PC Game Review

18 Comments

  1. Isuru says:

    Very Good Review.. but idk.. AI seems to be Great in campaign missions… I DO accept they are somewhat below in Random Maps…. and, though you don’t admit it… its the BEST RTS I ever played IMO(with Conquerors), and I Have the HD edition. Its FULL of Crashes and other errors! so.. this one is still the best 🙂

    anyway MANY Thanks for Game Its Working in Windows 10 64bit !!! 😀

  2. slimane says:

    so i installed the game everything seems good until i try to start it then a message pops up age of empires 2 stopped working any help would be great , and i love this site keep up the good work 😀

  3. abc says:

    so you just delete the messages. thanks for helping asshole!

  4. wim says:

    Hi,

    The game is mdf file and i unpacked it with image.
    I replaced the exe file from the folder GAME.
    But after doing all this the game doenst start. (does nothing).
    I tryed to replace all files from the GAME folder but that didnt work either.

    I cant see a readme file about any other details i need to do.
    Am i missing something?

    (using downgrade computer settings doesnt work either.

  5. JonasTD says:

    Hey there, small question does the multiplayer work in this version?
    and does it work on windows 8.1?

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Sahiru says:

    Does it work for windows 7 ultimate 35x computer?

  7. Probably not. Let us know.

  8. pDkiller says:

    the download link has stopped working it says its not available

  9. pDkiller says:

    Thanks its working now

  10. Ajet says:

    Dude,,thanks for the link…but does this version works without a crack copy? I can’t find anything in the
    [img]https://s22.postimg.org/cvjf9mich/AOE2_Age_of_kings.jpg[/img]

    mine is windows 7 btw…

    I have another copy of aoe2 which works fine…but it is cracked version not installed one.
    To install Aoe 2 conquerors it is asking for the installation of aoe 2 age of kings(it is not detecting previous cracked version of aoe 2 age of kings in my pc) !how can i make aoe 2 conq install in my pc?
    thanks in advance

  11. No crack required for AOK. Install and play. The Conquerors CD can’t detect AOK because it is not installed.

  12. Lord Balak says:

    Is it possible to play The Conquerors expansion using the downloaded version from your link ?
    And how can AOK be installed in my program files ?
    Thanks in Advance

  13. Like I’ve said before. It’s simple

    1. Download and install Age of Kings. There’s an installation program on the CD
    2. Download and install The Conquerors
    3. Copy crack from The Conq. CD into game folder to play

    You can’t play it any other way. Game might not work on Win 7/8/10. These are old games

  14. 9GAG says:

    Is multiplayer working?

  15. Only on Gameranger, which you need to install

  16. p.willy says:

    when i try to open the game from my files it just keeps making coppies of the file

  17. p.willy says:

    help please

Leave a Comment