Age of Mythology is the classic, mythology based spinoff of Age of Empires, and boy was it fun. But does Age of Mythology Extended Edition live up to the original? In many ways, very much so, though the price tag might dissaude you unless you're a huge fan, (like I am).
If you've played Age of Mythology before, you know exactly how this game works. If not, here a basic gist of it. It plays much like Age of Empires 2; you have to collect resources, specifically food, wood and gold, in order to fund your armies, economies, technologies and advancement. sounds basic enough, and all the races work similarly in regards to these resources. The difference comes in the fourth resource: Favour. Favour is generated differently depending on which race you are playing. For instance, the greeks generate favour through worship, the egyptians through building monuments, the norse through heroes and fighting, and the atlanteans through having more settlements.
Favour is the special resource, which ties into the major mechanic of Age of Mythology: Gods and God Powers. There are 12 major gods, 3 for each of the races, and these determine starting bonuses for you when you start the game. the gods also have minor gods to choose each time you advance an age, with a total of 36 minor gods, each offering different bonuses and god powers. For instance Hades gives you the Sentinel God Power, that creates stone sentinels to watch over your town centre, but in the second age, you can choose Athena, who allows you to train minotaurs and the Restoration God power which can heal your units.
Aside from the new favour mechanic, for the major part it plays like the age of empires games. Build Army, upgrade, and take care of your population cap and economy. Rock paper scissors, for basic units, (cavalry beats archers who beat infantry), but add heroes and myth units which can turn the tide of battle. Both the singleplayer and multiplayer are fun, and with the new release, there is a rebirth in the multiplayer, though not as big as the heyday of AoM.
As being essentially a remake (a la Age of Empires 2 HD Edition), AoM:EE is actually fairly bug free, and while it definitely shows its age, the added subtle lighting effects, water and shadows do help to make look better. It is definitely very playable, and for fans of the original, it shouldn't even be a bother.
The campaign is just as memeroable as always, a hunt through Greece, Egypt, Scandinavia and finally Atlantis in order to stop a power hungry cyclops from releasing Kronos, King of the Titans; followed by A New Atlantis, set a number of years later, where you are tricked into releasing the Titans, and must stop them at all costs
Overall, Age of Mythology: Extended Editon is fun, unique and offers up plenty of value, with 50 singleplayer missions, skrimishes, and now revived multiplayer, though for those who still have a copy of Age of Mythology and The Titans expansion, it might not add a great deal. Definitely recommend everyone else (who's a fan of older RTSes).