Unveiling the Myths: Microsoft Revives a Classic with Age of Mythology Retold

Carrying the torch for the storied past as digital waters continue to muddy the narrative well – returning games of yesteryear modernised by the cutting edge, Microsoft releases Age of Mythology Retold on 25 September. Age of Mythology Retold is neither a sequel to the original Age of Mythology nor a simulacrum. It is not a remake because it is not debased art. It is art reborn, it is art rediscovered and brought back from the edges of time into the light. It is the sunrise over Stonehenge, open-heart surgery undertaken by the surgeons of Dunhuang, the Gods of Olympus atop Mount Hiei, and the Orbs from Arthurian legends at the mosque of Ibn Ṭūlūn. It is the past, returned. It is Age of Mythology.

The Dawn of a New Era: Age of Mythology Reborn

In 2002, Ensemble Studios released a real-time strategy game that would find its home in the hearts of fans for years to come. Published by Microsoft Game Studios, Age of Mythology removed players from the well-studied world history of its Age of Empires predecessors, immersing them instead in a world where gods could descend to walk the Earth and mythological beasts could roam the ravaged landscapes. It wasn’t simply about building cities and training armies – here, you could invoke divine wrath upon your enemies, or petition the gods for their aid in your struggle for victory.

Today, Microsoft is bringing this classic back to life with the new, polished version of Age of Mythology: Retold, which features a shiny coat of paint, ‘improved gameplay’, and ‘new ways to enjoy the classic game’. Written for the PC and the Xbox (and Xbox Game Pass), Age of Mythology: Retold is available for a big audience to play (or replay).

A Glimpse into the Divine: What to Expect

Age of Mythology Retold is more than just another high-definition re-skin of a game from yesteryear. Though the details are still flying in like the banners of charging armies, Microsoft has indicated that this reimagining will also feature substantial new changes. The core of Age of Empires-style RTS is still here – you’ll be able to command armies, build structures and conquer territory as you attempt to grow a city from an initial few huts to a booming metropolis. But it’s the layers of myth that turn this from a mere slog of tactics into an opera of deities.

A Strategic Paradise: Gameplay Mechanics

Age of Mythology Retold is designed to polish and, perhaps, recast the strategic game experience that marked the original. Adding new features to the solid foundation of the old, Microsoft has a game that will, no doubt, appeal to nostalgic fans of the first game while feeling at once thoroughly new. Players can expect to be challenged by a classic balancing act, as they strive to manage resources, develop new technologies and build a military while the gods watch over the action from on high.

Graphics and Performance: A Visual Feast

If the Age of Mythology Retold sprints out of the gate with one key feature, it’s going to be its visual upgrade. With the hardware we have now, Microsoft has an opportunity to deliver a game that’s not just fun to play, but a visual treat to behold. Better textures, improved lighting and more detailed models have the potential for a debutante ball for the gods.

Why Age of Mythology Retold Matters

It is further testament to the power of great stories and strategic depth to endure as a significant part of our play culture, a culture in an industry often accused of being a bit of a corporate factory line. And this is perhaps the most important takeaway of all from Microsoft’s decision to reboot this classic: tradition and innovation are not mutually exclusive. Far from it.

Looking Ahead: Microsoft's Vision for Gaming

With Age of Mythology Retold, the announcement of the game by Microsoft is a tangible sign of how it wants video game development to evolve. With well-sourced reboots, the DNA and legacy of these wonderfully playful games of yore can be reborn on modern consoles and platforms. Acknowledging where it came from while moving forward, Microsoft just might be the company best suited to make it work.

About Microsoft

At the forefront of this multifaceted project is Microsoft, a company that’s almost synonymous with innovation in the modern digital age. A household name in hardware and software alike, Microsoft is one of a select few companies who’ve been on the cutting edge of technological evolution, pioneering new ways to inhabit, engage with, and interact with the digital spaces we inhabit. From software development and hardware manufacturing to the cloud and digital entertainment, Microsoft’s roles are as multifaceted as their legacy, acting as both the champion and curator or our digital worlds. The return of Age of Mythology speaks to Microsoft’s desire to preserve and protect the legacy of the best classical games and see them evolve alongside their own technological pursuits. When AoM Retold launches this summer, it’s as much about looking back at the game we loved as it is about experiencing where Microsoft wants to take digital storytelling and interactive entertainment next.

Jun 10, 2024
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