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 advent...
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 we all know) have 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 like A.G.E., with a simple story and little mechanic, depending exclusively on its graphics.
The game was developed and published by Coktel Vision; the company is 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 space exploration for 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, shoots any enemy that appears, and has several objectives for 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 most vital and weakest point simultaneously. The title uses VGA graphics that do not depend on 3D modeling and were quite beautiful. The colors in the levels present a lot of concordances and mix well, which shows that there was artwork 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; 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 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 give it a go.
Review by: Gustavo
Published: 28 November 2020 2:09 pm
DOS version 1.1 - Language: English - Size: 2.64 Mb