We here at SuperGeekBlog believe in doing due diligence in our reviews. So, in following that belief, we have spent many hours huddled over our keyboards “testing” AOE3. Here’s what we came up with.
Install of AOE3 went pretty smoothly. The one downside here is that if your PC isn’t at least twice the recommended set-up, you should expect to spend at least 45 minutes on the install.
Single Player Gameplay:
Single player is a bit boring when you have the capabilities of going online and playing multiplayer. Prepare to get your colony wiped if you get good at single player and think that means your good at multiplayer as well. The computer AI plays differently than any human player we have yet to face.
If you have played any of the previous AoE titles, the gameplay isn’t all that much different. Some additions have been made, but we suggest upping the difficulty all the way to begin with and avoiding the “this is so easy, I’m bored” scenario.
The additions of the Card deck and the home city add an extra bit of strategy to the game but doesn’t really play all that well in single player.
Imagine our disappointment when we went to play multiplayer only to find that there was already a patch that needed to be downloaded! And less than two weeks from the original release date. There are two ways to look at this.
- At least they are keeping it updated so far
- Couldn’t they have fixed this before the release?
We are of the Couldn’t they have fixed this before the release camp. In all honesty, it wouldn’t have been all that big of a deal if not for the fact that about 70% of all AOE3 users had extreme difficulty in downloading and installing the patch. The AOE3 forums were extremely unhelpfull as there were about 3 different theories on how to fix the problem and none really worked 100% of the time.
The problem seems to lie in the actual installer software for the patch. It reads several of the original files as older than they are supposed to be and pops up an error and backs the install off. After reading the forums several times and trying a couple of theories, we finally found one that would work. So what was the solution? You have to manually unpack the files that the installer errors on and run it again. Then it gives you another error on another file and you unpack that one too. Continue until the installer actually finishes.
And it’s all worth it. Or will be soon. At the moment we havent seen a huge number of players online. We think that that is a result of the problems with the patch and hopefully they will be able to fix that soon so we don’t have to manually unpack files. At the moment it is fairly difficult to get a game started as everyone has their favorite maps, methods, colors, etc… The addition of Clans into the mix creates a real mish mash of games that are either unfairly stacked against the new user or a long wait to find a game that starts.
So, we got online and start playing games, and what do we find? Another common error.
This one is dubbed the “Sync Error.” You’ll be happily playing your game and all of a sudden the game lags hard and a message pops up that the game is saving “sync error”… This is appearantly tied to other users(or yourself) lagging and dropping from the game. The game sees the drop out and then saves the game as sync error. Problem with this is that it boots all the players in the game out of the online game and back to the main menu.
Of course this will most likely be fixed in the second patch, however we hope that they fix the first problem at the same time or there will be even less people online playing the game.
Our overall thoughts on AOE3:
Overall, the new additions and new setting for AOE3 make it enough different from the previous titles to make it extremely playable. If you have the technological know how to get past the patch install issue, there is a great playing experience waiting you online. If not… Jack up the diffficulty on single player and you’ll at least be challenged a little by the computer AI and you’ll also learn a little about the core gameplay.
AOE3 is SuperGeekBlog Recommended.
Visit the Official Age of Empires 3 homepage.
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[tags]AoE3 review, AoE3, Age of empires[/tags]