Age of Empires III demo discovered

Ensemble Studios excavates sampling of its latest empire-building strategy game; dig it up at GameSpot DLX.

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The Age of Empires series is renowned for being one of the most popular and critically acclaimed empire-building strategy franchises for the PC. When Microsoft Game Studios announced Age of Empires III, would-be Caesars across the world donned their laurel wreaths in anticipation of conquering some new digital territories.

The wreaths have probably withered since the game's announcement nine months ago, but strategy fans are getting some new life with today's news from Microsoft Game Studios. The PC demo for Age of Empires III is now available for download from GameSpot DLX.

Gamers can get their tyranny on by trying out two missions from the single-player campaign. The 375MB demo also features a skirmish mode, where either the British or Spanish can battle it out across New England or Texas.

The latest Age of Empires game leaps from AOEII's Middle Ages to the exploration of the New World. European powers will race against one another in an attempt to plant their flags in the fertile soil of the Americas and to form colonies.

The game covers a few centuries of the infancy of the Western Hemisphere's recorded history, with all the technologies and terrain discovered during the Colonial period. Gamers can sail the Atlantic as the English, French, Portuguese, Prussians, and more. Once they reach land, players will establish trade and monopolies, as well as deal some New World whoopin' on one another. Native American tribes aren't playable, but they can be brought on as allies.

Age of Empires III is rated T for Teen and will retail for $49.99. A full retail version is slated for release on October 25. For more information, explore GameSpot's hands-on with the game.

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