0 A.D. - An indie trying to compete with Age of Empires?

English: The logo of the real-time strategy op...

Age of Empires has been one of the most iconic RTS references in the 90's and with its latest released being Age of Empires III (with further expansion packs), but would it be threatened by this indie FREE game called 0 A.D?

0 A.D, who is being worked on by Wildfire Games is an RTS with the same goals Age of Empires. This means that your goal in the game is to overcome your opponent economically or by brute force basically and the similarities with AoE don't stop just there as they used to have a modification for AoE II: Age of Kings called Rome at War back in the day.

Great thing about this game, and before I start to dabble on the why you should even consider this, is that its completely free, has in it will cost you nothing to play, nada, niente, rien du rien. It was one of the main goals for the development team who insisted that it would stay free as it would be harder to knock off and to work with libraries without having to pay for them.

Now, armed with a custom 3D engine, they are taking up arms and trying to make a mark in the world, no pun intended. 

The story of 0 A.D is exactly that there is no story at that time, historians didn't forgot about it, they just didn't want to care much bout it so Wildfire Games had this idea of grabbing all the civilizations of that era, put them in a jar and see who would survive but I'm getting ahead of myself. The game itself will try and be as accurate as possible while still thinking about some of the core gameplay designs:

- Gameplay: Above all, we want 0 A.D. to be fun. History can be very exciting; it can also be boring and tedious. And there was no arbitrator whom ensured that the sides were evenly matched. Therefore, we have to consider game balance, accessiblity, ease of use, varied strategies, interesting choices.
- Audience: We want our games to be accessible to as wide an audience as possible. History can be brutal, and ugly. The wars of the ancients were also outrageously violent, employing methods that are barbaric by modern standards. We hope that people of all ages will be playing 0 A.D., so we're obliged to circumvent mature topics like child sacrifice (Carthaginians), bloody heads on poles (Celts), and nudity (Greeks and Celts).
- Genre: By its nature, Real Time Strategy is absurdly illogical. It distills the principles of tactical turn-based wargaming so it's feasible to have a similar experience in real time, and that means a lot of concessions and abstract simplifications of real world warfare.
And they really mean that they will do the best they can to be the most historically correct without damaging the balance of the game, they even have a history department!

The first release of the game will include 6 civilizations: The Romans, the Hellenes: Poleis and Macedonia, the Celts: The Celtic Britons and Gauls, the Carthaginians, the Persians and the Iberians. Each civilization will be unique and its design will appear only when it was the peak of their civilization and nothing more for now.

In the game itself, it pretty much runs down like a generic RTS game, you have finite resources and you need to build a strong enough army to defend and crush your opponent. Now, I said "like a generic RTS game" and that is because there aren't any peasants around and you may ponder how can they build stuff without those measly peasants? The answer is Light foot infantry who provides the backbone of your military, and also cleans the porcelain latrines they have in my imagination. 

 There are tons of things to find out about this game, as they are already in their 0.8 alpha version which is playable and uses the following minimum requirements:
  • System Requirements: 1 GHz CPU, modern graphics card (GeForce 3 at minimum), 512 MB RAM 
I would suggest you drop by their website HERE for more information on what it appears to be a great, free game, but don't forget the version of the game before making any judgment about it. Also drop your comments on the article below, or on facebook, twitter or the forum!

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