What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game has some large-scale battles, complete with cannon fire, bodies being thrown in the air, and some blood. However, most of the fighting takes place from a bird's-eye view. Parents should also be aware that the game has an online mode and that Common Sense Media doesn't recommend online play for anyone younger than 12. The game is well-designed, with an absorbing and slightly historical storyline. Outstanding graphics and tried-and-true gameplay make this a good choice for Real-Time-Strategy fans and casual gamers alike.
What's it about?
AGE OF EMPIRES III (AOE III), part of the popular Microsoft-powered Real-Time-Strategy (RTS) game series, places players in the New World, with European civilizations and native cultures fighting for supremacy in the Americas. The focus, as before, is on resource-gathering and building a balanced fighting force to attack enemy bases. However, to get a leg up, players can now make use of a home city that can send extra resources and assistance. AOE III also introduces a well-rounded campaign mode that has players following the legend of the fictional Black family.
Is it any good?
Technically the game is a masterpiece. Outstanding graphics and sound help immerse the player in the Florida Everglades, the jungles of South America, and the plains of the American West. Battles are complete with jubilant cheers from the victorious troops when a skirmish is won, and the soundtrack is a perfect match.
The game does, naturally, contain a large number of battles, with some blood and explosions present. Also, although the game does have some historical facts (helped a great deal by the well-designed in-game encyclopedia), there is a lot of fiction mixed in. Indeed, this version is the least historically accurate of the three games. Definitely entertaining, even slightly educational, AOE III is a worthy successor to the previous AOE games.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the quality of graphics can influence a game's popularity and success. Why are the visuals so important? What makes the visuals in this game stand out? If you have other games in the series, how are those games different? How are they similar?