Show me an AOE fan that actually likes AOE 3? I didn't think so.
Hmm...probably difficult to make a game better than Age of Empires 2...oh wait...they did. It's called Age of Mythology. So I wonder what happened in "THIS" Age of Empires?
Anyway, I've asked around most of me buddies about their experiences with Age of Empires 3 and comparing it with my own. Let me tell you, just mentioning the name put a frown on ones face.
But before I drop the bomb, a brief head-up on the changes to AOE 3.
Yep, they changed 50% of the gameplay. Though I do admit, it is quite creative on some ends. The most noticeable change unit creation and age advancement. You don't build units, you order them from the motherland. So you've got this first main map where the standard game, and you have the motherland screen which...uh doesn't do anything really. Age advancement is an interesting twist, you get to choose what kind of "style" of advancement you want, represented by founding fathers. You advance an age, you can choose 1 out of 2 founding fathers per age. Each gives you a different additional bonus. Plus you get native American Indian allies...though there doesn't seem to be any technology advance for Indian genocide though.
Other that that, the game is somewhat the same...somewhat.
But probably the best thing I like from Microsoft games...(unlike their operating system), haven't found one single dang bug! Yipee!
Don't we just love the bad. But firstly, do you know how overrated this game is? Checkout all those idiot commercial reviews, can't seem to find any commercial website that bad mouths this game...yep, in the end it always leads to player reviews.
Point of clarrification...the game isn't bad. Its very playable. But again, since its called Age of Empires III and the blokes who are most likely to play it are the fans of the previous AOE, you HAVE to compare it with the greatness of AOE I and II. And when you compare it, what do you get? Another total disaster. Here we go...
Graphically mediocre. For 3D graphics, I would expect something new...sheesh, Age of Mythology had a better impact the first time around when I first played it. This game is graphically ho-hum.
Unit limitation is probably one of the most irritation features. There are some units you just can't build, you can order only so many times from the motherland. Another irritating feature is the limited number of towers. Dang, I used to have like 20 or more towers in AOE 2, and that was minimal. Now your forced with 5 or so towers...can't build more.
Naval combat is somewhat improved, unfortunately the game suddenly becomes very slow when a ship sinks. I have to move my screen out of view of the sinking ship to have the game run smoothly again.
But for me personally, the most major let down isn't the gameplay. It's the story. In AOE I and II, they did a hell of a job teaching you history through a semi-fiction story. In this game, its practically all fiction. I didn't learn any new historical facts, just a bunch of knights following a stupid myth to the Americas...in addition to some Saracen knights also stuck there (since when did Arabs go to the Americas during the crusades?). Really...
The Bottom Line
Well, if your AOE fan...avoid this game at all costs! If your not, its a good strategy game.
In my book, Age of Mythology is AOE 3.