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The First Americans

September 6th, 2006 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Ensemble, History

Allen Rausch has an interesting interview regarding the new Age of Empires expansion, Warchiefs, over on Gamespy. The theme of the interview is the challenge in dealing with Native American nations. Bruce Shelley goes through all the races and confesses where the Ensemble team had to break from history in the name of fun (no human sacrifices for the Aztecs) and where they could use popular understanding of American Indian nations to create a powerful and flexible opponent (the horse riding and raiding Sioux).

There is, of course, the typical Ensemble conflation of history going on here. The Aztec were long gone by the time the Sioux discovered the value of the horse. Age of Empires III takes place over a much shorter time period than the earlier Age games, both of which dealt with five or six centuries instead of three, so I can forgive the people who introduced the world to the trebuchet.

The most encouraging part of the preview is the final paragraph. Apparently some long time Age players are upset that the expansion ruins strategies they had come to rely on in the core game. Anytime I have to re-examine my assumptions about a game and start all over, I’m a happy man. (Too bad I can’t find my Age of Empires III discs.)

Warchiefs will be out in a month’s time.


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