Last week, we reported that Microsoft had released Age of Mythology: Tale of the Dragon, which is the first expansion for the game in over a decade.
We bought the game and played it. So how good is Age of Mythology Tale of the Dragon? Here is our review.
Don't worry, the review is completely spoiler free, as far as the story is concerned. I have no other option but to point out how bad the gameplay is, else this wouldn't be a review.
Tale of the Dragon Campaign:
What can I say about the campaign? The campaign itself is very very short, I finished the new Chinese scenarios in under 11 hours. There are a total of 12 listings in the campaign map, out of which only 10 are actually playable scenarios. And the ending was absolutely horrid, which you can blame on the almost non-existant story.
There are no enemy heroes whom you encounter in the campaign's gameplay, except for the one who appears in the very last scenario. Your heroes don't seem to have any good special abilities either, they are pretty basic.The new units are interesting, and some of the new myth units are definitely overpowered. The special building in the game, Garden, lets you generate food, wood, gold or favour. By default it is set to generate favour, but once you reach 100 favour, switch to one of the others and watch the resources flow in.
There are almost no side-quests at all, and though there aren't multiple ways to finish a scenario, you can bypass some of them quite easily, because of bugs and poorly written campaign triggers. Normally, completing one quest/mission objective should actually trigger the next part of the scenario. But sometimes you will be able to finish a campaign scenario even before you finish the pre-requisite quest.
And there is absolutely no need for strategy in the majority of the games. Though the campaign AI does attack your base in a few scenarios, you just have to micro manage your army a bit to provide a defence. For the most part though, it plays like a random map. This applies to 90% of the scenarios, except for one or two which are time based.
There isn't much to tell here, it looks similar to the AoM Extended Edition. There are plenty of bugs though, especially when multi selecting units.
Nothing out of the ordinary in the audio. The cut scenes dialogs were a bit dull, and quite slow, probably to match the animations. This actually ruined the cinematic sequences as well.
Is Age of Mythology Tale of the Dragon worth buying?
The only good thing I can say if you bought the AOM Ex plus Tale of the Dragon bundle on Steam, is that you get to play the other games in the AoM franchise which are superb.
I have played every game in the Age Of Empires series (played AOE ROR and AOE II when, even before the conquerors expansion was launched). I have also played Company of Heroes, Warcraft II, Empire Earth, Command and Conquer series, and so many I cannot even list them here.
As an experienced real-time strategy gamer, here is my verdict about Age of Mythology Tale of the Dragon. I simply cannot recommend the game. It is by far the worst of the AoM series, and is even shorter that the AoM Titans Expansion. Buy it only if you are a completionist/collector like me, and that explains the 5 out 10 rating. Personally I feel like I should only give it 3 out of 10, but the new civilization, units, God powers etc made me change my mind.