Age of Empires III

an impressive and supremely balanced role-playing simulation game, with enough historical flavor
Juan Balcazar - Guest Reviewer
Content at a glance:

Mild Violence: Violent game play, realistic battles,and incredibly realistic war effects. When characters die they leave a blood splotch on the map.

Suggestive Content: One character wears a revealing outfit and makes suggestive comments.

Plot In the third installment of the highly acclaimed saga, Age of Empires III takes gamers deep into the Age of Exploration and the Industrial Age. While recounting many historical adventures and episodes, the game brings much creativity and variety to history, making each match a joy to play. The plot for the main Single-Player Campaign revolves around Morgan Black, a courageous Scotsman who since his childhood joined the Knights of St.John. His crew and him are determined to hunt down Sahin and his connections to a mysterious, murderous clan called The Circle. In Morgan’s quest to find Sahin, he ends up in the New World and its many dangers and adventures. Players follow Morgan and his descendants, as they embark on a hunt throughout the New World to destroy the Circle and avenge the Knighthood.

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In general, the story for the single-player campaign is the best experience the game has to offer. The visuals seen in the campaign are specifically chosen to showcase what the game has to offer. From huge cannons specifically designed for the campaign to intense gameplay, and a shower of awe-stricken effects, the campaign of Age of Empires III truly highlights the unbelievable.

Gameplay The gameplay in Age of Empires III is divided into two very feature-packed modes: Single-Player and Multiplayer. The Single-Player mode includes the Campaign and Skirmish mode. Single-player campaign generates most of the game’s plot and story-line. Single-Player Skirmish This gameplay mode allows gamers to fight against several computer personalities. Skirmishes can be completely adjusted and tuned or they can be completely random.In single-player skirmishes, gamers can play up to 8 computer personalities, select which personalities are in which teams, select Maps, Difficulty,special rules, and even handicaps.

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Age of Empires III also allows gamers to choose the civilization they want to fight with, and the type of civilization Home City. Home Cities are virtual cities of the civilization chosen. They are completely customizable; however Home Cities only serve gameplay in that they provide more options for Cards, shipments a player can send via their Home City to their New World settlement. Cards can be weapon shipments( cannons), unit shipments ( pikemen), food/coin/wood shipments, and economic or military upgrades. By choosing a set of Cards ( known as Decks) from your Home City, a player can select a military route, a strong economic approach, or a quick rush tactic; thus, Home Cities provide a huge gameplay value to Single-Player Skirmish and serve a lesser role in Single Player Campaign as well.

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Single-Player Campaign The Single-Player Campaign as explained in the Plot, is a rather immersive historical game experience that spreads throughout the New World. As gamers continue to follow Morgan and his descendants through a timeline of history, they relive the Gold Rush, the Industrial Revolution, and many other moments in history. The Campaign doesn’t disappoint, as it keeps the same gripping gameplay and arguably better graphic designing as the Skirmish mode.

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Content and Issues Violence As with any game that attempts to display history accurately, Age of Empires III features violent gameplay, realistic battles,and incredibly realistic war effects. For instance, the game accurately portrays a cannon ball ricocheting from the ground and bouncing upon a musketeer’s death. Blood is portrayed in a rather minimal form, as spatters of red fluid that disappear over a few seconds. Military units all cry in despair as they fall and die, but once again it’s done in a very subdued and realistic manner. Nothing is exaggerated beyond the acceptable historical background. Perhaps the cleanest historical game in existence. Language Language is not an issue here, which is rather surprising for a historically flavored game. Historical personalities sometimes do engage in sarcastic and humiliating phrases and remarks; no cursing is ever uttered.AoE3LizzieIcon The sarcastic and sometimes rude comments from the computer personalities is said in a historical context: Napoleon-“This victory is as great as Austerlitz” Suggestive Content There are slight suggestive items in the game that certainly don’t merit much but a mention or two. These being the revealing outfits that Campaign Hero Elizabeth Ramsey wears. This item is inexcusable as it compromises the otherwise game’s wholesome content. In addition sometimes it appears that Queen Isabella of Spain is a bit too friendly – gamers may get the impression that she uses her charm to defeat her enemies.

 

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Overall

Age of Empires III is a solid game with tons of retail value, unbelievable graphics, solid and entertaining gameplay, great sound and ambiance effects, and a wonderful assortment of historical flavoring. The game also packs a History reading pane for all units within the game, a dedicated History Pane, a Scenario Editor, great Multi-Player experience, and UI, Game, and Graphics Options to tweak and adjust. Overall, this is simply the best game in its category; critics give Age of Empires III an average 8/10.

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It is truly a remarkable feat. Installation issues are minimum, as it supports from to Windows XP to Mac (dedicated version) to Windows 7. Tons of retail and gameplay value, unbelievable graphics minus the minor suggestive items and the violence expected for this type of game, Age of Empires III definitely qualifies as a Squeaky-Clean game for Christians and non-Christians alike.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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