User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 374 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 374

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  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 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 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
  5. 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.
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.