A modest remaster of a fun but flawed RTS that’s stuck in the ever-lengthening shadow of its predecessor.
What is it? A remastered version of a real-time strategy game from 2005.
Expect to pay $20/£15, or Game Pass subscription
Developer Forgotten Empires
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Reviewed on Intel i7-4790k, AMD Radeon 5700XT, 16GB RAM
Multiplayer? Yes, online
Link Official site
Age of Empires 3 was always a black sheep—the unloved mercenary of its series who’d never be accepted by the other troops no matter its achievements. It suffered by being the sequel to a genre-defining game that would turn out to be the best of a dying breed of real-time strategy. Then there was the fact that Age of Empires 2 was a masterclass in isometric pixel art—a lost aesthetic that, like a sturdy antique, shines beautifully with a bit of polish (as Fraser observed in his review). Age of Empires 3, on the other hand, was from an era of 3D graphics where everything in this genre looked kind of stiff and lumpy, but you didn’t notice because much of it was hidden amongst the big pixels and monitor scan-lines.