A.G.E. (Advanced Galactic Empire) is a 3D first-person space sim created by Coktel Vision and released in 1991 for the Amiga, Atari ST, and DOS. Among retro games, the first adven...
A.G.E. (Advanced Galactic Empire) is a 3D first-person space sim created by Coktel Vision and released in 1991 for the Amiga, Atari ST, and DOS.
Among retro games, the first adventures to experiment with 3D are those in which the magnifying glass is held with a more critical eye. One could say older titles like Super Mario Bros (to mention a game that we all know) has graphics and mechanics that aged well since they are unique to that time. Meanwhile, those pioneering releases in 3D technology suffer since we can not avoid comparing them with more current games. This is my dilemma when trying to give an opinion about a video game as A.G.E., that with a simple story and little mechanic, depended exclusively on its graphics.
The game was developed and published by Coktel Vision; the company also responsible for launching titles like Lost in Time (a graphic adventure that, in my opinion, is their best work) or Urban Runner. The entry was released in 1991 and was available for Amiga, DOS, and Atari ST as a direct sequel to Galactic Empire, created by the same developer.
To get this out of the way, the story and gameplay are no big deal. The plot consists of the same old and obvious trope of the main character driving a spaceship and conquering the universe. The game seems non-linear and permits the exploration of space to those who play it. Still, this idea quickly falls apart when you discover that all the worlds and dialogues with other characters advance the plot, so it never stops being quite linear. The gameplay is fun; this is one of those classic Mecha games where the protagonist gets on a robot suit and shoots any enemy that appears and several objectives of each mission; it is nothing different from other heroes in similar circumstances. Still, it is a formula that is not bad either.
The exciting part comes in the design of the image, which, in my opinion, is its strongest and weakest point at the same time. The title uses VGA graphics that did not depend on 3D modeling and were quite beautiful in their own way. The colors in the levels present a lot of concordances and really mix well, which shows that there really was artistic work and not only sought to surprise with the modeling of the game. On the other hand, it's not that I have a problem with the 3D design and the use of polygons in it; in fact, I like them. The inconvenience to me appears when they coexist with pre-rendered images with a great emphasis on detail. This works negatively because even though I can get used to such a precarious game design, I quickly lose the immersion when I see the Mecha panel with a detail that ridicules what is seen in the gameplay.
In short, I don't think A.G.E. is a great game, but neither is it a bad one. Without being too pretentious and focusing on the graphics, it has hits and errors that neither enhance nor ruin the experience. Although in a sense, its graphics have aged badly, I found new value in them since they remind me of the most minimalist part of the origins of internet culture, a sort of vaporwave without its characteristic colors. With all this in mind, would I recommend A.G.E.? Honestly, I wouldn't do it on my own, but if someone asked me about it, I would probably give good feedback, and as this is the case, I think if any of this interests you, you should definitely give it a go.
Review by: Gustavo
Published: 28 November 2020 2:09 pm
DOS version 1.1 - Language: English - Size: 2.64 Mb