Microsoft Studios brings you three epic Age of Empires III games in one monumental collection for the first time.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (6,617 reviews) - 90% of the 6,617 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 15, 2009

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Buy Age of Empires III: Complete Collection

Packages that include this game

Buy Age of Empires Legacy Bundle

Includes 4 items: Age of Empires II HD, Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms, Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, Age of Empires® III: Complete Collection

Buy Microsoft RTS Collection: Age of Empires/Age of Mythology/Rise of Nations

Includes 7 items: Age of Empires II HD, Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms, Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, Age of Empires® III: Complete Collection, Age of Mythology EX: Tale of the Dragon, Age of Mythology: Extended Edition, Rise of Nations: Extended Edition

 

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February 23

Age III Server Maintenance: 23 Feb 2016

UPDATE: The maintenance will last for about one more hour, until approximately 5:00 PM PST. Thanks for your patience!

Hey everyone!

As part of our journey toward our new servers, we need to perform maintenance on our current ones!

The servers will be down for maintenance today between approximately 2:00 and 5:00 PM PST.

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About This Game

Immerse yourself in the award-winning strategy experience. Microsoft Studios brings you three epic Age of Empires III games in one monumental collection for the first time. Command mighty European powers looking to explore new lands in the New World; or jump eastward to Asia and determine the outcome of its struggles for power.

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.0 GHz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:64 MB NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or ATI Radeon X1300
    • DirectX®:dx90c
    • Hard Drive:12 GB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
419 of 456 people (92%) found this review helpful
112 people found this review funny
745.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2015
with 745.9 hours of gameplay i can safely say this game is worth every penny
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365 of 402 people (91%) found this review helpful
457 people found this review funny
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
-Play as Chinese.
-Shaolin Master has a unique ability to convert enemy units defeated by him into disciples.
-Hunt some treasures.
-Treasure is guraded by an alligator.
-Shaolin Master defeats the alligator with his bare fists.
-Alligator instantly turns into a Disciple Monk.

10/10 Would convert alligators into disciples.
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233 of 249 people (94%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
477.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2015
Age of Empires III. How can one possibly begin to review a game of such magnitude and prevalence that this game holds on the gaming world? A game that, even though it has been out for over 10 years, has a large active online community? It isn’t possible, but I shall nevertheless try.

This game has a rich story, which is full of interesting historical points. Even though it is fictional, it pleasantly covers the conquests of the new world. In the vanilla version and “The War Chiefs” expansion, the player can endeavour to fight against various European civilisations in order to achieve glory and fame throughout the Americas. In “The Asian Dynasties” expansion, it spans centuries of Asian colonialization by the British as well as the Japanese and the Chinese Dynasties.

The gameplay is a perfect reflection of the RTS genre. You slowly build your settlement to include markets, barracks and a host of other buildings, increasing your population and army before getting ready to attack your enemy or defend your settlement. Getting the fine balance between your food, wood and coin collection can be challenging but rewarding when you get it right. Will you build a good army to begin with, or a good economy, praying that your enemy won’t attack before you’ve had chance to convert your good economy into a powerful army? Each of the units has a strength and a weakness. For example, skirmishers counter musketeers, cavalry counters skirmishers, and musketeers counter cavalry. So it’s important to get the balance right when creating your army. The new eso-community patch has nicely levelled out the civilisations, making the OP civilisations slightly less powerful and the UP civilisations slightly more powerful.

Graphically, the game is simply gorgeous. Even though it’s definitely not a new game, it doesn’t feel outdated in this respect and looks magnificent from a distance (you’ll want to play fully zoomed out to maximise what you can see on the screen at all times). From buildings setting on fire and slowly crumbling as they take damage, to the glorious water reflections, to the breathtaking bloom effects, you’ll be wondering whether it was actually made in 2005, or 2015.

The music is purely divine. I’m listening to it as I type this as it’s one of my favourite game original soundtracks of all time. As your colony grows into a mighty empire the soundtrack seamlessly transitions from slow, peaceful renaissance/discovery era, to the powerful and more rhythmic late game, mimicking the chugging of steam engines and factories as you journey into the industrial age.

Overall, a stunning game. If you haven’t ever played it, buy it and experience it for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
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99 of 117 people (85%) found this review helpful
44 people found this review funny
63.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2015
Age of Empires 3

Genre: Strategy - Real Time Strategy
Rating: 10/10
Personal playing period: 5+ years
Is it worth a buy: Yes. Even at full price. This is a necessity for any strategy players collection.
Girl vs Game: Unless it's some super model I'd definately rather play the Game.

Personal Comment:
This is an amazing game with endless amounts of game time. The hours on here isnt a fraction of my actual game time online and offline. Been playing this game since the day it was released and still play it and love it today. I even missed a couple of meals as well as toilet breaks playing this believe it or not. I have bladder and bowel control of a ninja thanks to AOE.

Online gaming:
The online gaming community is still very active and people of all skill levels are on it. You will find anywhere between 500 to 2000 people online at any given time. Beware though that even though AOE is helpful and awesome the online community are sometimes a bunch of cocktonsil nimrod supremists who think they're amazing whilst never having seen or felt a girl up close unless in a magazine. But if your skin is thick and you dont give a flying **** about other people you'll be fine.

Short Summary:
This is a real time strategy game that plays off in the medieval times. There are 8 standard civilizations, 3 native indian civilizations and 3 Asian civilizations. Each civ provides a different set of advantages and it takes time to learn how to utilise the various civs to their full capability. Learning each civilisation takes time and it is great fun doing that. There are countless amounts of maps that allow for the use of different strategies. The game also has a story rich single player campaign. I have not played the campaign yet but never felt the need to as the standard game modes offer more than enough fun and game time.
The game also has progressive improvement meaning the more you play the more items get unlocked and the stronger your civilisation becomes. This ensures that you want to play more and more in order to improve the strength of your favourite civilisation.

Learning Curve and Gameplay:
Easy to start but tough to master. The learning curve to start playing and learning the basics is very easy. Learning the various civilisations and their strengths is more challenging and may take a lot of practice and time. The gameplay is very simplistic in it being a basic RTS with click and place. Gathering of basic resources and using those resources are easy and self explanotary. A tutorial can be played to understand the basics but this game is very playable and a new player will get it after playing only for a few hours.
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48 of 50 people (96%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
150.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 11
The original Age of Empires packed a stunning visual punch and backed it up with solid gameplay. Back at a time where most strategy games were chunky and 2D, the first Age game pulled aside the curtain to reveal a world that was sunny, animated, colorful and lifelike. Strategy games were never the same. Age of Empires III presents a similar leap forward for real-time strategy fans. As Half-Life 2 did for first-person shooters, AoE III shows just how inspiring these games can be when lovingly crafted with outstanding artistry and solid gameplay fundamentals.

Age of Empires III doesn't redefine real-time strategy gameplay. You're still scurrying to collect more resources than your opponents and rushing to field a giant army, and the game still rewards frantic clicking and unit management. But the presentation is unmatched, and even though the game is rooted in RTS conventions, there are enough new elements and strategic variations here to addict even grizzled veterans. If you're a fan of the genre, you owe it to yourself to check this game out. And if you've never played a real-time game before, this is the place to start.

Graphically, the engine that powers Age of Empires III has a laundry list of the latest graphics technology: real-time shadows, high dynamic range lighting, you name it. There's even bump-mapping on the barrels of the cannons. But the real impressive thing about the technology isn't that it's there, it's that you don't notice it. From the moment your Home City first appears on the menu screen, or a new map loads up to reveal pale grey waters lapping quietly against rocky New England shores, you become lost in the game world. The latest in technology is coupled with truly beautiful art.

Age III pulls out all the stops to depict the sweeping majesty of the old west or the unspoiled beauty of the colonial-era Americas. One of the single-player campaign cutscenes, done in the game engine, pans across rolling hills of golden grass while huge herds of buffalo amble along like waves of water. Another level depicts a small Caribbean port picking up the pieces after a devastating hurricane, with citizens milling about amidst wrecked ships and broken docks. Yet another level has you picking your way through a dense swamp looking for the ruins of Spanish treasure ships half-buried in the mud and dripping with gold doubloons. You're never lacking for eye candy.

The music is equally impressive. Done in full orchestra, it moves effortlessly from majestic scores highlighting the beauty of the landscape to pounding battle drums accenting the fury of battle.

Of course, the combat is equally spectacular. The goal of the game is to devastate your opponents, and said devastation is accompanied by deeply satisfying images of destruction. A large part of this has to do with the real physics incorporated onto the game engine. You can feel the impact when a cannonball shatters into a wooden frontier building, breaking it into pieces that fly off in macabre arcs. Smoke billows from muskets, cannons leap back as they expel their fury, building spires burst into flame and collapse into themselves, and the masts of ships crash to the deck as the vessel shudders with the impact of enemy fire. Every game of Age of Empires III drips with spectacle.

Age III simulates colonization, meaning that the town you build in the game can request "shipments" from your Home City. You gain new shipments by earning experience, and you have a set list of things that you can send over. This has a profound impact on your strategy. Do you send over economic resources early, to give your town a leg up on the competition? Or do you send over tons of military units, so that you can field an advanced army while your neighbors are still building up? Shipments add a lot to the game by giving you more strategic possibilities, and by giving you incentive to rapidly earn experience. They really reward players for going out and making things happen around the map.

Every map is also dotted with Native American villages or trade routes that can be built up by your colony. Controlling a trading post gives you free experience or resources whenever a trade cart comes by, whereas Native American villages can provide you with inexpensive military units or technology upgrades. Controlling these points on the map gives you a major edge over the long term. As a result, it's a rush to be the first to locate these points, and they are always hotly contested. Battles usually play out as a series of skirmishes across the map before big conflicts rage at the town centers.

Finally, Age of Empires III adds the "Home City" concept. Outside of the real-time portion of the game, you can create a Home City representing the world power that's supplying your colonies. Your Home City has a level - like an RPG character - representing how experienced it is. As you earn experience playing the game your city will "Level up" and you can choose new abilities for it, in effect deciding what kinds of shipments you'd like to send to your colonies. The decision about what kinds of upgrades to make to your city is agonizing and has a tangible impact on the main game. It's also fun just to level up, develop, and customize your own personal city. One nice side effect here is that, even if you get totally ♥♥♥-whupped in a multiplayer game, you probably still earned a lot of experience to use to develop your city. This concept works great all around and really contributes to the game.

The single-player campaign is divided into three acts representing three generations of the same family. Picking up where Age of Kings left off, the lead character in the first campaign is a Knight adventuring in the New World in search of a lost treasure. Said treasure impacts his whole family line, as depicted in Act II, a rip-roaring Davy-Crockett style adventure starring his Grandson. Act III picks up two generations later, featuring a wild west romp involving railroads, the Mexican war, and a quest into the Amazon jungles before the family finally finds closure. As with the other production values of the game, the writing is solid and the voice acting is great.

There's a good variety of missions in the single-player campaign, from protecting a stronghold until help arrives to building a railroad line to battling pirates along a series of islands. None of the individual scenarios have you doing things that hadn't been done in other RTS games, but the real magic is in the gameplay, which allows you to develop a different Home City for each act and tackle each scenario differently.

Truly hardcore strategy gamers might find lots of nitpicks in Age of Empires III. It's difficult to unload transport ships, healers have to be micro-managed or they'll charge into combat, and there aren't a lot of options for customizing your hotkeys. Artillery units on occasion can't decide to fire or pack up to move. But the important thing is that none of these little problems really impacts the core game.

Age of Empires III is 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. Age of Empires III may not redefine real-time strategy gaming, but it sets the bar so high that we'll be comparing games to this for years. Shoulder your musket and pony up: this one's a real trip.
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