Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition was a great way to relive one of the most popular RTS titles of all time. Age of Emires III was always the odd man out. In this review, we will discuss whether that also applies to the Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition.
Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition brings almost the same upgrades on the surface as in the previous part. Quality has been adjusted for graphics and audio and the game supports 4K resolution. In addition, there are “Historic Battles” again and our favorite feature of the previous one Definitive Edition, the “The Art of War Challenges”, also back.
The main difference is that some things are somehow of lesser quality than the original. The AI seems dumber in places, graphics can appear blurry if you zoom out enough, pieces of dialogue are suddenly missing in the story, the game has some bugs and crashes and also the balance of units and buildings has been adjusted here and there with not always good results.
If you just act innocently Age of Empires III wanted to discover it once, this is not all that disastrous. You won’t notice the dumber AI as easily, as will the misses in the modified troops or buildings. In fact, the Historic Battles are a fun way to play through different scenarios. The Art of War Challenges, our favorite addition, are small challenges with explanations that teach you different parts of the game so you can Age of Empires can play at a higher level than just building random stuff. They are fantastic additions that make the game much more accessible and give you more to do.
It is mainly the hardcore fans of the original who fish next to the boat. As an old fanatic you will benefit less from the Challenges and you will soon be finished with the Historic Battles. You just want to keep playing the game endlessly against the AI, which is now less, or online, which is also less because of the balance that can be completely lost in some games. The online matchmaking experience has barely improved either. Too many basic possibilities are completely missing. You would almost feel like you are working on a lesser version of the game and that is of course unacceptable.
This makes it fall Age of Empires III: Defintive Edition somewhere in a weird way in the middle. It is a good introduction to the game for newcomers, but for those who were looking forward to an upgrade, it can hardly be called an upgrade. This is a shame as the Definitive Edition of Age of Empires II was just that good.
Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is available on PC.