Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (2000)

Video Game  |  Action, History, War  |  24 August 2000 (USA)
8.9
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After The Age of Kings, the player yet again gets to take on the role of several different cultures in the age of the greatness.

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Title: Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (Video Game 2000)

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (Video Game 2000) on IMDb 8.9/10

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Spencer Prokop ...
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After The Age of Kings, the player yet again gets to take on the role of several different cultures in the age of the greatness.

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ship | lion | horse | castle | ancient | See All (5) »

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Action | History | War

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24 August 2000 (USA)  »

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Followed by Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties (2007) See more »

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Veni, vidi... vici?
30 December 2008 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

I have chosen to start this on a sour note, just as what I am reviewing does. After the clever and well-done opening cut-scene of the immediate predecessor to this opened that exactly as it should be, and setting the tone right, the intro of this is rather underwhelming. It's a lot of the same footage, some lengthened, in a very obvious manner, that leaves it moving too slow, and run downright choppy, a little has been added, to elaborate on what goes on, and it's not particularly pretty or all that well-done. It tries to look stylish, a bit, neglecting the fact that that does not fit with the material, indeed, with the rest of the product. Accuracy and realism are key, like with all prior entries. The wrap-around is taken out, awkwardly. The whole thing is just plain obvious, and it feels like it was thrown together without a lot of effort, and goes on for overly long, all in stark contrast to that of AOK. If you go on to play the single-player of this, and go in numerical order, you are shortly thereafter introduced to the Tarkan, which is unique to the Huns, a horse-borne man who carries something I could not tell what was at first. Then I realized it: It's a lit torch. This is a cool concept, and makes sense, but it doesn't actually look or work all that great(and when you have to try hard to be able to tell what it is...). They didn't take the consequence and make it able to actually set buildings(what they damage the most) ablaze, a la Populous: The Beginning, or at least do a strongly defined flame-effect and damage model, like C&C, and it comes off odd(meanwhile, it is a good investment). Why do I start on these seemingly small, in the big picture, complaints? Simply because they were the first impressions, they may very well be for others, and I hope to deter anyone from jumping ship from this initial disappointment. You see, beyond those, this actually has a bunch to offer... and some of it is golden. There are touch-ups since the "parent" to this. Attempts are made to smooth game-play and such out, if not all are successful. Workers immediately begin gathering resources when they've completed a place to deposit them, automatically, and that cuts down on hand-holding. Not to mention the Reseed Queue, that lets you set Farms to automatically rebuild, so long as you've got a Mill, and the Wood upfront. The Tech Tree is now always available, a button right there at the top of the screen. Advancing through the Ages now gets a status bar, also up there, so you don't have to consult your Town Center. There are strategic opportunities that did not exist before in these. You can Garrison inside Rams, though that can be annoying as it can't be turned off, and it's relatively limited. The objectives now change during missions, and this is more open. Color is used to make it faster to distinguish and keep track of opponents(when they message or attack you). There is clumsiness here and there, and the level design isn't always fantastic. There are new areas, and snow is put in, for example. There are ten real-world maps, and many new types. King of the Hill, Defend the Wonder, Last Man Standing, etc. are included. There are five civilizations brought in, including Spanish(Conquistadors and Missionaries!) Vikings(Longboats and Berserkers!), Japanese(Samurai!) and Korean(Turtle Ships!). You can also now build Petards, that appeared very briefly in AOE2. The story-telling is improved upon since that, and is mighty compelling and in-depth, better than that of any release earlier in the series. It's very detailed and clearly an area they spent time on doing well. The ridiculous accents are gone from the briefings(there are ones for units), and the voice acting is of higher quality, almost invariably, than earlier. The AI is changed, not always a positive here. There are now only three difficulty settings(and there definitely was not paid equal attention to them), and it picks up where Kings left off. However, the campaigns do seem to start somewhat soft. The population limit goes up in them. The fourth one is not a continual arc, like all apart from it. Instead, it is a compilation of grand battles, eight in total. You aren't limited to going through them chronologically. This makes for several of the best ones, as far as being interesting goes, although when the tailoring backfires, they can get a certain kind of bad, ugly, nasty, and worse. This expansion pack gets extra upgrades and research. The Scouts feature gives you info about your enemies and/or the surroundings, is there from the beginning, and like objectives and hints, can be viewed any time. The history remains the focus, and there's more of it than in the others. This may cost it fighting. I personally enjoyed it. The Aztecs are quite different from the others. I couldn't say if it evens out, unfortunately, as much as they did change for them, it still seems like they have technology they shouldn't. There is heavy-handed criticism of their religion, values and spiritual ideas. You can select men and horses that are inside something(like a boat, a tower, a Castle), now, and while I understand the argument against this, I'd say there's nothing negative to it. The authenticity is still far up on the checklist of important stuff, and it shows, in a marvelous way. OK, so El Cid's time is further back than gunpowder, at least in use in rifles, and spread beyond China, and outside of fireworks and maybe bombs... nevertheless, it makes for fun cavalry. The MP gets renewed vigor, not that it was lacking any. All in all, I'd surely call this a worthy purchase, if you dig Age of Empires, and like the second game of the franchise(while this isn't flawless). I recommend this to any fan of RTS(especially these). 7/10


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