This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
Scottish national hero William Wallace and French national liberation figure Joan of Arc appear in this game along with some historical narrative about their progressive legends. Nonetheless, "Age of Empires II" (AE2) is a tad on the reactionary side with a heavy focus on battle which ends up glorifying militarism.
While the u.$. government and its lackey media constantly call on so-called moderate Muslims to turn their backs on so-called "extremist" Muslims to renounce terrorism, in the united $tates itself, there is no moderate faction to call on. Terrorism is part of the mainstream in Amerika. Proof is in this Microsoft game as well as in "Rise of Nations." The original meaning of the word "terrorism," before Amerikans perverted it was attacks on civilians for the purpose of a political goal. Yet in these Microsoft games, attacks on civilians are built right in. Those players that attack more civilians will definitely have an advantage in these games, because dead civilians do not produce any resources for the enemy. If the player chooses not to attack civilians, it won't stop the computer-generated players from attacking civilians and gaining an advantage.
What further tips this game into being one of the less desirable strategy games is the constant need to program individual units for action. Subsequent games inspired by AE2 show individual workers going to work without constant attention from the player. AE2 is an in-between game where not all actions have to be continuously programmed. Annoying examples of the individual unit programming required is refreshing the farms or telling a lumberjack to start chopping wood. The effect of this is to put more stress on the mundane and also the individual skirmish on a map where skirmishes are going on in more places than the player can hope to keep up in--unless the player chooses to limit the number of units at the beginning of the game to keep the game to a manageable size. AE2 is very similar to other Microsoft games in putting its focus on endless and circular wars that do not result in changes of social systems. In such a game, a computer will always be able to program more units more quickly than a humyn can and it shows in this game where after a certain point the reviewer simply was not able to direct enough units with the mouse quickly enough to defeat the computer- generated players--even on the slowest setting. Usually MIM will not overemphasize one technical aspect of a game, but in this case the technical side leads to having to pay attention to battle details at the expense of the rest of the game.
In their day, William Wallace and Joan of Arc were quite progressive nationalists. Today, we no longer advocate nationalism for countries that have achieved the development of multinational megacorporations and the dominance of banking finance. Western Europe and Japan have nothing to gain from nationalism except more backing for imperialist war to benefit multinational corporations.
In AE2, the prospects for peace are rather odd. If one player seizes the five religious relics that look something like crowns, that player wins. So in other words, peace would come about when one government monopolized religion against the others.
Another chance that AE2 allows for winning is building a "wonder of the world," such as a strange dome-like building. Whatever team seizes the religious monopoly in relics or builds the first "wonder of the world" is the winner. We give AE2 credit for wrestling with what should constitute "victory," and in this 1999 game we start to see that players can choose before the game starts what victory is. One option is to take over all the other players' turf as a sign of victory. As MIM has said in other reviews, a reactionary aspect of strategy games thus far is their emphasis on the all-destroying wars of the past when what we need is to program children to feel victory for developing a revolutionary peace.
Within AE2, fighting is inevitable and that fighting is more intense over resources in scarce supply. Gold and stone are in short supply and even trees and fish will run out and do not replenish themselves which in turn means that farming is destined to end. The only sustainable resource is the religious relic which brings its owner a steady stream of gold. Trade also brings gold, but trade wagons are open to military attack. So one criticism of the game would be that there is no technological research, never mind social engineering which brings about any sustainable resources. This in turn adds to the intensification of existing wars. That there is no way out of war and players have to dedicate their energies to organizing their military units is a reflection on the dismal economic outlook of the Microsoft imperialists.