Review - Age Of Empires 3 (PC)

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by teh_raf3, Oct 21, 2005.

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Oct 21, 2005
  1. teh_raf3
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    Member teh_raf3 Whatever suits you

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    Age Of Empires 3

    Ensemble Studios returns with the next Age Of Empires in the series, which a lot of people were waiting for.

    As a rather big fan of the Age Of Empires games, I was really glad the first day I saw those jaw-dropping screenshots. I waited a long time and it finally happened, I got my copy of AOE3. I've played and played untill I finished the game, and then I started playing with friends over the internet. If I look back to this game, I can only think of one thing: "wow!".

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Story (8,5/10):

    AOE3 has both singleplayer and multiplayer. Singleplayer contains 3 acts (and is again divided in 24 missions), and in each act you will follow the story of a new generation of the Black-family.

    Singleplayer:

    The first act follows the story of Morgan Black, A knight of St. John who tries to stop the Spanish from conquering an old relic.

    The second act follows the story of John Black (Morgan's grandson) and his friend Kanyenke, which are in the Seven Years War.

    The third and last act follows the story of Amelia Black (John's granddaughter), who wants to be top-class with her railroad company.


    Multiplayer:

    The multiplayer is very fun, you can battle against friends or unknown persons over the net in deathmatch, or work together and fight against other teams (against the cpu, or against real people, like team 1 vs team 2, and each team has 2 players with their own town).

    Playing against the cpu has some kind of a campaign feeling, one perticular thing I liked playing very much is teaming up with two, battling against the french army of Napoleon.


    Gameplay (8,5/10):


    Like in the previous Age Of Empires games, you have to build up a town, gather resources, build an army and destroy the other team(s). It's not that simple as it sounds though, with a great AI, well-balanced missions and great challenges... You'll have your hands full, building up your town, while gathering resources, defending your area and building an army at the same time.

    New elements in AOE3 are the use of a deck of cards (which help you to get resources delivered from the hometown, as well as settlers, soldiers etc...), the friendship with native tribes after placing a trade post, trade routes which deliver experience, food, wood or gold every time a wagon passes and some more things.

    Another point of attention might be the great physics that this game has. When you fire a cannonbal in a group of soldiers or attack a building with cannons and infantry, you'll notice that the physics have been put to good use. Buildings collapse in pieces while enemies fly away after being hit by cannonballs.

    Some minor negative points may be

    - You are again limited with the amount of soldiers you can select at one time.
    - When you choose paths for your soldiers, and there is something in the way (rocks, or hills), then
    some of the soldiers tend to run around the obstacles, leaving the group, and joining a while later.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Graphics (9/10):


    One word: "eye-candy". AOE3 has very beautiful graphics, the animations are smooth, and the enviroments are all very well worked out, as well are the shadows. The most remarkable for me was the water, it's reflections, splashes and waves make it extremely realistic.

    The models of soldiers, settlers, siege weapons etc... are not that detailed, but it's still an achievement to let the game run so smooth when more then 100 models are running around on your screen, beating the hell out of each other.

    Some minor negative points may be:

    - There are almost none, but there still are some minor graphic glitches.
    - The interface is way too large, but luckily there is an option that makes it more compact.
    - Units that clip each other.



    Sound (8/10):

    The music is once again very good in this AOE-game, while building up your city, you'll hear peacefull non-irritating music, and when battle commences (after attacking your opponent's town building) the action starts with some good themed music.

    The sound effects are also good, the gunshots from the army, the constructing of buildings, gathering of resources etc are all put in good place, and sounds really genuine.


    Replay value(8/10):


    Once you've finished all of the singleplayer campaigns, you'll enjoy yourself playing multiplayer. Ofcourse you can play the singleplayer campaigns again at a higher difficulty level, but I can't imagine that it's a lot of fun, replaying the same campaigns over and over.

    The multiplayer has a lot to offer though, various settings can be applied (the map, starting age etc...) and the difference in missions are worked out good.


    Final conclusion:

    Ensemble Studios brings a hell of a game, it outstands in graphics, and is very good in gameplay. It has some minor negative points, but they don't spoil the game. For people who played earlier versions of AOE and loved it, must get this game if they already haven't, and even for people who are new to the series, it might be a good way to discover this great game (as well as the rts-genre).

    Story: 8,5/10
    Gameplay: 8,5/10
    Graphics: 9/10
    Sound: 8/10
    Replay value: 8/10


    84%


    Official Website: http://www.ageofempires3.com/
    (note: the interface of the game is not shown on the screenshots)

    Written by teh_raf3
     
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