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IMG Holiday Buying Guide Part II
December 7, 2007 | Michael Phillips

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It's All About Strategy
While some people like to be right in the thick of things, a man on the ground, a soldier in the field, others are better suited in a leadership role. They set the plan, watch it unfold, make changes on the fly. They live and breathe strategy, we have plenty of games for such people.

Age of Empires III and The WarChiefs
Developed by Ensemble Studios and published for Mac OS X courtesy of the crew at MacSoft, Age of Empires III brings Mac gamers everything they expect from previous Age games and so much more.

At its core, Age of Empires III maintains the essence of its best-selling predecessors. Armies begin as simple men killing each other with bows and swords, only to advance to more efficient implements of war, such as cannons and rifles. Peasants gather resources, such as food and gold. All that was loved about the previous Age of titles remains intact, with a host of refinement and additions to make things even better. Among the host of new features not offered in past Age of incarnations we have a 24-mission, 3-act single-player campaign, a unique Home City feature, role-playing game (RPG) elements that work, multiplayer support, 8 playable civilizations and stunning 3D visuals.

In The WarChiefs, the first expansion to Age of Empires III, players have access to a host of new features. For the first time, players have access to Native American factions, such as the Sioux Nation and the Iroquois Confederacy, each with vastly unique units, including a brutal WarChief unit. This expansion also contains enhancements to the existing European nations and a brand-new single-player campaign that spans 15 missions.

Age of Empires III and The WarChiefs are both Universal Binary, retailing for $44.95 and $29.95 respectively.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
Published by EA Games, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is a gorgeous real-time strategy game that has everything but sharks killing people with lasers. Set in the year 2047, much of the planet is destroyed by nuclear war and the spread of Tiberium, a bizarre mutogenic crystal that is both extremely valuable and extremely toxic, spreading like a cancer across the globe. The planet is divided into color zones, red being entirely toxic and unlivable, yellow only fit for meager existence and blue, unspoiled and beautiful. It is over the very few blue zones that war wages between the Global Defense initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of Nod, a radical terrorist group bent on the spread of Tiberium.

The game's single-player mode is story driven, spanning 38 missions spread across 3 campaigns. The story unfolds through very slick and well-acted video cutscenes, as well as detailed in-engine cutscenes. Multiplayer action is cross-platform over the GameSpy network which features statistical tracking and various gameplay modes.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars requires an Intel-based Mac and is available for $49.95.

Stay tuned for Monday's third and final installment of this guide.

Related Links
Myst Online: Uru Live
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Age of Empires III
Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs
Electronic Arts
Command and Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars



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