Age of Empires III came out a few days ago. I picked mine up today. I splurged, bought the Collector’s Edition which comes in a really heavy box with all the bells and whistles–a lovely art book, special cases for the games, special artwork, an extra player’s guide, the game soundtrack, and did I mention the lovely art book?
Oh! Nerd Heaven!
The installation took a while–three discs, how could it not?–and the game runs like a dream. I’ve played only one skirmish game thus far, so my impressions are unfully formed. The map, at least the one I used, seemed too small. Getting the hang of gathering resources when I’m used to Age of Kings took a little longer than I’d have liked. I like that I can zoom in, but I’d like to zoom further out than the camera will allow me. Not critical issues by any means. The game plays very well, as you’d expect from an Ensemble Studios product. Scrolling across the map is very smooth, the units are very well animated, and the world looks downright beautiful. This isn’t a game, this is living artwork.
Free time, meet Age of Empires III. 😉