Immerse yourself in a visually stimulating feast of awesome graphics and a plethora of sounds overlapping each other to create the world in which you will mete out justice to all who stand in the way of creating your empire. Choose from being Spanish, British, French, Portuguese, Russian, Ottoman, Dutch and my favourites, the Germans and whilst other similar genre games are good and very playable, this really does put you ‘in the game’ largely due to the cutting edge graphics and the often forgotten smaller details that enhance a game, ultimately taking it to the next level beyond being ‘just a game’ to becoming an experience.
Age of Empires 3 includes all of the usual features we expect to see in a strategy game, such as a tutorial mode, multi-player option (via internet) and of course the Skirmish option. But where Age of Empires 3 really smartens its act up, are with the inclusion of the new features like the Home City, Single Player Campaign, the new graphical environment and the Real World Physics, i.e. blowing holes in each other’s sails and cannonballs knocking over infantry, etc. Those who remember Sid Meier’s Colonisation might recall dealing with Native American Indian tribes. Well, they’re back. You can trade with them and they will even fight for you. Playing as the French will prove to be more successful with the latter, as history has demonstrated to us with the early French colonists of North America. You can build trading posts near Indian settlements and upgrade these little post’s wagon trains to becoming hulking monsters of iron and steam called Iron Horses. These days we would of course refer to those ‘monsters’ as the humble old train. The overall game animation is simply superb where the cannons belch smoky gas rings and tail plumes behind the cannon balls when fired. I can almost smell the burnt gunpowder. Your troops will gain valuable experience from victories, thus proving them dangerous and fearsome adversaries in future skirmishes. Even though I am the consummate strategy/historical game fan and my opinion is somewhat biased – this game was thoroughly brilliant. So, what are you waiting for… go and build YOUR Empire!