Age of Mythology First Play - Multiplayer

The myth units are powerful beasts and monsters with special attacks and abilities.  The myth units that you will be able to build in a game depend on which civilization you choose to play and which gods you worship.  Every time you advance to a new age and select a good or goddess, you will gain access to the myth unit associated with that god or goddess.  The myth units feature a wide-range of special attacks and their effective use is key to success in the game.  Medusas can turn enemy units to stone, cyclops can pick up enemies and throw them, and the colossus can heal itself by consuming resources.  Play as the Norse and you can unleash frost giants that freeze enemies, fireball tossing fire giants, and troll archers.  Egyptians can invoke fast moving anubites, scorpion men, and the petsuchos, a bejeweled crocodile that fires beams of focused sunlight.  The number of combinations of myth units that you can create combined with the various myth units created by your enemies makes Age of Mythology far more dynamic than its predecessors.  You'll need to be very flexible with your strategies as the game's dynamics will be slightly different every time you play.

One strategy that some Age of Empires players like to employ will not be possible in Age of Mythology.  You will no longer be able to build forward bases by stealthily creating town centers close to your enemies' bases.  Town centers can only be built on special settlement sites, and there are a limited number of them available on a map.  In essence, settlements have become a resource in Age of Mythology and are another point of conflict in games.  In fact, if you build a town center on every settlement site on a map you'll win the game.

Microsoft has indicated that there will be additional preview versions of the game that will include the single-player component.  When the next version becomes available, we'll take a look at it to give you an even better picture of what to expect when the game is released.  From the multiplayer preview, it looks as if Age of Mythology will provide new challenges to Age of Empires veterans without losing the core elements of play that made the previous games so much fun to play.  It is apparent from the demo that developer Ensemble Studios has put a lot of work into Age of Mythology, from its polished 3D graphics to its deep and multifaceted gameplay.  When it is released, Age of Mythology should be an instant contender for strategy game of the year.