Age of Empires III Definitive Edition Review A Return To Glory

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition Review – A Return To Glory

Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition updates visuals, adds new civs, maps, and modes, and readdresses its handling of Natives for a winning remake.

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Age of Empires III Definitive Edition Review A Return To Glory

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition completes the classic real-time strategy franchise’s set of classy remasters and does just enough to modernize gameplay as well as visuals, creating an enriching experience that appeals to returning fans or first-timers. Age of Empires III was a 2005 historical RTS back when the genre reigned supreme with titles like Warcraft III and Company of Heroes, bringing an exciting mix of action and strategy, endlessly replayable in skirmishes against the AI, LAN parties, or fiercely competitive online. While Warcraft III’s recent remaster was a near-complete disaster, Tantalus Media has created a new version of a classic that will entice veterans and newcomers alike.

Visually, Age of Empires III has aged the best out of the trilogy and its highly acclaimed fantasy spin-off, Age of Mythology. Still, the remake adds a new 4K shine to the iconic strategy title, along with new particle effects. Sound and music have also been redone and remastered to give the whole game a subtle but appreciated makeover. There are also new UI options to choose from which greatly increases the quality of life. Visual and sonic updates were to be expected in a remake, however. The real charm of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition comes from the changes in content and gameplay.

From the first launch screen, players will get a taste of the more meaningful changes to the RTS icon. A text box describes the reasons for changing the representation of Native American cultures, which was insensitive and inaccurate in a game which presents itself as rooted in history. All units will speak in their native language, and parts of the campaign concerning the Sioux and Iroquois – now referred to by their preferred name, Haudenosaunee – have been reworked to be more respectful and give them more agency and unique features. Two new civilizations have been added, the Incas and Sweden, which bring the total number of playable factions to sixteen.

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New game modes and maps have also been added. “The Art of War” focuses on different strategies that can be carried over into competitive online play. New Historical Battles allow players to fight through recreations of real-life conflicts. An “Extreme” AI difficulty has been added, and the AI generally improved. However, there are still some frustrations with armies and units not engaging nearby enemies or attacking the wrong building, which can be difficult to manage in the late game when several skirmishes can occur across the map at once.

RTS games struggled greatly in the between the original Age of Empires III and its Definitive Edition, largely overtaken by MOBAs and character-based shooters on the top of the competitive multiplayer charts, but there has been something of a renaissance in recent years. The awesome dieselpunk action of Iron Harvest helps scratch anyone with a Company of Heroes itch, and now all of the Age of Empires games have been revamped for a modern audience. It’s not a complete overhaul like other recent remakes, but with a new Age of Empires game to release in the future, it’s more than enough to get players old and new on board with Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition.

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