Saturday, March 10, 2012
Age of Empires III: Complete Collection
Age of Empires III: Complete Collection
Age of Empires III (sometimes abbreviated AoE III) is a real-time strategy (RTS) game developed by Microsoft Corporation's Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The Mac version was ported over and developed by Destineer's MacSoft Games and published by Destineer and MacSoft Games. The PC Version was released on October 18, 2005 in North America and November 4, 2005 in Europe, while the Mac version was released on November 21, 2006 in North America and September 29, 2006 in Europe. It is the third game of the Age of Empires series and the sequel to Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. The game portrays the European colonization of the Americas, between approximately 1492 and 1850 AD (expanded in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs to 1876). There are eight European civilizations to play within the game.
Age of Empires III has made several innovations in the series, in particular with the addition of the "Home City", which combines real-time strategy and role-playing game features. Two expansion packs have been released: the first, Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, was released on October 17, 2006, and introduced three Native American civilizations; the second, Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, was released on October 23, 2007, and included three Asian civilizations.
Age of Empires III has sold over 2 million copies as of May 2008. As well as achieving favorable reviews, it has received awards, including GameSpy's "Best RTS game of 2005", and was one of the best-selling games of 2005. In 2007, Age of Empires III was the seventh best-selling computer game, with over 313,000 copies sold that year.
Age of Empires III allows the player to play as eight different civilizations: Spanish, British, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, German and Ottoman. Each of the eight civilizations has its own strengths and weaknesses and unique units available only to that civilization. Specific units for each civilization are designated Royal Guard units, receiving greater bonuses on the Guard upgrade in the Industrial Age, but at an increased price. The player can change the name of their Home City, the Explorer name, and is given a pre-named leader from part of the period (for example, Napoleon Bonaparte for the French Colonial Empire, Suleiman the Magnificent for Ottoman Empire, and Ivan the Terrible for the Russian Empire). Each civilization has unique shipments to aid its economy and military (for example, the Ottomans are able to order a shipment of gold for both them and their teammates.)
There are other civilizations playable via the campaign, which include The Knights of St. John, John Black's Mercenaries, and the United States of America, which are played as the Spanish, German and British civilizations, respectively, with slight modifications. Non-playable campaign civilizations include the Pirates, Circle of Ossus and Native Americans, although these civilizations are playable using the Scenario Editor.
Twelve different tribes of Native Americans are in the game as well, but these are not in themselves playable factions. However, players can gain access to unique units and improvements by forming an alliance with the tribes by building a trading post at their camps. The native tribes featured are the Aztec, Carib, Cherokee, Comanche, Cree, Inca, Iroquois, Lakota, Mapuche, Maya, Nootka, Seminole and Tupi. Three of these tribes were made playable in the expansion pack Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs: the Iroquois, Lakota (under the name Sioux) and Aztecs. These civilizations were removed as the smaller, alliance based tribes and were replaced by the Huron, Cheyenne and Zapotec, respectively. In The Asian Dynasties another three civilizations were added, along with several new native tribes. The civilizations are the Indians, the Japanese, and the Chinese.
* Spain Spanish — (Spain or Castille, Queen Isabella I) The Spanish have good hand infantry and cavalry available, and are flexible early in the game due to their faster Home City shipments. The Spanish explorer can train War Dogs since the Discovery Age, when soldiers are not trainable. Their unique units are the Rodelero, Lancer and Missionary. Their best units are the Espada Rodelero, Garrochista Lancer, the War Dog and Tercio Pikeman.
* Kingdom of Great Britain British — (United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth I) The British build Manors instead of the usual houses. Manors are 35% more expensive than normal houses, but spawn one free settler each upon construction; this speeds up early game construction and gathering. Their military is more focused on the later game, with a stronger economy in the early game. Their unique units are the Longbowman, which boast the longest range in the game, and the Rocket, also boasting quite a far range. Their best units are the Redcoat Musketeer and King's Life Guard Hussar.
* France French — (France, Napoleon) The French train Coureurs des bois, stronger villagers which may eventually double as infantry. This civilization can have many shipments related to Natives, and so it is the strongest at forging native alliances. The French train the strongest cavalry unit of the game, the Cuirassier (at the cost of 3 population space). Their unique units are the Cuirassier and the Coureur des Bois. Their best units are the Gendarme Cuirassier and Voltigeur Skirmisher. (It is also interesting that while the flag of the French civilisation represents the French monarchy, the House of Bourbon, their commander, Napoleon, was not emperor of France until 1804, 15 years after the Storming of the Bastille and the end of Bourbon rule in France.)
* Portugal Portuguese — (Portugal, Henry the Navigator) The Portuguese receive a free covered wagon on each age advancement, which can build a town center. This civilization has extra exploring facilities, such as the option of shipping additional explorers and the "spyglass" ability which can reveal unexplored territory. They have a balanced military, which is supplemented by a strong navy. Their unique units are the Caçador (similar to a skirmisher) and the Organ Gun. Their best units are the Jinete Dragoon and Guerreiro Musketeer.
* Netherlands Dutch — (Netherlands, Maurice of Nassau) The Dutch settlers cost coin instead of food, making them dependent on this resource from the very start of the game; this disadvantage is, however, countered with the revenue produced by Banks, coin-generating buildings unique to the Dutch. Their unique units are the Envoy, Ruyter and Fluyt. Their best units are the Carabineer Ruyter and Nassau Halberdier.
* Holy Roman Empire Russians — (Russia, Ivan the Terrible) The Russians train numerous units in groups, which speeds up production early in the game. This gives them the capacity to overwhelm other players with large armies. This is supplemented by the low cost of their military, and for the most basic units, an almost instant build time. Their unique units are the Strelet, Cossack, and Oprichnik. Their best units are the Tartar Cavalry Archer and the Pavlov Grenadier. Late game units can rapidly create fortifications.
* Kingdom of Prussia Germans — (Prussia, Frederick the Great) The Germans represent all of the Central European kingdoms of the time and start out with settler wagons instead of the normal European settlers. The German Home City only ships settler wagons which are equivalent to two regular settlers. Their military develops steadily because Uhlan cavalry are given as a bonus along with most shipments. Also, the Germans can ship mercenaries sooner than any other civilization. Their unique units are the Doppelsoldner, Uhlan, War Wagon and Settler Wagon. Their best units are the Prussian Needle Gunner(skirmisher),and the Czapka(uhlan). Germans are very good with longer games because of their dedicated settler wagons that build faster, and work better than the average settler.
* Ottoman Empire Ottomans — (Ottoman Empire, Suleiman the Magnificent) The Ottoman economy is slow but constant, due to the fact that settlers are continually produced automatically at no cost but have the disadvantage of having limited settler production. The Ottoman military makes heavy use of artillery units, many of them unique, such as the Great Bombard, the most powerful artillery unit in the game. The Ottomans lack light infantry: the only infantry they can train is the Janissary, a more powerful type of musketeer. Their unique units are the Janissary, Abus Gun, Spahi, Great Bombard, Galley and Imam, and their best units are the Gardener Hussar and Baratcu Grenadier. The Ottomans specialize in early game combat because of their quick gain in economy. The Ottomans are also the only civilization that can make gunpowder infantry units at the very start of the game.