It was just fifteen years ago thatAge of Empires, third of the name, landed on our coasts. A notable arrival given the prestige of the saga, which always makes us talk about her with respect and nostalgia. The story will make this opus the least significant of the trilogy, but an excellent RTS, in particular thanks to its innovations and its metropolis system. Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition Is it paying homage to this underrated episode and its progressive DNA or is it just doing the bare minimum? This is the question we had in mind when testing this remaster.
In our eyes this remaster is good, but first and foremost because the original game is so great.
There where Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition was the most anticipated at the turn, it was obviously on the graphic part, minimum union for a remastered version. Drum rolls are unnecessary since Tantalus Media and Forgotten Empires pass this test with flying colors. The game is undeniably livelier than in 2005 and much thinner. If the graphic shock is not as great compared to Definitive Edition of the first two components, the result is nonetheless well-made. However, the engine does not work a miracle compared to the animation very (too much) old-school characters. Let’s console ourselves with the resolution upgrade that allows us to enjoy gaming on our modern devices, including those that support 4K.
More than the graphic evolution, it is the modernization of the interface that gave us pleasure by forging our empires. Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is in this respect much more readable than the original version. It also has three types of UI, including one that gives pride of place to our memories of conqueror while being more flexible on screen. Identifying each unit can seem tricky at times given their small size and the small life bar above their heads, but overall it’s much more playable nowadays than the 2005 version which was starting to take hold. seriously dust on that side. We would have liked the transformation to go even further, in particular by giving more customization options. Some settings were simply impossible to change or very well hidden. We immediately think of sound notifications, essential in a RTS, but here very annoying since the combat alerts (among others) ring out even when you have your eyes on them and it is quite frustrating not being able to mute them or lower their volume. Far from us the desire to play the small natures, but it happens that we are not far from the cacophony.
Like any good remaster, Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition includes all the additional content in addition to the base game, ie no less than four campaigns and 14 civilizations. To our greatest delight, however, the 2020 remodel goes further by offering completely new content. It’s rare enough to be appreciated, but quite frankly, it’s far from the premier quality of this edition.
An insufficiently comprehensive tutorial.
Take for example one of the two new modes, called Art of war. Its interest is relatively limited since it combines very short video tutorials with mini-challenges that put into practice what you have just seen in pictures. In theory, it’s a good place to start if you’ve never touched a RTS and / or the original version ofAge of Empires III. In practice, the tutorial is not comprehensive enough to cover the richness of the game, thus leaving gray areas in the player’s mind when it comes to getting down to business. Completing the challenges with the highest score is also quite painful for some of them and not really rewarding compared to a good old skirmish that is much more didactic.
There are still some good things to remember in the content added to this Definitive Edition. The second mode called Historical Battles is therefore an excellent initiative. Unlike campaigns which are more or less fanciful, Tantalus Media and Forgotten Empires rely on real events that players can relive during a mission. It’s smart and said missions are finely crafted enough to be interesting challenges. The catch in this case is that we would have liked this mode to go much further. There are only six historical battles in all which will take you around 30-45 minutes each. It’s hard not to stay hungry once the mode is complete. Logic dictates that you turn to the campaigns already known to the game at the end of this experience, which should occupy you about thirty additional hours, but these are already less funky and with much more boat mechanics. . Remains thatAge of Empires III: Definitive Edition offers us an ultimate gift in the form of two exclusive civilizations, the Swedes and the Incas. This is by far the best the game has to offer and it is with these nations that you are likely to spend the most time. There again, there is a little taste of coming back to it which lets us say that a rab with other nations would not have been refused.
Once the tuft of novelty has been lifted, there is ultimately only the raw title as we left it in 2005. An incredibly rich game, which still proves to be an excellent vintage of real-time strategy today. Take advantage ofAge of Empires III is quite possible nowadays, and this is even what we advise you to do online with a system of matchmaking modern that we are quite happy to see. We are not going to re-test a game that already has fifteen candles, but just know thatAge of Empires III is a RTS particularly dynamic which benefits, as we said in the introduction, from the metropolis system that allows you to quickly import units, resources and upgrades in exchange for experience points obtained during the game.
Age of Empires III has the gameplay and good ideas for him, but he is also obsolete on a lot of points that could pass in 2005 and more nowadays. The Definitive Edition does not correct the obvious problems of pathfinding for example. A fairly major concern in a strategy game, since it very often happens that your units (and in particular your ships) do anything before going to the pipe breaker without wanting to go through enemy territory. If you are prowling with the RTS, other things should make you cringe. We can cite artificial intelligence which is not always reliable and the fact that a unit can only integrate into one control group at a time. The most archaic still remains to be able to build only a limited number of defense towers.
The final note struggles to represent exactly what we think ofAge of Empires III: Definitive Edition. In our eyes this remaster is good, but it is above all because the original game is enormously so and this update allows you to play it in the best conditions, and for not too expensive in addition to the rest. To go to the end of our thoughts, this version seems a little timid to us in its modifications and would clearly have benefited from doing more, even if its additions are welcome for the most part. Obviously, we would have done well without handicaps reminding us regularly that the game is already of a certain age and that it will not necessarily suit those who do not have a minimum of patience with dated mechanics.
You will find Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition at Fnac at € 19.99.
- Graphics update
- Good lifespan
- New content …
- Interface plus clean
- Settings that cannot be changed
- Fairly basic campaigns
- … who remains too shy
- A little too old on certain points (IA, pathfinding, number of turns …)