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Age of Empires 3 previews and news

April 5th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

Bit by bit, tempting chunks of information about Age of Empires 3 is being released by Ensemble Studios. This month’s Computer Games Magazine has a lengthy preview and news sites around the ‘net are doing stories on what is probably the most eagerly awaited RTS for 2005.

Once again, each civilization will have unique units and attributes. Six have been announced so far (Britain, Holland, France, Germany/Austria, Portugal and Spain) with intimations that a Native American nation will be playable, largely because focus groups wanted to play Indians. (There are no United States Americans.)

For the most part, natives will be a resource that the player can use to improve their armies through alliance with the aboriginal populations. As in almost all of these Age of Discovery games, the French will have an advantage in sucking up to the residents of the New World.

The home country of your settlers seems to play a larger role in this game than in other strategy games of this type. Your home city will “level up” as you progress through the “Ages”, giving you access to more power and tech, and, through the factory upgrade, a steady flow of certain resources.

Most RTS games with military formations see combat devolve into a messy melee situation, making the formations pointless. Cossacks II will ascribe serious penalties to troops not in formation, but Age of Empires III will almost insist on formations for combat to be meaningful. Some formations will give the units in it special defensive bonuses or resistance to certain types of attack.

There’s a January preview at Gamespot that is worth checking out and the aforementioned seven page preview in May’s Computer Games Magazine.


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