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Age of Mythology: Titans
This extension is obviously a bit weaker than Zero Hour, although it is also significant. As a bit weaker, the AoM game itself, which is one of the last incarnations…

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Aura – Fate of the Ages

Adventure games, as you might have noticed, are not the strongest side of our section. We can somehow cope with the bright, mass things intended for the mass player, but from a rather vast stream of questomanian adventures focused exclusively on a considerable audience of quest lovers – well, unless we grab the most interesting ones. Such is the subject of current consideration – lying at the junction of, so to speak, genres – the “quest for quest fans” is equally, if not more, a “casket of puzzles for puzzle lovers.” Plus, inadvertently excites all lovers of good graphics 🙂

The graphics, however, are squeezed into the usual framework of the engine from the Adventure Company – that is, at each separate moment in time, the player either rotates his gaze in any direction inside the “bubble”, which imitates three-dimensional space using cunning algorithms by processing pre-rendered flat background pictures. Or it makes the transition between the bubbles – more often with an “instant jump”, less often with the help of a pre-rendered (there is no real three-dimensional calculation in the game) video again (and it remains only to assume that the game initially occupied more than two compacts – many videos are very noticeable pinched, the real developer would not have released them like that).

Either “examines a part of the scene closer” (and actively manipulating the elements of the scene in combination with inventory items), turning into a static “typically quest” picture – all kinds of animating animations are allowed (and are actively exploited in this game).
But one cannot fail to admit that the developer (and the name Streko Graphics in combination with the dragonfly pattern makes Russian roots suspect in it) convincingly demonstrated that such a framework may not be cramped. And the graphic power of development is just one of the reasons why it interested us and why we are talking about this game. If the “natural” landscapes – this is the area where Streko has yet to grind its capabilities – then the interior is made perfectly. Especially recalling many other adventures from AC – a very, very worthy impression. Excellent textures, excellent designs of objects – almost any of the objects in the inventory you want to hold in your hands, touch. Ideal parchments, murals, stylization under the “ancient magic”. Beautiful designs, very sophisticated and elaborate cars. It’s very worthy of animating by the way – and with special effects, with all kinds of lighting and auras, some animations of luminous particles of which there are, all kinds of lights and discharges, radiance. All applications of objects are also animated – which supports the feeling of self-interest that is so necessary in “sleepy” quests. Far, we, in fact, did not go through – but what was seen was impressive enough to fall in love with this schedule and give it its due. There is, unfortunately, no atmosphere of magic, as in Myst-Uru – but there is skill and identity. Also infrequent guests in the world of low-budget developments.

And we did not go far for a very simple reason: jigsaw puzzles! Frankly, this quest is designed for them, and for the sake of fans to strain their trained gyrus over them 🙂 If you are looking for good stories, charming characters, a unique atmosphere – this game is unlikely for you. Some Elders, some travels between worlds, some machinery and magic in one alloy, the Rings of Power and you as a “sorcerer’s apprentice” – all this looks like Myst, of course, and initially it attracted attention to the game, as a potentially good fantasy adventure – but in this case, alas, there is only entourage, none of this is done to catch. But if the main thing that attracted you to Myst was not a sterile silence of preserved peace, but tasks. If the Seventh Guest and the Eleventh Hour and many who followed in their wake took you seriously, then welcome. The main thoughtful energy of the developer was spent on inventing puzzles and it was not wasted: riddles are smart, cunning … what are these stupid riddles supposed to be? 🙂 In general, everyone praises, but it just seems to us that it’s very beautiful – we personally don’t take riddles to the spirit;)

Total: if you are a quest player from the category of jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts – do not miss the game, this is yours, and in this graphic quality, jigsaw puzzles are infrequent today. If you like quests – like us, for example – precisely for adventure, for the “spirit of adventure” – Aura should be taken with great care.

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