Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Age of Empires III
|Age of Empires III|
|Release date:||2005 (expected)|
|Game modes:||Single player, MP over IPX, TCP/IP, Modem or Ensemble Studios Online 2 (ESO2).|
Age of Empires III is the sequel to Age of Empires II, a history-based real-time strategy computer game. The game will be developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft, and is slated for release in fall 2005. The game is set between 1500 and 1850 CE, and will be set entirely in the New World, covering the European colonization of the Americas. The game will allow the user to play one of 8 historical cultures. The Spanish, the British, the French, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the Germans are the 6 cultures that have been revealed so far, leaving two which have yet to be revealed. Some ten different tribes of Native Americans are in the game as well, not as playable factions, but rather as allies. Players can trade with and obtain unique units from them.
Age of Empires III is anticipated to build upon and introduce new features to the Age of Mythology engine. One of those new features is expected to be the inclusion of the Havok physics simulation middleware engine, the physics package included in other recent popular games, including Half-Life 2 and Halo 2. In game terms, this will mean that building destruction, tree falling and other things will not be pre-created animations, but rather will be calculated according to the physics engine.
AoE III is the first Age of Empires game to introduce gunpowder weapons on a large scale (there were gunpowder weapons in AoE2, but late in the game and not widely used). Also, later in a game of AoE III, railroads appear. However, technological dominance is not enough to ensure a victory in AoE III, as, for example, cavalry with melee weapons can still be quite effective against gunpowder units. It is expected that the gameplay of AoE III will be more strategic than in previous Age of Empires games, and that attack formations will play a significant role. Battles can be won by a numerically smaller force if the planning is superior. One of the new features in AoE III will be the home city system, which gives players a persistent character. Home cities provide both military and economic support to colonies, though they are separate from combat, and can be improved by earning experience points (XP). Players can spend XP on researching technologies for their nation, and customizing the appearance of the home city. AoE III will also feauture a single-player campaign, as all previous Age of Empires games did. The campaign in AoE III focuses on American history right up to the beginning of the US Civil War. The campaign will be divided into 3 'acts' and is expected to provide about 16 hours of gameplay in 24 scenarios (these numbers are still subject to change, however). The campaign will feature a fictional family with a fictional story, but the events played out will be real world history events. Unlike previous games in the series, AoE III will only have three types of resources for players to gather - food, wood and coin. Also, drop-off points have been removed, so villagers will no longer need to carry the resources they gather to a building.
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