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Age of Empires III Collector's Edition

by Microsoft
Teen
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Platform: PC
Edition: Collector's
Collector's
  • Start out playing as the British and begin with a solid economy, or lead the French into an easy alliance with Native Americans - 8 total civilizations to choose from
  • Work with Native Americans to your tactical advantage, for the first time ever
  • Develop your own Home City, and customize it make it wealthier and more powerful as you take over Europe
  • Explore the New World and create colonies while seeking out new resources and making allianes with the Native Americans
  • Recover buried treasure from the Caribbean, hunt bison on the Great Plains, compete for trade routes and fortify the coast of New England

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Product Details

Platform: PC | Edition: Collector's
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000AB6044
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Release Date: October 18, 2005
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,540 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Platform: PC | Edition: Collector's

From the Manufacturer

Age of Empires III Collector's Edition presents the game with a hardbound 210-page book titled The Art Of Empires, a making of DVD with behind-the-scenes video and commentary, an official AoE III soundtrack, full-sized poster, player's guide and special game manual.

It's the dawn of a new age in real-time strategy (RTS) games. A brave New World is rising--a hostile yet beautiful world, filled with innovative gameplay, new strategic scenarios, eye-searing graphics and much more. Welcome to a world called Age of Empires III.

Campaign
In this action adventure tale of historical fiction, players take on the role of Morgan Black and his family, struggling against the hostile wilderness and a mysterious cult that's crept in from Europe.

In a series of 24 scenarios divided into three acts, Morgan Black and his descendants help the Aztecs resist conquest by Spanish conquistadors, pit the French against the British in the French and Indian War and help Simon Bolivar lead revolutions in South America.

Multiplayer
Whether you're searching for a quick game or hoping to talk strategy with friends online, Age of Empires III's Multiplayer site is your community destination.

Here, you can play with persistent Home Cities that gain power and strategic options the more games you play, compete for a spot on dozens of ladders, help organize your clan or chat after a game -- all without leaving the multiplayer portal.

Fans of Age of Mythology's Quick Search can still look for games swiftly, while players looking for something specific can browse game lists to find the set of options that matches their tastes.

New Feature--Home Cities
?This revolutionary new feature to the RTS landscape is incorporated into all aspects of Age of Empires III -- from Campaign to Multiplayer -- and is unlike anything you've experienced before.

Much like the persistent character from a role-playing game that encourages you to keep playing, your Home City is an important support system to your efforts in the New World. During a game, your Home City can regularly send you supplies or military reinforcements.

You are the leader of your colony, but your success brings glory back to Mother Europe. The more games you play, and the better you do, the more powerful your Home City will become. Every few games, you gain the ability to both upgrade and customize your Home City:

  • Upgrade your city by unlocking new types of soldiers or buildings, or improving those you already have.
  • Broaden your tech tree in whatever direction most fits your play style--invest in warships, native alliances, cavalry, artillery or economy.
  • Customize your Home City by changing the appearance of buildings, the weather or even the types of people who walk, work and perform in its streets.
  • Throughout a game, as well as in between games, you can visit your Home City to watch its citizens go about their lives, get an opinion on how you're doing, plot your next move or just marvel at the beautiful sunset.

Full 3-D Graphics, Destructible Environments and More
?We first set out to reproduce the rich detail of Age of Empires II: Age of Kings. As we strove to make the fascinating Age of Empires III time period come alive, that goal quickly evolved: We at Ensemble Studios wanted to create the best-looking game ever. From the stunning water effects to the hundreds of units battling on-screen, you'll feel like you're a part of the action in the New World.

  • Tone mapping--This photo imaging technique balances the colors in a scene on the fly. The end result is a rich, warm game where bright colors are vibrantly rendered alongside darker counterparts, such as shadows.
  • Lighting and shadows--The sun is always shining in Age of Empires, so it's important that lighting and shadows be an awe-inspiring experience. Units and buildings cast shadows according to a real sun position, and even cast shadows on each other. High Dynamic Range rendering allows us to represent the shiny glints of sunlight that bounce off highly reflective surfaces.
  • Bump and specular mapping--Water glistens like water. Metal shines like metal. These advanced techniques serve to provide an extra level of rendering detail heretofore unseen in real-time strategy (RTS) gaming.
  • Water--We felt that portraying stunning, realistic water effects in the game was so important that we devoted a programmer to it full-time. You'll find the water rich with details like foam near the shore, accurately modeled water motion, flotsam in rivers and realistic water colors. Plus, reflections change with the viewing angle, the angle of sunlight and the motion of the water. The overall effect is breathtaking.
  • Cliffs and Riverbeds--Instead of just stretching terrain, we built a system to attach geometry to the terrain map to allow for realistic overhangs and steep cliffs, from areas like the American Southwest. This effect is supported on random maps too.

Civilizations

British
Quick access to Settlers gives the British one of the strongest economies in the game. The ability to upgrade two key units -- the Musketeer and Hussar -- make the British military formidable in the late game. The British Home City emphasizes improvements to technology and naval warfare.
Dutch
Although Dutch Settlers are limited and costly, their civilization makes up for this economic disadvantage by building Banks and generating coin automatically. The Dutch Home City emphasizes upgrades to defense and economy.
French
Although the French economy starts slowly, the Coureur unit, a Villager with strong fighting skills, makes the French difficult to attack early. The French also have the strongest cavalry unit in the game -- the Cuirassier. Plus, the French are experts at allying with the Native Americans.
German
The Germans have fewer Settlers and therefore a slower economy. Fortunately, both the Settler Wagon and Uhlan cavalry spawn for free from the German Town Center. Plus, the Germans start with the ability to send Mercenaries from their Home City (long before other civilizations can).
Native American
European civilizations can learn new technologies and gain troops by forging alliances with the Native Americans. A British player who allies with the Iroquois is essentially playing as two civilizations: the British and the Iroquois.
Ottoman
For the Ottomans, Settlers spawn automatically from the Town Center. Building a Mosque and conducting research help keep that Settler production steady. Befitting their position straddling Europe and Asia, the Ottomans have more unique units than any other civilization.
Portuguese
Starting the game with two Town Centers, the Portuguese can quickly produce Settlers, control territory or support their allies. The Spyglass ability allows the Portuguese to easily spy on the enemy. The Portuguese also have a strong navy, strong light infantry and the best Dragoons in the game.
Russian
Starting the game with extra resources but fewer Settlers gives the Russians the flexibility of focusing on economy or an early raid. Russian infantry, individually weak, are trained in blocks at a faster rate, providing the Russians with the opportunity to overwhelm their enemy with greater numbers.
Spanish
The Spanish have a strong military, with both hand infantry and cavalry. Flexibility in early shipments from the Home City give the Spanish the option to attack early or set up for a strong, late economy. Spanish Home City improvements benefit soldiers, buildings and naval units.
 

Combat
Age of Empires III gives players an amazing amount of control over their side of the battlefield. ?

  • More to command -- Not only are you in command of large and diverse armies of infantry, cavalry and artillery, but also Native American warriors, mercenaries and tall ships.
  • Multiple formations -- You can assign different formations to your army for different strengths and weaknesses, or have the game automatically choose the most appropriate formation. Examples include:
    • Volley -- ranged infantry, like musketeers, take turns firing at enemies ahead of them.
    • Charge -- your soldiers walk, then run into combat. Cavalry wield sabers, and musketeers fix bayonets. This formation does tremendous damage but makes your soldiers more prone to injury.
    • Bombard -- your soldiers protect the cannons, while the cannons shell enemy ranks. Available only when you have artillery in your army.
    • Battles are easier to follow -- You can still command individual units. But when the units fight in formation, you'll be able to tell exactly who is winning the fight.
  • Real-time physics -- Infantry struck by cannon fire will be thrown like rag dolls, perhaps even over a cliff and into the water. Cannonballs bounce and ricochet.
  • Detailed destructions -- Shingles, shutters and whole towers may fly off a building and interact with the terrain, such as crashing into nearby water. This next generation effect is done on the fly so that each building always has a unique destruction, no matter how many times you see it.
  • Unique animations -- With hundreds of unique combat animations, you'll never see the same battle twice.

Product Description

Age Of Empires 3 Collectors Edition is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed stretgy game. It introduces all-new gameplay elements, new civilizations to discover, random maps to conquer and a single-player campaign like any other. This special edition includes a hardbound 210-page book titled "The Art Of Empires", a "making of" DVD with behind-the-scenes video and commentary, an official AoE III soundtrack, full-sized poster, player's guide and special game manual. A.I. opponents are now well-developed characters with deep strategies, motivations, and personalities-and more than 4,000 audio taunts at their disposal New lighting and shadow effects, in a game world designed to have real physics and depth -- you'll almost feel like you're there The first 3D iteration of the series uses bump- and tone-mapping to render realistic water and shadows Havok engine's cause-and-effect physics bring battles to lurid life

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor to the Age of Empires franchise October 20, 2005
By Wes D
Platform for Display:PC|Edition:Collector's
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
Age of Empires 2 is my favorite PC game ever (see my review) but I've been anxiously awaiting the release of AOE3 since I read about it a couple months back.

Here's my first take of the game. I'll post an update in a month or two.

The Collectors edition is very nice; I personally think it's well worth the $20 extra if you're a AOE fan. A pocket strategy guide is included and provides pretty good information and is enough information for anyone who has played AOE2. (Saves $20 on the regular strategy guide). Read above for the other stuff included - but let me say that I think it's a heck of a deal.

My hardware - I play it on a P4 2.5 Ghz, 512 MB ram, ATI Radeon 9200 256MB. The game loads and plays fine. This game requires a massive video card to have smooth-scrolling during gameplay, and mine barely cuts it. If you can live with a little chop, it should play on almost any recent card. My laptop with Intel Integrated Graphics even plays it just the same without any problems (even though the card is not specifically supported by the game).

About the game - The neatest feature is called "home city". It gives each civ some certain advantages and creates a more challenging gameplay since not only do you have to collect resources for your colony, you also must send resources back home to mommy and daddy. Sending certain things gets you certain things in return; this is handled through the "cards". I'm not a big fan of the 'card' method because it reeks of Civ and other kiddie RTS games, yet the idea is good.

I've not yet tried any of the campaigns so I will not comment on them, but playing single player has been fun.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excelent choice October 30, 2005
Platform for Display:PC|Edition:Collector's
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
As a fan of this kind of games and an owner of previous titles and similar games like Command and Conquer and Empire Earth series, I can say this game is great, the visuals are amazing, and in some aspects this game is more realistic, for example:

An unit which uses a gun, in any preious game this unit will fire his gun even when the enemy is close in this one it will just take out a sword and use a diferent attack, also you can command your units not to use the gun and use its melee attack instead.

The visual are great, when a cannon ball hit a building or when you hit infantry and you see them flying around.

The game play is similar to this kind of games but you have to activate options to enable use of formations or diferent tactics.

I also the like the option where your home city sends you supplies, men, boat, artillery etc.

I have it running in my laptop and i have not have any single problem so far, and i am not using any patch i am using the game as it came from the box so i don't share this kind of comments where people say the game doesn't works, because it does :)

Get the game if you like this kind of games and if you have a computer which has the requeriments you won't be dissapointed
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining though it's a bit of a letdown December 5, 2005
Platform for Display:PC|Edition:Collector's
Fun: 3.0 out of 5 stars   
I've been a fan since AoEII and I must admit that I was fairly stoked when this game was first announced.

I went ahead and purchased the limited edition and was extremely impressed with the packaging. It's a nice box and the art book and soundtrack more than made it worth it.

Now onto the game. I'll be honest and say that I am not the biggest fan of 3D games as a whole as I feel that in the attempts to transition from 2D that most companies rush their products and the ends are just...not so good. AoEIII unfortunately feels that way. The graphics are beautiful without a doubt, but play mechanics could have been improved. Unit graphics and animation on the other hand is a bit weak and stilted. Also, given that this period of history (despite how important it is) is not so interesting in terms of military and historical points makes it less than interesting.

Certain aspects were also strange. I am of course referring to the trade posts that (as they get upgraded) can accomodate trains. However, the train just randomly appears then terminates from blank points which kind of reduces the realism. The fact that you can walk your army through a train passing through (which would otherwise scrap your army instantly in C&C: Generals) is kind of odd. The inclusion of the Ottoman is a nice touch, but their involvement in the storyline is...weird.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gamer's view March 27, 2006
Platform for Display:PC|Edition:Collector's
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
no offence meant, but most of the other people have no idea what hardware it takes to run any sort of newly released PC games. AOE3 actually runs quite well on moderate machines compared to other games like Battle for Middle Earth II or FEAR, u cant just expect to pop it into some dell computer and expect it to look as amazing as the screenshots. Im playing it on my 5 year old desktop with 1.7ghz pentium 4 (horrible processor), 383mb ram and gforce2 64mb card after hacking the game to run on windows 2000, and it still plays fine, just with very low settings. btw, the game itself is designed to be fun, not educational, but it still is more historically correct than most games out there. The game itself however, does not blast me away like its forerunners. (AOE1 was the only reason i stared playing computer games) the home city feature is basically a more in depth menu of special powers gained with exp while playing, and the RTS elements resembles Age of mythology quite a bit. nevertheless, it is still very entertaining game, and the mutiplayer just gets better and better. The collectors edition is one of the best game packageing i have ever seen, the DVD is informative and fun, the soundtrack is additive, and the artbook and player's guide are just great reads. highly recommend getting the collectors edition even if u are just into RTS games.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
i really liked AOE and AOE2 but this game is dumb.
Published 20 days ago by T.J.
5.0 out of 5 stars AGE3
I have been a fan of this series from the beginning and it has only gotten better with time and later versions. Read more
Published on December 15, 2011 by atledwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Empire-building RTS
I have played all the AOE games and love them. This one actually has a bit of a story to entertain you as you go from mission to mission in the campaign.
Published on November 24, 2007 by Raymond Merriam
5.0 out of 5 stars BEEF
This game is good exeept that if you dont have lots

of ram(memory thingy) on your computer than its SOOO

slow. Read more
Published on April 25, 2007
2.0 out of 5 stars Where RTS games were 5 years ago
If you are looking for a simplified game that won't require too much thought, here you go! After playing as many RTS games as I have, they really these days come down to the... Read more
Published on April 20, 2006 by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Age of Empires.
I spend hours playing this game. I like Age of Empires 1 a little better.
Published on March 22, 2006 by J. Ford
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not on the top
I have been a huge fan of aoe since it first came out. It was infact my first game.
First off I would like to say some of the other raters have no idea what there talking... Read more
Published on March 7, 2006 by Jacob
4.0 out of 5 stars Should buy AOE III or not?
I am a fan of age game. I've played aoe1, aoe2 conqueror, aoe2 age of king. I give high rating for aoe3 because I love age game too much ( aoe2 ). Read more
Published on February 9, 2006 by T. tran
1.0 out of 5 stars Mom's Perspective: Disappointed
I'm not a gamer, so this review is meant for parents or others who might be interested in actual content. Read more
Published on December 27, 2005 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great but not Excellent
PROS: Great graphics, that's to be expected from reviews.

CONS: Adaptability. I agree that it seems very much like previous installments. Read more
Published on December 10, 2005 by J. Shinn
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Platform: PC | Edition: Collector's
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