Since the other AoE post doesn't have a lot of information in the start post i decided to start another one. If this is not appreciated please remove this post.
In a short time from now on Age of Empires III is going to hit the stores. According to Bluesnews the Ensemble Studios developed, Microsoft published epic Age of Empires III has gone gold and will begin shipping to retail stores on October 18th. Finally one of the greatest RTS's of all time is being revamped into something even better.
Full size image (1600x1200) can be found here
More screenshots can be found here
There are 8 races in AOE3; Dutch, English, Russians, Ottomans, Spanish, Portugeuse, Germans, and of course the French.
The Spanish have a strong military, with both hand infantry and cavalry. Flexibility in early shipments from the Home City give the Spanish the option to attack early or set up for a strong, late economy. Spanish Home City improvements benefit soldiers, buildings and naval units.
Although the French economy starts slowly, the Coureur unit, a Villager with strong fighting skills, makes the French difficult to attack early. The French also have the strongest cavalry unit in the game – the Cuirassier. Plus, the French are experts at allying with the Native Americans.
Quick access to Settlers gives the British one of the strongest economies in the game. The ability to upgrade two key units – the Musketeer and Hussar – make the British military formidable in the late game. The British Home City emphasizes improvements to technology and naval warfare.
Starting the game with two Town Centers, the Portuguese can quickly produce Settlers, control territory or support their allies. The Spyglass ability allows the Portuguese to easily spy on the enemy. The Portuguese also have a strong navy, strong light infantry and the best Dragoons in the game.
Although Dutch Settlers are limited and costly, their civilization makes up for this economic disadvantage by building Banks and generating coin automatically. The Dutch Home City emphasizes upgrades to defense and economy.
The Germans have fewer Settlers and therefore a slower economy. Fortunately, both the Settler Wagon and Uhlan cavalry spawn for free from the German Town Center. Plus, the Germans start with the ability to send Mercenaries from their Home City (long before other civilizations can).
Starting the game with extra resources but fewer Settlers gives the Russians the flexibility of focusing on economy or an early raid. Russian infantry, individually weak, are trained in blocks at a faster rate, providing the Russians with the opportunity to overwhelm their enemy with greater numbers.
For the Ottomans, Settlers spawn automatically from the Town Center. Building a Mosque and conducting research help keep that Settler production steady. Befitting their position straddling Europe and Asia, the Ottomans have more unique units than any other civilization.
European civilizations can learn new technologies and gain troops by forging alliances with the Native Americans. A British player who allies with the Iroquois is essentially playing as two civilizations: the British and the Iroquois
These civilizations all have their very own 'Home Cities' (then again, which race doesn't have a main area of settlement? ) Before the game, you are asked to create a deck of 'cards' or upgrades your Home City ships to you when you reach a certain age. You are allowed 20 cards (upgrades) in your 'Deck'
You can create a maximum of 8-12 decks, choosing many different upgrades from a list. Choose wisely though, a single card can mean the difference between winning and losing. We are yet to see more of the feature but it seems to add more strategy to the game rather than amassing as many units as possible and attacking your opponent. Expect this feature to turn the tide of many battles.
I won't stop here, with the introduction to 'Decks'. More new features in the game:
-Changing wind patterns.
This is mostly noticeable when using ships. When sailing against the wind, expect to see slower ship speeds.
-Units with ragdolls.
A great improvement over animated deaths. Age 3 uses the Half Life 2 'Havok' engine to simulate...well..deaths...and stuff like that.
Well, everyone knows about this one. But who's seen graphics like this for an RTS game?!!?!
New improved system to play online will certainly enhance play with new features such as Quick Play, and Clan Tag system.
The game will ship in two versions, the Standard edition and Collector's edition. The game uses a fully 3-D engine to render the action, which is a first in the series. New features such as the persistent Home City, 24 different scenerios divided into three seperate acts and of course the lush new graphics make Age of Empires III a great addition to the franchise. The previous two Age of Empire games have sold more than 16 million copies worldwide.
You can also download the recently released demo for Age of Empires III to get a taste of the game.
The minimum system requirements for the game are:
1.4 Ghz processor
2 GB of hard drive space
256 mb of RAM
At least a 64 mb video card that supports hardware transform and lighting
At least a 56K modem for online play
More game information: