I just can't resist. AOEIII is installed (yes, I still have finals this week). The demo version and the actual retail is a bit different. The demo is like a dumbed down version. There are way more storylines, and tons more features you have access to than just the tiny basics from demo (of couse
, this is retail--hello). The songs are exciting and comes with a wide variety, oh man especially the intro. I almost pissed my pants because of the cinmatic structure of the intro. (I love the nVidia intro. You have someone whispering 'nVidia' and if you crank up the sound there and having a 5.1 sound system, you can hear it swallowing you up).
Looks like watching a movie almost. I cranked up the volume to listen and the special effects were flying all over me during the introduction. I have an old Z-640 5.1 but I need to upgrade to the Z-5500 (more wattage, more power). Graphic wise, where can AOEIII go wrong? It's just perfect. I'm playing on 1280x1024 on a 19" so you can imagine the detail I'm experiencing. I am "absorbed into the game". There's a single click that you perform and all the trading posts collect that particular item you want instead of going to each trading posts and specifying one by one that way. The trading posts is not available in all campaigns which makes it fun. Now you are using more skills. You still have the Hometown in case you do need some resources right away, but in limited quantity. Each civilizations have their own unique Hometown which is real neat.
This is by far the best looking game and the fun factor is tops because there are so many things you can do. The water, OMFG, what can I say about the sea. The water looks like crystal glimmering in the sun. It looks "liquid", duh. Imagine watching a high def. picture of a lake. So clear and the ripple effects is just amazing. You can truly grasp what the developer's at Ensemble try to pass on to the consumers. A feeling of realism. This is by far the best AOEIII series ever designed. It's not like FPS, but you still get to kill a lot of people. I love the bombards or cannons. Oh man, I can watch the bodies fly right into the sea (when it hits the water, you can see the splash and ripple effects made by the motion). I just finished one chapter of a single campaign. Still tons more to go through. The cave experience was rather bizarre.
Here's the deal with that. There is a cave entrance I'm suppose to go into, but how the developer's depict it is by a black "void" you have to cross and then, you are automatically inside the cave. Ehhhh, needs a bit more work there but good concept. It's like a cut-out view of the cave because it has to show you playing in there from the top view. There's a new story line in there kind of like an Indiana Jones type deal. So neat. I'm still way early in the game so I haven't even unlocked the bigger stuff yet but from what I can see now, it totally OWNS among RTS games. There's an EB Games retail outlet where I live so I snatched the game about a week ago without even looking at the price in anticipation on how good this game really is. Worth every dollar. AOEIII fans, this is a MUST have.
Just watch as Microsoft and Ensemble come out with an expansion pack to this game.