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Wednesday, January 3, 2007
 

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Age Of Empires III Reviewed
7:51 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has released a review of Age of Empires III, the latest in the popular real time strategy series. This incarnation uses the colonization of the New World as a backdrop for improved graphics, realistic physics, and a new campaign. The Game Room gave AoE III a score of 4 out of 5 mice.

The lack of PC-to-Mac gameplay is a big problem—that excludes a big group of players from participating against each other. It’s also not mentioned anywhere in the documentation for the game, or on the box, so it might be an unpleasant and very unwelcome surprise to some gamers. Mac-to-PC online gaming compatibility issues are certainly nothing new, but MacSoft’s apparent obfuscation of the problem is not helpful...

When Age of Empires III was first released for Windows, a Macintosh conversion looked dim because Ensemble Studios licensed Havok, a physics engine developed for games that hadn’t appeared in any modern Mac titles because of its licensing fee. Rather than pony up the cost, MacSoft used a different approach—its game conversion specialists ended up gutting Havok all together, substituting it with a significantly less expensive technology called PhysX, developed by Ageia. The net result is that Age of Empires III on the Mac still sports remarkable 3-D graphics complete with realistic physics - cannonballs will bounce and ricochet, for example. Soldiers collapse like rag dolls when they’re hit. The environments are destructible, too. Early in the game I watched with no small amount of wonder as a pirate’s fort collapsed and splintered under the barrage of my soldiers’ cannon fire.
The full review is available at the link below.

Macworld Game Room: Age of Empires III Review
MacSoft
Age of Empires III
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