The second expansion pack for Age of Empires III adds three new civilizations and new layers of decision making.
In Age of Empires III, as well as its first expansion, The WarChiefs, you could control European and Native American civilizations in a battle for supremacy in the New World. With The Asian Dynasties, the second expansion, the focus will change to the other side of the world. However, this new expansion won't just offer up a new setting. The Asian Dynasties is being developed by Big Huge Games, the acclaimed creator of Rise of Nations, in cooperation with Ensemble Studios; thus, The Asian Dynasties is a merging of two strategy powerhouses, with Big Huge Games putting its own unique take on the series.
The Asian Dynasties introduces three new civilizations: China, Japan, and India. Each will have its own campaign of five missions each, covering different periods in history. There are a slew of new maps, covering the Silk Road, Borneo, Siberia, and more. You can, of course, take any of these Asian civilizations and play them in skirmish against other Age of Empires III civilization on any map. If you have the WarChiefs expansion, you can play against those civilizations as well.
Being an outsider to the series has allowed Big Huge Games to rethink a lot of the gameplay, with the result of injecting a lot more decision making into many levels of the game. For instance, many Age of Empires III players have already figured out what cards, or special shipments from their prospective civilization's home city, to play and in what order. The first card that most players played was the one that requests two or three more settlers because settlers are the backbone of any economy. When you're in a race to gather resources and construct buildings, the more settlers you have the better. However, the Chinese civilization will make you think twice about playing such a card early on because the Chinese card ties the number of settlers that you get with the number of villages and town centers you have. Villages are the Chinese version of houses, but they support much larger populations (20) and have other benefits, such as the ability to pen livestock. So if you're playing as the Chinese, you'll want to build as many villages as possible before playing that card to maximize the benefit. Because you can play most Asian home city cards twice, you can rapidly build up your population in little time.
Big Huge Games has also found a way to weave wonders back into the gameplay. In Age of Empires and Age of Empires II, you could build wonders of the world, which were huge structures that would impart some special benefit. Those wonders disappeared in Age of Empires III, but they're back in The Asian Dynasties. To advance an Asian civilization to the next age, you have to build a wonder that not only grants new units but can also provide special bonuses. For instance, the Great Buddha wonder has informer powers, which lets you temporarily see the location of enemy units and structures on the map. The thing is, each Asian civilization has five different wonders, but in a full game, you can only level up four times, which means you have to select which wonder gets left out. It can be a difficult decision because each wonder offers up a particularly useful ability.
Export is another neat new idea in the expansion. Basically, export is a third resource that's generated automatically by your workers because a small percentage of what they gather is directed toward export. You can raise your export rate to 5 and 10 percent, which increases the accumulation of export but slightly hampers your economy. However, you can then use export in conjunction with the consulate building to purchase weapons and even armies from whichever European power is your ally. We used export to purchase a small Dutch army, complete with cannons, to augment our Japanese army. Even better, this Dutch army arrived even though we had almost maxed our population capacity. So if you have a population of 139 out of a 140-population capacity, these export armies can still show up, and if done right, you can overwhelm your opponent with units.
Each of the civilizations plays quite differently from one another, as well as any previous Age of Empires III game. For instance, the Japanese build shrines rather than houses, which can generate food by attracting native wildlife. Because of that fact, you want to spread your shrines around the map, rather than cluster them together for protection. The Indians have a wood-based economy, so wood--not food--is more important. Also, the Indians can boost their civilization rapidly, thanks to the fact that each of their home city shipments comes with a free villager. We already mentioned the Chinese and their ability to rapidly boost their population. There's much more differentiation, but the key was that each civilization does bring a fresh approach to the game. Not surprisingly, The Asian Dynasties feels like Age of Empires III blended with a small amount of Rise of Nations. The expansion is almost done and will ship later this year.
i was a big fan of AOE2, and i was really excited when AOE3 came out...but they lost me somewhere. i think it was the switch to guns, which comes inevitably as they move through timelines. something about two masses of troops just standing there shooting didn't appeal to me as much.
AOE kinda lost me a looooooong time a go so they are going to do some really good magick to being me back, and so far im not impressed at all
I expect no more than 7.0 from gamespot to this add-on. I don't think this will be a major success because the gameplay focuses at the third series of the game on how the buildings look, not on how a player can fight and win a war. So what if they put another nation, the gameplay is lame anyway.... the gameplay does not need fixing, it needs rework from the begining. They don't make the strategy games like they used to.... so don't get tooooo excited boys and girls :) I personally think that Ensemble did a very good job with AOEI and AOE2 unlike Big Huge who's Rise of Nations is not a match for Age of Empires. Microsoft is on the way out of the RTS market with this intelligent strategical moves... :) not that this is a bad thing ;)
man for the first time in figgin history INDIA will actually be in a game and kick ass, bout time hahhahahaha! YEHA!
uuuufffffffffhhhhhhhhhh..... Now the time is just not passing... Already played the AOE I, AOE II, AOE III, War Chief Expansion... But this one looks to be the best of all...
Just to set you guys straight on a few things - Confucianism was actually China's main religion for a long time, although by the time of this game the balance had shifted in favour of Taoism, which is still the most popular religion in China today. Of course China is a big place, and even at that time there were a large number of Buddhists, Muslims and others living in China. The difficult thing to understand about Taoism is that it isn't like religions in the west. Most Taoist temples have large Buddha images and sometimes even Hindu ones too. Taoist gods most resemble ancient pagan western gods in that they all have their own desires to be satisfied, but they're not that fussy about who else you worship. Also you have to remember that Buddha isn't even considered a god by the large majority of his followers - he's just a guy who came up with some good ideas.
There are Buddha shrines everywhere in China at that time... Every Shaoling temple was practically a Buddha shrine, and there were many Shaoling temples... lol. The main religion in China was almost always Buddhism, but it's hard to tell because it's so integrated with the Chinese culture..
Not Buddha shrines The main religion wasn't Buddhism yet Was still Shinto i believe Then Buddhism kinda melded with Shinto and the stuff kinda got mixed in Japan I don't think China has any Buddha shrines other than that Giant Buddha wonder
wow, 0_o, it's amazing, and i can't wait for this game and i must to play it, the graphic amazing (not so amazing but amazing) :P
I am really looking forward to this expansion.I have Aoe3 and its expansion and i play it every day.
This game was always about building bases and fighting wars but now it seem to be grown a bit better for the strategy gamers including me. I really welcome this growth of AOE-III
this is gonna be amazing! finally this game feels complete. i just couldnt deal with the fact that this game had no elephants b4 the expansion. i used to wreak havoc with the persian war elephants in AOE II.
Already have AoE III and the War Chiefs expansion. Can't wait for this expansion to be released, definitely going to get it. Finally bringing the Chinese and Japanese back from AoE II, they rocked. The elephant units of India are reminiscent of the Persian war elephants in AoE II. With all of the civilizations it should make for interesting multiplayer teams.
well its a good thing that they have mixed up the gamesplay . it was starting to get a bit stale anf i think that big huge games has done something moe unique with the series. looks promising so far with the new civilizations. cant wait!!
- Release Date: Oct 23, 2007 (US)
- ESRB: TTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.
- Release Date: July 2008 (US)
- ESRB: TTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.