Taking the reins from Majesco, THQ has announced its plans to release a follow-up to 2006's turn-based-strategy sleeper hit, Age of Empires: The Age of Kings, this fall. Titled Age of Empires: Mythologies, the game hasn't just exchanged publisher hands, as Age of Kings studio Backbone Entertainment has also passed its development duties and original engine to Griptonite Games (Spore Creatures, The Sims 2 for DS).
Interestingly, according to initial reports, Mythologies will only feature three playable campaigns and civilizations -- Egyptians, Greeks, and Norse -- compared to Age of Kings' five. To make up for that limited selection, Griptonite has added onto the original's formula with online play, a new "active combat system," a revamped graphics engine, single-cart download play, and a new skirmish mode.
Also unlike Age of Kings, Mythologies will focus on " epic myths of the ancient world," rather than Asian/European history. In addition to standard troops and giant mythological beasts, players will be able to command Hero units, such as Ramses ("Let my people go!") and Mycenae-founder Perseus, blessed with special abilities. Jump past the post break for a video introduction to the sequel from THQ as well as in-game clips of the strategy title.