A big, shiny version of Age of Empires III will be available on store shelves when the game is released this October. Microsoft has announced a collector's edition of AOE3, which includes a variety of bonus material for the highly anticipated PC strategy game. The special edition will set gamers back $69.99.
Included in the collector's edition will be a 210-page "The Art of Empires" book, a making-of-the-game DVD, the game's soundtrack on CD, and a poster of concept art by Craig Mullins (to see his AOE3 artwork, check out his Web site). Players with pennies to spare will also get an exclusive player's guide and a special game manual.
AOE3 jumps forward in time from AOE2's Middle Ages to the colonial period, and it lets players select from any number of empires trying to get a slice of the New World pie. Aside from an impressive new 3D graphics engine, the game adds new gameplay elements, such as the home-city system and the ability to ally with Native Americans.
Age of Empires III is set to ship on October 25. For more information, take a look at GameSpot's recent hands-on preview.