Sunday, August 14, 2005

Age of Empires 3, A revelation or some more of the same

Age of Empires is the original RTS and now the third one is coming out. Microsoft have the power to make this a really good game or some more elephants smashing people unrealistically and bowmen shooting down stone walls. Like most gamers, I own a copy of a AoE. I own the first one but have played on the second. I enjoyed both experiences but compared with Rome Total war, it is really simplistic. Now I never played the campaigns in AoE 1 simply because they were boring. RTW on the other hand involved you and you choose the missions you did. It was revolutionary which many strategy WW2 games have followed suit. The question is will Microsoft risk being sued by Activision and use it or not. Activison did not sue the WW2 games simply because they were one, not good enough to pose any threat and two, there's was a different audience. Microsoft on the other hand one AoE already has a reputation to make people buy it, they are drawing a lot of attention to the themselves and finally this is aimed at the same target audience. I personally believe it a risk worth taking because people like me will give it better review and it is hardly like Microsoft are short on cash. Or even if they are at the moment they'll recoup it all when the 360 comes out.

I have only seen screen shots of the game, and they claim to be real. Well, they look Miss's b Miss's e Miss's aut Miss's i Miss's ful my friend. NB. I can spell it is to emphasize how good they are. Picture halo 2 graphics and they combine them with mercenaries then you begin to get a idea on the graphics. Un-fortunately for us the camera is not free control you can just zoom in and out. The water looks amazing but then so does most games water now a days.

Until Microsoft release a demo of the game, which won't happen until closer to the game launch, I can't comment on the gameplay. Microsoft have said that the gameplay will be more advanced than in previous AoEs witch is no achievement. They have only mentioned 1 feature which is 'Home towns.' Home towns is the town you came from and as you gain experience points they send you creates which you choose what you want in them. It sounds like an alright function, and experience points implies they have changed the campaign for the better, but it is hardly revolutionary. I have now seen game footage though and it looks suspiciously similar. Charge...Bowman take the down that massive iron building etc. The trains look quite good though and judging by the video, play quite an important part.

The release date has no obvious implications other than they are trying to beat down the little amount of the RTW expansion pack, which is also coming out then. But it being a expansion pack will mean it won't get much coverage. As if the third AoE isn't going to get enough any way. Ah well.

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