Age of Empires III PC

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 447 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 447

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  1. JohnS.
    Nov 1, 2005
    3
    Clint R. is right. This is a major step backward from the solid gameplay of AoE2. It tries to take some revolutionary steps forward, but overall uninteresting gameplay really just makes it lame. It's like it's trying to be an RTS version of one of those German boardgames (like Settlers of Cattan) but not achieving a fun sense of gameplay or a good taste of strategy. I would have Clint R. is right. This is a major step backward from the solid gameplay of AoE2. It tries to take some revolutionary steps forward, but overall uninteresting gameplay really just makes it lame. It's like it's trying to be an RTS version of one of those German boardgames (like Settlers of Cattan) but not achieving a fun sense of gameplay or a good taste of strategy. I would have much preferred a big ol' expansion pack for AoE2 with all new races. Couldn't stomach the game play long enough to make it though the built-in story, so I have no idea if it's any good. Expand
  2. KevinS.
    Oct 23, 2005
    4
    The server issues are horrible! I hate RTS as single player games, and I've been trying since it was released to play online and found that their servers are down more than they're up. Frustrating! Why release a game with those kinds of issues... I could've spent my $50 on a game that works! Greedy bums!
  3. Oct 5, 2013
    3
    This game really dissapointed me, even if the graphics were great, they completely changed the Age of Empires style. This looks like another type of game, with very few civilizations, lame campaign and bad mechanics. This is the reason why Microsoft decided to develop Halo Wars and then shut down Esemble Studios.
    A shame that this game sunk the AOE franchise.
  4. 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 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 shortAOE 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. Expand
  5. SImonP.
    Oct 20, 2005
    3
    Not as good as AOE2. Save your money.
  6. BlakeT.
    Oct 22, 2005
    3
    The only reason this game gets a 3 is because it is pretty to look at. At most, it is a nice screen saver. Really, if you are interested in the game and gameplay, go buy AOE2 Gold. This is essentially a watered-down version of what once was a classic. And, I've lost all respect for Gamespy! They obviously didn't play the same game I just bought. Don't waste your money. It The only reason this game gets a 3 is because it is pretty to look at. At most, it is a nice screen saver. Really, if you are interested in the game and gameplay, go buy AOE2 Gold. This is essentially a watered-down version of what once was a classic. And, I've lost all respect for Gamespy! They obviously didn't play the same game I just bought. Don't waste your money. It should hit the bargain bin in 6 months - wait it out if you must buy it. Expand
  7. Matt
    Oct 6, 2006
    3
    I loved AoE one and two, they are the best! So I was over the moon to get this game and start playing.. What a shocking disappointment! This is not an AoE game, for one there are only 3 resources, and with that there is no resource pits anything that is gathered magically appears in your stack! Wheres the strategy and realism in that? I have only just started playing and I couldn't I loved AoE one and two, they are the best! So I was over the moon to get this game and start playing.. What a shocking disappointment! This is not an AoE game, for one there are only 3 resources, and with that there is no resource pits anything that is gathered magically appears in your stack! Wheres the strategy and realism in that? I have only just started playing and I couldn't see anywhere to set formations or stance of the trooops(maybe i just need my eyes tested). There are very few types of unit, and when you upgrade these you don't get "differant" units, they just get up ranked, eg "veteren musketeer" instead of "musketeer". On the other hand the graphics are nice, when buildings are attacked big chunks break off instead of the usual flames. But graphics are not everything, I want a "brunette" game not a "blonde" one! Buy Empire Earth 2 instead. Expand
  8. NJacobs
    Apr 1, 2008
    1
    The fact that there is no save and load (!) in multiplayer games (even LAN) is a complete deal-breaker. Should have been stated on the package before we wasted a significant amount of money to play family LAN game. What were they thinking?. Very disappointing. Aside from that, the gameplay seems dumbed-down from AOE2, which would be tolerable, but the no save is not.
  9. HenryM.
    Oct 15, 2005
    1
    Take the same old tired game formula rebrand and reissue with new graphics. In a nutshell this is AO3. Is there any original idea's left in the gaming industry? AO4 anyone? How long until gamers stop buying this reissue junk and send a message to game developers we want new ideas!!
  10. MikeT.
    Oct 17, 2005
    1
    Same game, different day.
  11. BlakeG
    Oct 22, 2005
    1
    I think it's hilarious how this magical train just appears out of no-where on one-way tracks, I think it's unacceptable that blatant things like issuing orders via the minimap (something I've been doing in RTS games for the past... 10 years?) made it to release. I find it absurd that I can dominate online making only musketeers every single game through every single age. I I think it's hilarious how this magical train just appears out of no-where on one-way tracks, I think it's unacceptable that blatant things like issuing orders via the minimap (something I've been doing in RTS games for the past... 10 years?) made it to release. I find it absurd that I can dominate online making only musketeers every single game through every single age. I order food shipments from my home city that need to be "harvested" - but when my workers are out there on the other side of the map chopping trees they magically get deposited into the wood-bank-account while that same worker doesn't move an inch from his chopping spot. Because I could go on, I Expand
  12. Georgy
    Oct 26, 2005
    3
    The main problem with this game is that it is not historically based as the legacy, but it contains three boooooring fictitious stories where you are always pursuing somebody. Instead of Age of Empires, it should be called: Age of Mytology III I hoped campaigns related to Napoleon, Tzars, Henry the Eight, the French Revolution and ended up with Amelia... it sucks.
  13. DanielZandormaz
    May 23, 2008
    0
    There's no save game option in LAN Multiplaeyr game. It's a shame. The programmers are not good enough to find a solution for this lack? I wasted my money in this game because compared to AOE 2 this new version is worst!!! Following I will write in portuguese for more people know about those issues related to the Age oF emperes III:
    Esta nova versão até que
    There's no save game option in LAN Multiplaeyr game. It's a shame. The programmers are not good enough to find a solution for this lack? I wasted my money in this game because compared to AOE 2 this new version is worst!!! Following I will write in portuguese for more people know about those issues related to the Age oF emperes III:
    Esta nova versão até que poderia ser boa pois tem gráficos muito bons mas peca em diversos pontos. A versão 3 do Age Of Empires não tem a opção de salvar ou restaurar um jogo na opção de Multiplayer/ LAN. Isso é um absurdo para um jogo deste porte. O que aconteceu? Os programadores não encontraram uma solução para algum poblema relacionado a salvar/restaurar jogos multiplayer? Que decepção. Pior é que no site oficial do jogo não tem nenhuma explicação para isso.
    Expand
  14. Richard
    Nov 26, 2005
    1
    Buggy and way over-rated. Age II way better than Age III. Too many game flaws and on line is really buggy. Game gets boring fast ... even on line against real opponents but that also is flawed ... only one style of game play works. A waste of $$$.
  15. JoeS.
    Nov 16, 2005
    2
    I am a HUGE RTS fan and this game is an utter dissapointment. With all of the hype, it is truly frustrating to spend $60 on something that is not much better than the free demo. Save your money, or I'll sell mine for 1/2 price!
  16. Sep 24, 2010
    2
    Horrible game. It might have looked good, but it was repetitive, boring drivel. The stroy was decent but the voice acting totally tore the whole game apart. Skirmish was never different, not like games such as Dawn of War 40K or Starcraft, which had at least a little bit of difference in their skirmishes. I found it utterly atrocious.
  17. Jan 11, 2013
    2
    Ugh, the graphics even for the time (not even that long ago) were appalling and it hurt my eyes, it takes forever to install, has plenty of bugs and data seems to get corrupted easily, which caused me to re-install a few times (my computer was perfectly fine). Now the single-player is just dreadful, the game-play is 100% dull and the missions have no depth whatsoever, what's more is theUgh, the graphics even for the time (not even that long ago) were appalling and it hurt my eyes, it takes forever to install, has plenty of bugs and data seems to get corrupted easily, which caused me to re-install a few times (my computer was perfectly fine). Now the single-player is just dreadful, the game-play is 100% dull and the missions have no depth whatsoever, what's more is the way you usually go from one mission to another without an established connection and sometimes no explanation of what is going on is just laughable. I remember I didn't even know what I was doing in one of the missions and I had pretty much no fun with the single-player. I believe a game which is - vastly - inferior to it's predecessor in pretty much every way (even the multi-player - just look at the other negative reviews) deserves a terrible score innately. Expand
  18. Terry
    Jan 1, 2010
    2
    Wish I'd read this before buying AOE III! Waste of money. Civ meets Warcraft, but not as good as either. Can't save multiplayer games? Are you serious? Does anyone know how I can get a refund. I've had the game nearly 3 days! Almost new!!
  19. DanB.
    Aug 26, 2007
    0
    Clearly a complete disappointment compared to the amazing and wonderful Age of Empires 2. This game lacks in all areas that a great RTS game has ever had. Limited towers? What is up with that! Units that all look and feel the same? Wow that was real innovative! Railroads you cant build walls over or gates over, wow, just what i want, a nice gaping hole in wall. Age of Empires 2 was an Clearly a complete disappointment compared to the amazing and wonderful Age of Empires 2. This game lacks in all areas that a great RTS game has ever had. Limited towers? What is up with that! Units that all look and feel the same? Wow that was real innovative! Railroads you cant build walls over or gates over, wow, just what i want, a nice gaping hole in wall. Age of Empires 2 was an amazing game. Its sad to see that they desired to drop the ball on the Zone supporting the game so now you cant even find anyone to play online anymore. They lost a large community just to push everyone toward Age of Crap 3. Ensemble Studios has defiantly took a turn for the worse. The card system is just stupid. It makes anyone that doesn't know how to get resources quickly and efficiently suddenly become really good at the game with a click of a button. The peasants don't have to return to the town center or lumber mill to receive the resources makes people not think about how they make there base before they build is because hey, you can have that 1 guy in the middle of the forest on the other side of the map getting resources for you and he doesn't have to run a mile to return them, he just happens to have a massive infinite strength to be able to hold it all just for you. I thought about giving it a 2, but then i thought, thats too generous. This game is the worst game ever made and should be avoided by all RTS Enthusiasts. Trust me, it is not worth it. Complete and udder failure just like Red Faction 2 was to Red Faction 1. Expand
  20. Jun 27, 2013
    0
    Absolute worst multiplayer system/support I have ever seen for a game. 3/4 of the time you can't join a game due to a connection issue, either with friends or strangers. Unless you want to play single player only, AVOID.
  21. ArtyT.
    Jun 8, 2006
    4
    Dissapointment!!! AOE 2 was so much better, much more balanced. This is more like RPG when the game begins, the explorer runs around collecting stuff and getting experience points. Very colorful though, what the Microsoft should have done is to take the Sim City 4 and just have the sims fight.
  22. Oct 18, 2014
    2
    AO3 was, in all, a massive letdown. While both predecessors were brilliant and fun strategy games, this edition did little to improve itself. Gameplay is as it has always been, but the units and building lack variety, and tactics are now as simple as "how many units can i throw at this?" The most disapointing part of the game are its graphics. They are legitimately at the level of goldenAO3 was, in all, a massive letdown. While both predecessors were brilliant and fun strategy games, this edition did little to improve itself. Gameplay is as it has always been, but the units and building lack variety, and tactics are now as simple as "how many units can i throw at this?" The most disapointing part of the game are its graphics. They are legitimately at the level of golden for n64. And due to the use of character models in story scenes, these horrible graphics are often showcased. Either be satisfied with AO2, or buy an age of mythology game instead. Expand
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. Those looking for a complex and interesting real-time strategy game with fantastic good looks and some historical flavor will find just what they want in Age of Empires III.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.