You have to love games with a big history.
The history of the world spans over five ages. In the first age, the Golden Age, the ferocious overlord Cronos was leader of the immortal gods living on Mt. Olympus. He created the first mortals.
But it was in the Silver Age that Zeus rose up among the gods, slaying Cronos, and becoming their leader. However Cronos’s mortals began quarreling among themselves and turned their backs on Olympus. In his anger, Zeus wiped them out leaving the earth empty and ending the Silver Age.
The gods then made a new race to worship them, beginning the Copper Age. But these mortals loved bloody wars, each side loyal to a different god. Twas not long before civilization again fell into ruin.
Zeus now created a new race of mortals, strong in spirit and body. These heroes fought great battles, proving their mettle against monsters and other heroes alike. However like all the other ages, it would be erased by the hands of an angry and jealous god and thus the current age in which we live would be born. The Iron Age. But the Heroic Ages myths, adventures, great battles and acts of heroism would always be remembered for years to come.
Now thanks to Re:Action Entertainment, gamers can go back and relive the glory days of the Heroic Age. Gather together your wits and your courage as Ancient Conqest will take you on great adventures. Defend yourself against ferocious monsters and powerful foes, conquer strongholds, build fortresses, sail on unique ships, travel with the blessings of the gods, reap the spoils of war and safely return to your homeland with the legendary Golden Fleece. Ancient Conquest is a beautiful combination of Greek mythology and strategy. If you’re a fan of games like Command and Conquer, Star Craft, War Craft, and Ages of Empires your gonna love what this game has to offer.
The story line takes place off the shores of the Aegean Sea during the Heroic Age, in the land of Hellenes, under the rule of the wise King Eson. The land once rich with amber and resources is now suffering great misfortunes. The sun has burned the harvest, the cattle starve in their pastures, wild game abandon the forests and the fish have left the coast. Persian hordes are approaching the borders by land and sea and even cowardly barbarians are harassing coastal settlements and robbing merchant boats without fear. Fearing the gods have turned their backs on his people, King Eson gathers his best warriors at Agora and begins an arduous quest to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece. With the fleece he believes the gods will be pleased with his people once again and restore their land back to prosperity.
The game looks great from first sight. The surrounding lands and islands are bright with color and fully detailed. Amber sparkles off neighboring coasts and thick green forests cover much of the area. You can add your own flavor to the land by establishing terrain objects like settlements, workshops, shipyards, docks and towns. No matter where you place them, they compliment the area well and really help set the mood for the time period.
You’ll sail on, or encounter, ships of all kinds like Rammers, Menkillers, Shipkillers, bombers, boarders and Royal Ships. Each ship has it’s own unique abilities and hull structures. Use your Rammer ship to ram Persian ships and sink them into the deep. Use your Shipkiller to destroy the hulls of enemy ships and building structures. Your boarder ship carries the most powerful armed crew. You’ll use this ship when you wish to go hand to hand with the enemy. Though the bomber ship is the slowest, it’s the most powerful. Its main objective is to destroy enemy fortresses. The Royal ship has diverse abilities. It can perform different tasks and is ideal for carrying heroes. Later in the game you’ll have the privilege of sailing on special ships like the Fireship, which uses greek fire weapons or the Quicklime Ship which catapults lethal lime from its decks.
It is wise to seek the help of the elder gods on Olympus to make your mission more successful. They each grant specific powers to the ship they are traveling on. With Jason, your ship will never be drawn into whirlpools or strike a reef. Theseus strengthens the range of a ship. Creatures will not attack a ship as long as Orpheus is on board. Zetes makes ships faster and water spouts have no ill effects. Argus repairs the boats she is on. Atalanta increases accuracy and fire power of the ship she rides on. As long as Odysseus is onboard, Sirens and Haroics will not effect your ship. Perseus, who killed Medusa, protects from Goron attacks. As long as he is onboard, your ship cannot be turned to stone. And finally there is Hercules who grants the power of invincibility to whatever ship he is on.
It is not an easy task to lure Olympus’s heroes to your ship. You must first win the favor of the gods before they give you their aid. You can do this by collecting special treasures that will appeal to their likings.
You’ll need magic ore to get Jason’s help: a magic horn for Zetes, a magic harp for Opheus, Ariadne’s claw for Theseus, a magic hammer for Argus, a magic bow for Atalanta, a mirror shield for Perseus, a Golden Statuette for Odysseus and a magic sword for Hercules.
Though the Persian fleet will be your main obstacle on your quest for the Golden Fleece, you must never turn your back on the Barbarians. The Barbarians are a group of uncivilized tribes that live on robbery. They care nothing about the ongoing struggle between the Greeks and Persians. All they care about is the prosperity of their people. They loot, rob, and attack whatever ship they possibly can. Though they cannot develop technology or magic, Barbarians are not to be underestimated. They can build several types of ships equivalent to the Greeks and Persians, including, Royal Ships, Rammers, Shipkillers and Merchants. They also can build fortresses.
To make matters worse you’ll constantly have to be on the lookout of monsters like minotaurs, sirens, gorgons, harpies and even flying dragons. Swimming creatures like crocodiles, swordfish, sharks and large sea serpents will definitely make your quest that much harder.
Strategy is everything in this game. Without one you won’t last very long at all. Don’t think you’re gonna just be able to sit down and rule the ancient seas without a plan first. The depth of this game is amazing. You’re gonna need to know every aspect of this game to be successful. The more knowledgeable you are , the better your strategy will be and your mission objectives will be met with much less difficulty. Though you will have to do a great bit of reading and research and use a ton of trial and error methods, once you get the feel for everyday operations the fun factor goes through the roof. There’s nothing better than watching your fleet successfully dismantle large opposing forces, level enemy fortresses, or give chase to retreating foes. All of these objectives meet under your strategic command.
I’ve played a lot of strategy roleplaying games in my time, and I really enjoy playing Ancient Conquest. The learning curve is very steep, but it’ll make you a tough and wise sea officer in the long run. It’s a great ego raiser to militant tacticians or those that love a good mental challenge. Alas, oh kinsman, join me on an arduous quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece, please the gods, save our people, and honor our great King Eson!
I give this game 4 1/2 out of 5 GiN Gems. If you buy it you will end up feeling golden, and not fleeced at all.