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Age of Mythology Quick Take

The updated AoM demo has a similar format to the one which was shown at E3, which was described in our preview of the game. There is an island for each culture, with terrain to match their real life origins. This scenario shows off the building sets, terrain, and many regular units, such as villagers at work, as well as a few mythological units. The other scenarios show off mythological unit abilities and large scale battles respectively.

Click here Many thanks to Mike "Captn" Kidd and Kevin "The_Sheriff" Holme of Ensemble Studios for giving us a demo of the game, and fielding our many questions. Below, we highlight some of the new findings:

Avenger: Melee (hand-to-hand) mythological unit of the Egyptians. This fearsome fighter is a combination of a bird and a man. It wields two swords and during fights his special ability is to spin, using his swords to slash nearby enemies. This likely causes damage to multiple units.

Phoenix: Egyptian mythological unit, which an unknown role. The air unit is a flaming bird, which is a sight to behold. We weren't able to squeeze any information out of the demo dudes on what sort of attack, if any, it has.

Hydra: This three headed mythological unit was spotted near the sea of the Greek island I believe. It stood around and looked mean.

Pegasus: This unit has been sighted in a screenshot before, but it was another thing to see it smoothly winging its way across the screen. Like the Phoenix, we're not sure if it will have an attack of any sort.

Ravens: The Norse had raven scouts near their town, which appears to be that units only role at the moment.

Whales: The sea was alive! Whales could be seen swimming beneath the surface of the water and once in awhile coming up to the surface for air. It hasn't been determined yet whether you'll be able to attack them, fish them, or other.

Giant Squid: This beast stayed below the surface, using it's long legs to propel itself backwards in the water. Same with the whales, the role of this beast is not yet decided. (I believed they called it by a different name)

Click here Myth units that we had seen in the previous demo were back again, including the Frost Giant, but he was too bust freezing some Archers to talk. The Archers eventually thaw out if they aren't destroyed by other units while frozen. Medusas, which are apparently great for countering massive myth units but not so good at fighting regular units, also made an appearance. They once again turned a Giant to stone. The Fire Giant was sporting some updated art, with less fire and more giant.

Other new artwork that was added could be found in the towns. All of the different cultures has Town Centers that look much like the Egyptian version in our buildings section. Each has a statue of a god, and a very similar look to the various little buildings that make up the TC. I once again inquired about the garrison feature. The answers I got were, yes units can still be put inside TCs and other buildings, and yes these buildings shoot arrows.

If you're an anti-building sorta person, you'll like the new Siege Towers. These units can have units garrison inside, and can destroy walls much like the Age II battering rams.

New god powers mentioned were rather interesting. Unlike some of the more impressive powers we've seen, such as the Meteors which are a late Age power, these powers don't work in quite as spectacular fashion. One power will calling in a bit of rain to give your farms a food boost. The other is very unique. It's used to increase the number of animals in an area. You may use it to give yourself more Pigs (similar to sheep in AoK) or on your enemy to increase the number of wild animals near his town. Wild animals, like the wolves of AoK, with attack villagers who stray out of town.

Speaking of animals, there were several new additions in the demo. There were Bear, Deer, and a small group of Elephants drinking from an oasis. The Elephants were very impressive. Massive, slow moving, and very realistic as they flapping their ears to keep themselves cool.

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