The game that reassigned the life goals of thousands of angry real-time strategy nerds who relentlessly blasted death metal out of their sterephones while molesting the taunt buttons when it first came back - is still alive and well. That is, perhaps not so much as when it first premiered, but AoE 3 still attracts a considerable amount of gamers which is impressive given how the strategy gaming industry was completely dwarfed with upsurge of other games is latter years.
There's not much of a gripe you can hold against this now-classic: the texture and gameplay is focused and realistic, in startling contrast to the puerile graphics of the prequel (although I won't hold back that Age 2 also rocked) as well as the addition of the home city, which granted a completely new dynamic to the game. As is the problem with most strategy games, the inherently incoherent AI (some kind of stratagem devised by evil game planners to render games inconsistent and all puddy) is a bit problematic, but it's still something that can be coped with. The Online could definitely use some revitalizations, though. Yeah, everyone knows Ensemble Studios called it quits years ago, but still... can't someone do something to add some color to the online community and gameplay? The lack of updates is unnerving.
However, AoE retains its place as one of the best RTS games, ever. Even the two expansion packs kicked ♥♥♥. Asian Dynasties in particular added an exotic and 'colonial' palette to the game that made it even more memorable for me. The addition of three new factions (China, India, Japan) certainly made the game the well-nigh perfect, multinational, multi-tactical strategy delight.
So without further ado, here's what you would expect from AoE 3:
2)Fast-as-♥♥♥♥ cavalry running down your hapless peasants.
3)Slow-as-dirt peasants 'collecting' resources.
5)Finding a mother♥♥♥♥ing enemy base near your town center just because you didn't have a proper sight.
7)Learning the basic words for most languages.
8)General ♥♥♥♥ed-upedness on the battlefield when your batallion of musketeers get creamed by a few cannons.
9)Magical unicorn-horses attached to artillery that appear whenever the artillery piece has to be carried and disappear when you start shootin'.
10)Free geography, history and zoology lessons.
11)Free philosophy lessons from Monks or other atavistic religious dudes whom you'll name after your ex-girlfriend's pet iguana - who can literally outwit their opponents by a having a thick-as-♥♥♥♥ smoke (did they even have that stuff in China back then?) .
13)Paying attention to the meticulous numerical details of every unit until you realize that your horde of 100 pikemen can be ♥♥♥♥ed by a pack of rockets.
14)Epic flanking action.
15)Facing stubborn ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s who wouldn't give in even after you've destroyed their town centers.
16)Taunts! (number 15 in particular)
17)Witnessing the beauty of a New England forest until ramming it down with a barrage of mortars.
19)Where every Wall Street magnate begins: the 100 wood market.
20)Stupid ♥♥♥♥ing peasants getting stuck in between the buildings that they built.
21)Tresures guarded by wolves, dogs, jaguars and other animals who pack a serious punch.
22) Treasures that can be literally collected by empty ships (because ♥♥♥♥ you that's why) .
23)Literally immortal colony explorers who yell like 9-year-old ♥♥♥♥♥es when they 'die' and start clutching their stomachs in agony as if they're on their period.
24)Stupid ♥♥♥♥ing population limits.
25)Villagers that sigh for unexplained reasons whenever they spawn.
26)Realizing that the narrator from the tutorial is the same guy as Arkantos fron Age of Mythology!
And so forth. It's a fun ride. You'll learn along the way.
So yeah, go buy the game. It's not like you've anything better to do.