Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 395 Ratings

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  • Summary: Age of Empires III offers gamers the next level of realism, with advanced battle physics and unparalleled visual detail. The new game picks up where Age of "Empires II: Age of Kings" left off, placing gamers in the position of a European power determined to explore, colonize and conquer the New World. This time period features stunning scenes, from towering European cathedrals to courageous tribes of Native Americans, and spectacular combat with Industrial Age units like rifled infantry, cavalry and tall ships bristling with cannons. Age of Empires III excites strategy gamers with new game-play elements, including the concept of a "Home City," new civilizations, units, technologies and an immersive new single-player campaign that will span three generations. [Ensemble Studios] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 52
  2. Negative: 0 out of 52
  1. 100
    An absolutely fantastic title with superb graphics and tight gameplay. Single-player or multiplayer, no matter what your skill, you'll get hours of joy out of this sucker online or off.
  2. Balanced, innovative, gorgeous. Truly worthy of the series. [Holiday 2005, p.52]
  3. This game is pure, unadulterated fun.
  4. 80
    Ultimately, AOE III has clearly won the battle for graphical supremacy, but for all its improvements elsewhere, it has yet to win the war for RTS dominance.
  5. There's no question that Age of Empires III is enjoyable, and the strong multiplayer modes make it worth owning. It's just that it doesn’t strive hard enough to truly usher in a new age of the genre.
  6. Eventually even the most diehard series zealots are going to begin to ask themselves why they are still in the same place playing the same game they were playing nearly a decade ago. While the genre has grown, the series that helped to spearhead games of this type into the public eye has stayed disturbingly static.
  7. The kind of design innovation that could make this game great, yet ends up demonstrating the game's schizophrenia. [Jan 2006, p.56]

See all 52 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 109
  2. Negative: 22 out of 109
  1. Yablo
    Jan 9, 2006
    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. Expand
  2. SouravM.
    Oct 26, 2005
    This is superb. Much better than previous AOE. Vast attractive and very nice gameplay.
  3. Mar 7, 2013
    The realistic graphics is the first thing a player notice in the game. But as the game goes on, you find yourself trapped in the huge number of different tasks your must complete in order to grow your village, collect as many resources as you can and build a considerable defense so you don't get caught off guard, and eventually attack. This is the definition of RTS and this game has the best of it. You don't get bored, because you don't stop commanding your citizens for a second, and you don't get tired of doing the same thing over and over. Different nations allow different tactics, units, buildings keeps you playing and the language npc's speak can be fun. Also the campaign is very interesting, although it's not the best I've seen. Expand
  4. Jun 30, 2014
    This is a really fun to play RTS, which was the most gorgeous at the time it came out and the water graphics today still surprise me for being made in 2005. The map design for random maps are decent, some are a little too low on food and sparse on trees so you feel like you are screwed if you spawn in certain locations. I'm reviewing basically the online portion, but I had played the campaign before and it was quite memorable with nice cutscenes as well. Other than French, all of the civilizations you get to choose from are quite even. I can play with Dutch, English or Russians and do just as good with different techniques. The unit design is good and the formations are quite easy to set up. I also like how you can toggle the amount of exp each player has online and if there are idle villagers. I wish that you had the ability to swap a medium/hard AI if someone dropped out of an online game because it happens a lot due to people with bad internet aswell.

    If you are looking for a really solid classic style RTS, that has updated the farms/mills and ability to not have your villagers run back to a storehouse or town center every time to drop stuff off, ala warcraft 3 and AOE 2, then you are in for a real treat. There are so many types of home city drop offs for each city, so you will be choosing new decks frequently for each map or type of opponent you are facing. The ability to change things in your home city is quite cool too. I'd give this game an 8.5/10 for graphics, gameplay and replayability but I can't so I'll give it an 8/10. Don't think it deserves a 9.
  5. Aug 20, 2014
    It's hard finding good strategy games. I started playing AoE in the first place (v1 back then), because Dungeon Keeper didn't continue after DKII. AoE3 doesn't really offer any strategy upgrade to AoE2 which I might well revert to. As I write multiplayer online for AoEIII has already been taken down. So as futile as it might be to talk about what I'd like to see in AoE4, here would be my fundamental wish for improvement: Quit the micromanagement - can you really imagine Napoleon personally checking the walls and actioning repairs?? Or directing a settler who became idle when exhausting a llama (note this correct spelling by the way lol we don't want to farm tibetan monks for food!) because they are too dumb to farm a sheep instead which is in front of their face. It needs delegation - I suggest new units like repair managers and farming managers be introduced to take care of such things. Or is it because Microsoft itself is actually run without an organisation structure? ;) Expand
  6. FredB.
    Jul 7, 2007
    This game does not live up to its predecessors. The gameplay is much too simple. While Age of Kings and Age of Mythology contained many unique units, AoE3 basically has only a few different kinds of units with some variation in fundamental stats and graphics. This is the game's main problem. The game makes up for this by focusing on special traits for each civilization, but this is not enough. The home city system is a good concept, but it also gives the player too much of an advantage over computer opponents, which do not appear to use them. Trade routes are a good feature of the game. They add strategy by setting fixed locations to try to control. Native Americans are another good feature, though the lack of unique units makes for squandered potential in this area. The campaign was also unsatisfactory. The scenarios were too short and most of them were just the same build-and-destroy scenario on a different map. It quickly becomes repetitive and boring. Finally, unless you have the best graphics card ever, don't play maps with a lot of water. The game tends to slow down severely whenever a ship or dock is taking damage. Expand
  7. DanB.
    Aug 26, 2007
    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

See all 109 User Reviews