0ad

by hobbitalastair

Overview:

The enemy stood around and did nothing. Literally. A few farms, a barracks...

A heavily fortified town..

0AD is an Age of Empires style game. For me, that pretty much sums it up. The basic idea of 0AD is to build your mini-civilisation, and conquer the known world. Pretty simple, really.

I never had the pleasure of owning the original Age Of Empires, however we do own Age Of Kings, also known as Age Of Empires 2, as well as the Mac edition (Conquerors expansion). I plan to spend some time getting the original working in Wine at some point.

0AD is more loosely based on the original AOE, specifically in the temporal setting. However, it features updated graphics (real 3D!), and more detailed units.

Personally, I felt that the AI was weak compared to that of AOE, but that could be because I ran into performance issues with the higher levels of AI ‘intelligence’, especially with high units caps. Still, I did not see any examples of ‘mass attacks’, which are really required when attacking a human player, and the unit AI (path finding in particular) was dumber than I had expected.

There were also a few missing animations.

Still, 0AD is in Alpha, so hopefully those gameplay and visual issues will be ironed out. Or at least made playable on my machines.

Pros:

  • Age Of Empires style game written as free and open source software!
  • Pretty graphics.
  • Wide range of civilisations.
  • Lots of nice to have features.
  • Quite a few unique buildings and lots more ‘natural’ unit types, including chickens 🙂
  • Foundations on buildings.
  • Units can stand on walls and in battering rams, where applicable.
  • Boats should be able to be in formation, at least when formations are reimplemented in a fast way.

Cons:

  • AI seems a bit weak or was too laggy at higher settings to be playable.
  • Unit AI is dumb – ships especially, since they tend to block each other’s paths.
  • Water is a bit hard on the FPS, even on my PC. And lots of units moving is pretty hard for it to cope with, too.
  • Generally no where near as good a performer as the original AOE. I don’t see anyone playing this on anything less than 8 years old…
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