Age of Empires 2
Age of Empires is a game to me that sets the standard for a genre – if I think about real-time strategy games, then Age of Empires is what instantly comes to mind, and I am sure that this is the same for many other gamers too. When I was younger, I referred to these games as god-games, since they presented the player with the power to control armies and destroy civilisations. Age of Empires where you started as a budding civilisation, collecting basic supplies in order to build up your kingdom. What I loved about Age of Empires was the level of strategy involved and the idea that you could see your people grow and change throughout your game.
Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth
Lord of the Rings has had several great games over the years – albeit not recently. Battle for Middle-earth performed similar to Age of Empires but without the deeper levels of strategy. You controlled a wealth of units – all containing their own benefits and faults. What I loved about this game was the fact you had a hero that you could control, obviously these being your favourites from the series. It was glorious to take your weak level one hero to a monster level 10, seeing them decimate armies and crumple castles and fortresses. Even the puny hobbits became champions by the end of a match!
Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War
Now when I was a teenager, I did get briefly gain an interest in playing Warhammer 40k – but my Mum had to paint my figures because I didn’t have an artistic touch. I played as Orcs if you are interested. Even though my enjoyment of Warhammer on tabletop was brief; my enjoyment of the game was lengthy. The campaign was fantastic – playing as the honourable Space Marines, defeating the horrid Orcs or the tactful Eldar. What made this game unique was the variation in the races. Each race played massively different from each other – all having their own units, powers and heroes. The start of the game would always be met with trepidation until you discovered who the other races on the field were.
My final pick isn’t a traditional Real-time strategy game but to me held pretty all the parts required to fit within the genre. Dungeon Keeper tasked you with the building of your own dungeon, building rooms and attracting monsters and demons into your space in order to earn gold or to fight bosses placed around the world. Dungeon Keeper held a certain dark charm and discovering the new rooms and monsters was always fun. Placing your rooms was done with carefully planning, making sure you utilised the space well in order to achieve the goal of each level. Some monster also required certain rooms if they are to join your army.