The Age of Empires series was an highly popular franchise of real-time strategy computer games. It was started in 1997, developed by Ensemble Studios, and was then published by Microsoft Game Studios. There is 9 games in this series that had been made. The Age of Empires games have sold over 25 million copies whitch makes it one of the most popular and most well-known PC games of all time.
Age of Empires and Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome
Age of Empires was one of the first games in the genre to ever use historical accurate units and settings for the game. RTS games had often used fantasy settings, such as Warcraft, or the science-fiction like Dune 2 and Total Annihilation. Faithfulness to historical details was more present in turn-based strategy games like Colonization or The Great Battles series. It was also one of the first to use an isometric view, while most contemporary games used a top-down view or other variants.
Age of Empires is set in a 3000 year time frame, from the early Stone Age to the late Iron Age. There are a total of 16 civilizations available to play as, mainly peoples who lived around the Mediterranean or in Asia.
Age of Empires is popular today as a multiplayer game, mainly because of its intense, high speed gameplay, and because it is very different from any other RTS game that is still popular. The Scenario Editor is also popular, thanks to many modifications made to it by various AoE fans (see Data editing).
A new expansion, called The Dawn of Man Expansion is being created by fans.
Age of Empires II:The Age of Kings and The Conquerors
Released in 1999, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings introduced several new features such as gates for walls and a Rock, Paper, Scissors battle system. The game time goes from the Dark Ages until the early Renaissance, the expansion including the Spanish conquest of Mexico, with a total of 13 civilizations, plus five new civilizations with the expansion.
It had new and improved battle types in addition to the previously available conquest and winning by building a wonder (A wonder is a famous building or structure that a civilization, for example the Franks (French) build one of their famous Cathedrals.) The player was offered choices of new game types like Regicide, where instead of destroying the opponent, only the king must be killed. The Expansion also introduced more game types such as one in which the players do not fight, but win by being the first to build a wonder.
It uses the same engine as the first game, but with larger and more detailed sprites for buildings and other objects and more varied settings. The game was also released on the Nintendo DS as Age of Empires: The Age of Kings. It is a turn-based game opposed to the original which was a RTS game. However, the RTS version was released on PlayStation 2 An RTS version was also released for mobile phones, with both the original and the conquerors (called "Deluxe") being made available.
Age of Empires III, The War Chiefs and The Asian Dynasties
Released on October 18, 2005 in the U.S., Age of Empires III (AoE3) is the third title in the series; it covers the European colonization of the Americas from the first explorations of Columbus (around 1500) until the dawn of the Industrial age in 1850. The single-player campaign follows three generations of the Black family with a fictional story, but also includes historical happenings. There are eight European civilizations and twelve non-playable native civilizations, which can be allied with to gain upgrades and special soldiers. It is the first game of the series and the second from Ensemble Studios, to feature a 3D graphics engine. Age of Empires III is the first game in the series to use the Havok physics simulation middleware engine. The expansion pack was released on October 17, 2006 and is called The War Chiefs; it includes three playable native civilizations. On May 19, 2007 Ensemble Studios and Big Huge Games announced a second expansion pack: The Asian Dynasties, which now include Asia.
Age of Empires IV and V
Those who purchased the Collector's Edition of Age of Empires III were treated to a hardcover artbook. Of note is the very last page, which displays art in columns from each game in the series with its corresponding roman numeral. The two images on the end are denoted by IV and V, suggesting future Age of Empires releases. The Age of Empires IV image shows what appears to be a soldier from the Vietnam War, hinting at a mid-twentieth century setting. Age of Empires V depicts a futuristic soldier not dissimilar to a character from the Halo games series.
Age of Mythology and The Titans
Released in 2002, Age of Mythology is not formally part of the Age of Empires series, and could be considered an offshoot of the series. This is reflected in the release of Age of Empires III not being named Age of Empires IV. It was developed by the same studio and producer as the Age of Empires series (Ensemble Studios and Microsoft, respectively).
AoM's campaign tells the story of Arkantos, an Atlantean who goes on a quest to find why the gods, especially Poseidon, are disfavoring his people.
The campaign in The Titans is a shorter one in which Kastor, son of Arkantos, is tricked into unleashing several titans from Erebus.
Unlike its predecessors, Age of Mythology - as its title suggests - includes mythological elements. For instance, divine powers such as meteors and earthquakes can be cast by players. Though Age of Mythology has less of a focus on historical accuracy, it explores very deeply into the Greek, Egyptian, Norse, and (in the expansion) Atlantean mythologies. In 2003, an expansion pack called The Titans was released. The game by its general concept should take place at the time of Age of Empires I.
Age of Empires: The Age of Kings
This game is a turn-based adaptation of Age of Empires II designed for the Nintendo DS. It contains 5 civilizations from the original game, the Franks, Japanese, Mongols, Saracens and Britons, each with their own unique unit and hero. Each hero (Joan of Arc - Franks; Saladin - Saracens; Genghis Khan - Mongols; Richard the Lionheart - Britons; Minamoto Yoshitsune - Japanese) has unique powers that can be employed once per turn in battle. For example, Richard the Lionheart can use a power to extend the range of the British archers.
The game includes a multiplayer mode for up to four players, and human players may be substituted by AI bots with 3 difficulty settings.
"Wololo" is a popular term, sound and taunt in the Age of Empires series. In the original Age of Empires, priest units had the ability to convert an enemy unit to their own cause. During the conversion process, the priests would utter "wololo." The sound became very popular in the Age of Empires community and was used as a taunt in multiplayer battles. In every subsequent Age of Empires game to date, the original recording of wololo has been available as a taunt.