Age of Empires III PC

Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 52
  2. Negative: 0 out of 52
  1. 70
    Age of Empires III takes the conservative approach to the conundrum of how to craft a new experience that remains faithful to the original. While that ensures fans will immediately feel at home with an old friend, it's questionable whether it sets another standard, or merely follows its own.
  2. Age of Empires III would be a damn fine RTS if it came out five years ago. Instead, it's some impressive modern technology and bold gameplay ideas unfortunately saddled by an outdated take on the genre.
  3. While AoE III fails to bring a great deal of new content, it does a great job of summing up the last couple years of strategy and combining it with the look and feel of the RTS titles of yesteryear.
  4. 70
    The single player campaign is very playable, very enjoyable, and also very long.
  5. Even with the new home cities, gameplay feels tired and characterless. Bombarding players with shiny baubles and inconsequential gifts can’t hide that.
  6. Technically splendid, but lacks the soul and the focus that made its previous games such powerful experiences.
  7. A nice update to the series. But especially with the way other historical RTS games have advanced the genre, I was expecting more innovation from the game (and developer) that started it all.
  8. Unfortunately, the emphasis on economic management and the lack of precise unit control means combat lacks finesse. Like real-time strategy games of old, the best tactic is usually to simply amass a huge force and crudely rush at overwhelmed opponents.
  9. The steps it has taken in the gameplay department since Age of Empires II are negligible, but at least the new card-based bonus system adds an element of customization and depth to the genre. This result is as detailed as a history book, and about as much fun.
  10. It manages to avoid complete failure with the marvelous card decks, but pales compared to modern strategy titles.
  11. Delightful, disappointing, and frustrating.
  12. The kind of design innovation that could make this game great, yet ends up demonstrating the game's schizophrenia. [Jan 2006, p.56]
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 447 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 112
  2. Negative: 22 out of 112
  1. Jul 8, 2012
    4
    AOE 3 was a disappointment. It's predecessor was a brilliant, fun strategy game. There were lots of unique civs to pick, historic campaigns toAOE 3 was a disappointment. It's predecessor was a brilliant, fun strategy game. There were lots of unique civs to pick, historic campaigns to play, and a simple, easy, but flexible map editor. AOE 3 has only a handful of civs, and you have to buy the expansion pack to use any native american civs. There are 3 long campaigns each with 5 minute missions in the place of a ton of short campaigns and a few individual missions. The first campaign was just silly. Magic. No kidding, magic. In the first campaign you have to find the fountain of youth and destroy it to keep a secret organization from using it's powers for evil or something. It sounds like some sort of bad sci fi. Another thing that irritated me when I played was that everything is so... big. The inability to zoom out combined with the fact that every soldier in my army is half an inch tall means that there is very little room on the screen. Not only that, but the maps are very small too. I found myself quickly running out of room to build, and, when I just started and was playing on the easier levels, found myself accidentally destroying an enemy because my guards went rouge. That's another problem. AOE 1 had that command list where you could pick formations, and set units to patrol, guard, escort, or just not attack anything. That's all gone in AOE III. If you want to guard your base with troops, you have to constantly pull them back to keep them from following a trail of retreating enemies back to their home base. In this version, instead of just reducing troop training time, troops train in squads up to 5. Personally, I have no objection to this change though, it saved me one time because I had to train soldiers while under attack, and if they had been coming out 1 by 1 they'd have been slaughtered. And then there's the realism. I'm sorry, but if your unprotected fleeing screaming villager can take over 15 BULLETS TO KILL, there is something seriously wrong. Bullets are incredibly underpowered in this game. Even after buying a special upgrade that gives me massive bonus damage versus villagers, it still took way more bullets than it realistically should have. A game where bow and arrow > gun is one where the laws or reality are warped. There are 2 things in AOE III that keep me from giving it a 2 or 3. The first one is the home city option. Though it isn't exactly "Age of Empires" style, it did a nice job of motivating me to keep playing. After all, I can't just stop with a level 9 home city, I have to go to 10. And after that, why not 15? or 50? Another thing that was fairly well done was the graphics. I don't mean the troops. They all look like a mess of colored triangles. And the buildings just look like buildings. Nice, but nothing to write home about. I'm referring to the thrill I get from positioning 16 cannons in a circle around his town center and firing, watching pieces of it fly 50 feet into the air and land in a shattered heap on top of the mess that used to be a colony. The physics in the game, though also somewhat unrealistic, (Houses appear to weigh nothing, a 20 foot long chunk that must weigh at least 1 ton can be blasted straight up into the air and come back down as if it were a lego brick) are very fun and visually interesting. All in all, this is an okay game, but if you are expecting Age of Empires III, you won't get it. This is just another rts. Full Review »
  2. Yablo
    Jan 9, 2006
    10
    I love thise game... no more wasting time on making buildings to get resources in faster. The cards add great new demension to the strategy I love thise game... no more wasting time on making buildings to get resources in faster. The cards add great new demension to the strategy of the game. The only thing that needs to be worked on is the hit points of buildings.. they go down a bit fast. Full Review »
  3. MorganC.
    Jan 3, 2006
    9
    A solid game. A little repetitive, but well worth your money.