Army of Me

I already divulged my love for RPGs some months ago, and was pleased with the majority of your suggestions when I put out the call for decent RPGs my new big bastard, monster gaming machine could tackle. Well, the machine is a few months less new now, but it’s still a monster. I’ve tried your RPGs and enjoyed many. But now a new hunger grows. A hunger for leading armies and hordes to rain destruction down upon my enemies. A hunger for exploration and for conquering. A hunger for riches and for glory!

In short, I’d like to find a nice RTS or two to complement my RPG arsenal. Variety is, after all, the spice of a gamer’s life.

Let me begin by saying that I don’t mind the Civ series…but I don’t like the latest installment. At all. Yeah, I’m weird. So scratch that off the list completely. Mkay?

Civilization aside, what are the strategy games you’d recommend? I’m even willing to go back in time to older games if they’re quality.

For example, some of my favorite strategy games are in the Age of Empires franchise (III and its expansion packs). The game play is solid and can be at times quite challenging. The voice acting, sound and music are not so bad as to make you want to put sharp objects in your ears prior to each game session. The visuals are – especially with a decent-to-great graphics card – really quite nice. It’s a game I’ve come back to play even after beating it, and I don’t usually do that.

Recently I took my TARDIS back to 2007 and gave Age of Mythology a try, and while it’s no Age of Empires, it may be worth my time. (Ask me when I’m about halfway through. It was in the discount bin, after all.)

Other titles, some very ancient, that I’ve enjoyed are StarCraft; Heroes of Might and Magic (I must say, Heroes of Might and Magic V is lovely…but the sticklers among you are likely prodding the screen and shouting “it’s a turn based game!” by now); Rome; Amazons and Aliens (I believe I was the sole player); Startopia; Dungeon Keeper; and many others of space and/or fantasy ilk.

So space, fantasy and silly are all OK with me. Given that, and keeping in mind that while old games are alright, I do have a nice shiny gaming PC waiting to take on a challenge: what would you recommend I play next?

I hope you will chime in and look forward to your suggestions – lest a perfectly good Björk reference go to waste.

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