AGE OF EMPIRES 3
Age of Empires III
Features AoE III
Preview (part 2)
Artwork AoE III
Preview Age of Empires III (part 2)Another important aspect of game play is the use of formations. One of the large concerns from previous AOE games was that the battle concept was often overlooked by many players and overshadowed by economic factors. Formations now change military strategy. You can no longer afford to leave the battle scene for the units to duke it out by themselves. Your formations will now take extra damage when fired upon from the side and the addition of volley firing will play a large role in formation strategy and tactics.
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Gun ?
Most RTS games adopt the rock, paper, and scissors model. In other words, cavalry beats ranged units, ranged units beat infantry, and infantry beat cavalry. The model works for most time periods except in AOE III. The developers at Ensemble had a difficult time in adopting this model to the cannon. According to developers this model made the cannon seem unrealistic, bouncing off of cavalry like nothing even happened. So instead, they made the cannon destroy everything. There is a catch however, if your units can draw within the minimum range, your cannon is useless. The cannon will change the face of military strategies in AOE as the only real way to stop it is to charge towards it. You can spread your formations out to make cannon fire less effective.
Though the colonial period was one of the more darker periods of history, with the conquering and wiping out of many Native American tribes, the basis of the game is not conquering the Native Americans. In fact, these tribes are used as a tool to conquering your opponents. AOE III focuses solely on the European powers and their conquest for expanding their kingdoms. Smarter players will quickly pick up on the advantage in forming alliances with local tribes. You can gain additional experience as well as additional combat units through these forged alliances.
Combat takes on a realistic approach. Pathing has improved and can be seen in unit formations. The realism factor is a welcomed bonus. If you have a double line of militia, your first line will fire first and then drop to reload while your second line fires the second volley. Exactly like you see in the movies! Ordering your troops to charge will result in your troops equipping their bayonets and running full speed. Cannon fire is realist as well as the cannon balls will skip through the fields like skipping stones taking out anything in its path.
As stated before, Ensemble set out to make AOE III one of the greatest visual RTS games ever. Terrain and environment are not an exception to this. There was a large amount of detail on the physics of the terrain. For instance, water flow and lighting are very realistic on the maps. Forests, shrubbery, and vegetation are very realistic as well. The greatest thing about the terrain is that random map generation is just as realistic and detailed as pre-built maps found in campaigns and single player.
Overall, AOE III looks very promising. The graphics on this baby are simply amazing and no RTS currently on the market comes close to it. The Home City aspect offers a much needed twist to RTS play and could be the missing key in building larger RTS fan player base. We’ll have to wait and see as AOE III continues to develop but from the early stages it already seems like a hit. 3D Accelerated will be covering more on AOE III as the story unfolds.
Age of Empires 3 is a strategy game realized by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios.