Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties Review
Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Big Huge Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Microsoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 23, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-8 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

When playing as the Chinese, you'll see another interesting twist. The majority of Combat units are trained at a single structure: the War Academy. Rather than training individuals units, players can only train groups of units at a time. These small banner armies usually consist of a few melee units in the front with ranged units in the back arranged in different combinations. Individual units from a group can be selected manually and grouped differently if you choose. The Chinese also have the highest population cap of the three new civilizations, allowing for massive numbers. Their monks have totally sweet kung-fu abilities as well.

Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties screenshot

Like China, the Indians can also quickly amass large armies. Their villagers cost wood instead of food and they receive a free villager with every home city shipment. The military might of India mainly lies in its use of a variety of camels and enormous elephant-based units to crush buildings, maim infantry, and menacingly thunder across the battlefield. It's awesome seeing them charge into an oncoming melee cluster of enemy units.

Wonders played a significant role in the first two Age of Empires games, but they were surprisingly absent in the third game. Fortunately, Big Huge Games brought them back by making them a requirement to advance your civilization to the different ages. Every civilization has a selection of its own wonders to choose from to provide advantages in economics or on the battlefield. The selection of which wonders to build plays a big part in Asian Dynasties, and in many cases it will determine which strategy you'll have to follow. Some Wonders allows temporary cease-fires, provide combat bonus, and spawn units, while others give economic advantages or allow for unit healing. Another excellent addition in this expansion is the consulate, which gives Asian civilizations the ability to form allegiances with European civilizations for numerous advantages. In exchange for export resources, players can recruit power mercenary units or obtain foreign technologies to tip the tide of the war.

Advertisement

Aside from three new campaigns consisting of 15 scenarios in total, Asian Dynasties incorporates a ton of new content in the form of civ-specific units and abilities, additional maps, new cards, multi-player gameplay modes, and the wonderful return of Wonders, among other perks. It still looks about the same, it plays roughly the same, and ultimately it's just more of the same quality Age of Empires gaming fans have come to enjoy, only with three expansive new Asian civilizations to explore.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Command one of three fierce Asian civilizations: the Indians, the Chinese or the Japanese, each with its own unique armies led by powerful warrior Monks, Daimyo, Mansabdars, and other special units.
  • Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties introduces thrilling new stories into the popular Age of Empires III mythology. Play through three new mini campaigns with new heroes and villains who find themselves in the midst of some of Asia's most pivotal historical events, both factual...and fictional.
  • With the addition of Wonders of the world and the new Export resource, Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties injects an intriguing level of depth to existing Age of Empires III strategy. If used wisely, these new features can mean the difference between rousing a victory or a humiliating defeat.
  • Players will explore an exotic Asian setting over 11 new Random Maps, three new Home Cities, and interactions with new native civilizations, all while battling opponents in new game modes, including King of the Hill, Regicide, and Treaty No-Blockade.


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    3.8
    Graphics
    A bit antiquated on the whole, but solid. The updated Asian-themed visual styles are a nice touch.
    3.0
    Control
    Not a lot of improvement in terms of A.I. or other control issues from AoE III.
    3.5
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Fun civ-unique battlefield speech with decent voice acting.
    4.5
    Play Value
    There's a lot of new stuff in this package which makes it an engrossing addition to the core game. Great for new players and AoE III veterans alike.
    4.0
    Overall Rating - Great
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
    Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties screenshot - click to enlarge Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties screenshot - click to enlarge Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties screenshot - click to enlarge Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties screenshot - click to enlarge Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties screenshot - click to enlarge Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties screenshot - click to enlarge Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties screenshot - click to enlarge Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook