Armies of Exigo

The Real-Time Strategy (RTS) as we know it is dead. Well that's what the makers of Battle for Middle-Earth and Dawn of War will have you believe as they attempt to "re-imagine" the genre by spicing it up with Hollywood-style theatrics and realistic physics. If it is truly dead, then Armies of Exigo (AOE) finds itself smack-bang in the middle of nowhere, still doing it for the old school amidst a wave of next-generation titles. Indeed, it's all too familiar: research, amass Heroes, set up defensive perimeters, construct militia and send the peasants about their existence. AOE proudly champions these genre cliches, but in doing so, buries the old-school for good.

PC Games: Armies of Exigo

Why? Because the RTS has become such a defined genre, that even "big changes" are really only negligible. AOE's gimmick is a dual-layered environment where you can control forces above and below ground simultaneously. A good idea for sure, and it's implemented quite well, with the interface offering two smaller maps (above and below) that you can switch between at will. It definitely brings a whole new strategic element to the gameplay, as it allows you to flank armies and attack from below. It's joined in the "it's an original" feature list by the three warring factions; the Empire (humans, wood elves), Beast Horde (trolls, ogres) and the Fallen (aliens, dark elves). The Beast Horde is especially impressive, with great variety in size and shape.

Unfortunately, these superficial changes do nothing for the gameplay. In fact, AOE is so cliched, there is no tutorial provided. The campaign is stock standard anyway, plagued by wayward level design (such as dead ends) and objective banality, although the 36 missions do provide a healthy challenge for gamers hoping to "level up" before hitting the servers. The impressive graphics are also noteworthy. Just check out the way trolls can send ground troops flying, the variations in each building, the way your men leave footprints in the snow or the impressive weather effects.

But in reality, who will remember AOE, the last hurrah of an out-dated genre? Old-school RTS buffs perhaps, keen for one last nostalgic fling - but in truth, it does nothing more than increase your appetite for something new.

SCORE CARD

Visuals: Solid graphics with nice animation

Audio: Some repetitive sound effects

Gameplay: Uninspiring and outdated

Developer: Black Hole Games

Publisher: Electronic Arts

URL: www.eagames.com/official/armiesofexigo/armiesofexigo/us/home.jsp

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Stead

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?