Age of Mythology: Retold – Explore New Gameplay, Graphics and God Powers With the Official Xbox Podcast

Last weekend, Age of Mythology: Retold made an appearance at the Xbox Games Showcase 2024, revealing in-game footage for the very first time, as well as a launch date of September 4, 2024. As part of the Official Xbox Podcast’s deep-dive series, hosts Malik Prince and Jenn Panattoni sat down with Emma Bridle and Earnest Yuen from World’s Edge to share some insight into this exciting, modern reimaging of the 2002 strategy classic. 

Watch the full podcast below – the Age of Mythology: Retold section begins at 25:40:

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For those unfamiliar, Age of Mythology: Retold is a faithful retelling of the original title, a real-time strategy game where humans live and fight alongside monsters and gods. “It’s a fantastical, magical, chaotic world that you get to control,” says Bridle. 

During the trailer, we got a first look at one of the campaign missions, set in the Egyptian Pantheon (the name for the playable factions). Playing as Amanra, your primary goal is to destroy the Migdol Stronghold, and to do that, you’ll need to amass an army. Here, we see Amanra collecting units from temples scattered around the surroundings, but they’re not your typical sword and bow wielding soldiers. We see units of monsters that are directly inspired by Egyptian mythology – Petsuchos (or ‘laser crocs as Bridle jovially refers to them), large, bejeweled crocodiles that fire devastating long-range beams of sunlight at their enemies, as well as what Yuen calls “Kaiju Scarabs,” dealing close-range damage to structures.  

Theoretically, you’d expect a humongous crocodile with a radiant sniper to outwit any little human charging at it with a sword, but Age of Mythology is finely balanced to ensure humans, monsters and gods all share an equal shot at victory. According to Yuen, there’s a triangle of ability – the mythological units are often very good against human units, but then you have the Hero units, which are especially good against mythological enemies. 

“As a player, it really makes you think about where to place your units as you move through the levels,” Yuen adds. 

The backdrop of this action is also draped in gorgeous environmental design that matches the setting. Bridle explains that each Pantheon (the name given to playable factions) has its own distinct biome and architecture – golden sands and light, angular buildings grace the Egyptian campaign, while a blanket of snow settles on the mountains and thatched huts of the Norse setting. This is a game that weaves in elements of magic, but everything looks and feels authentic to the period your Pantheon is playing in.

Bridle adds that all of the original game’s art has been completely remade, in line with creating this modern, fantastic looking recreation of the original title. During the podcast, this was showcased with images and animations comparing 2002’s Age of Mythology to the upcoming Retold. A screenshot from one of the campaign missions comes to life in incredible detail, and Bridle adds that “the whole world has been redone.” This included seeing original models for two Heroes, Arkantos and Athena, both now super-refined and realistic, and the Atlantean Titan, now with blazing lava veins woven between scorching rock – quite literally a “glow-up” for the creature, Bridle adds. 

“When we compare these units, they’re showing more definition, you can see the particle effects, they’re really coming to life more,” Bridle says.  

One core goal for Age of Mythology: Retold is that it’s going beyond the already impressive blueprint set by the recent ‘Definitive Edition’ Age of Empires titles. “The goal for the Definitive Editions is to build the awesome game that people remember in your head, but not necessarily how it really was,” Yuen explains.  

“With Age of Mythology: Retold, we’re going beyond that to add new features and mechanics to the game. It’s not just about preservation, we also now have the technology to do this concept the justice it deserves.” 

Yuen details one new feature coming to the game, which is that God Powers are now rechargeable, meaning that they can be used multiple times during a game. In the original Age of Mythology, most of the God Powers could only be used once, but Yuen shares insight on why that might not have been the optimal approach for Retold

“Because you could only use that God Power once, people would try to save it for the right moment, but what actually ends up happening is that the match would end before they get to use it,” Yuen explains. “God Powers are the coolest thing you can do in the game, so we’re making it so they can be used multiple times, and you can think about how to do it strategically.” 

Even better, Age of Mythology: Retold includes an additional age at the end of the game – the Wonder age. Here, God Powers are cheaper to use, so the option to use them even more is available during this in-game period. “It’s just chaos,” Bridle adds. “You can just unleash everything you’ve got, and it’s so much fun.” 

The pair delved into loads more topics in the podcast, including where to get started in Retold as a brand-new player, and how Age of Mythology and Age of Empires’ long-running fanbases have been instrumental to the development of new entries. Be sure to check it out! 

Age of Mythology: Retold launches on September 4, and is available day one across PC, Xbox Series X|S and Game Pass.  

[This article originally appeared on Xbox Wire]

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