During Gamescom’s Opening Night Live stream, Microsoft confirmed that Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition (AOE III: DE) is now available for pre-order and that the game is launching on October 15th.
Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition follows 2019’s Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and 2018’s Age of Empires: Definitive Edition. While AOE: III isn’t as well-regarded as AOE: II, it’s great to see World’s Edge give every entry in the cult classic real-time strategy (RTS) franchise the complete 4K remake treatment — especially with Age Of Empires IV‘s release looming closer on the horizon.
After spending several hours playing Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition recently, I can confirm that the game faithfully adds a fresh coat of modern paint to the iconic game, while still maintaining the core RTS gameplay that has aged remarkably well over the years.
Similar to previous definitive edition Age of Empires remakes, AOE III: DE features 4K graphics, rebuilt assets, a modernized UI, cross-play multiplayer and enhanced music and sound effects. The game also includes two new civilizations that are exclusive to the AOE III: DE, the Swedes and the Incas.
In total, the game now features 16 civilizations across Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Other additions to AOE III: DE include ‘Historical Battles’ and ‘Art of War’ challenges, two new game types that were also added to the series with AOE II: DE. These new game modes are designed to help players who aren’t familiar with the real-time strategy genre better understand AOE III: DE’s mechanics.
World’s Edge creative director Adam Isgreen said that special attention was paid to ensuring the AOE III: DE authentically represents the cultures and peoples the game depicts, with an emphasis on the title’s Native American cultures.
“While we are making games, a key focus of our work at World’s Edge is to authentically represent the cultures and peoples that we depict in our games. For AOE III: DE, we worked directly with tribal consultants to more respectfully and accurately capture the uniqueness of their peoples, history and cultures. With their input, we have changed some of the names and graphics, and modified some of the gameplay and story elements to better represent the Native American people. We’ll have more to share on this work closer to launch,” said Isgreen in an interview with MobileSyrup.
When asked why he feels the Age of Empires series has remained so relevant after all these years, Isgreen explained that he feels it’s the series’ focus on building massive cities, big-scale battles and its relatively slow pace.
“…It’s about human history, which makes it very relatable — you can understand how a wheelbarrow would improve villager life, and what a bow would do for warfare, or gunpowder, for that matter. There’s no explanation necessary on may of its aspects, which makes it easy to follow. Age also has a unique blend of gameplay between building huge cities and waging large-scale battles all while giving players the time needed to make decisions. Most genres, as they go longer in the market, tend to accelerate gameplay as a form of improvement, but Age has never done that, nor been about that, and we believe that’s one of the reasons it has been so popular with so many people for so long — it’s fun to build, it’s fun to fight, and it’s at a pace that makes it highly approachable to players of all skill levels from all over the world,” said Isgreen.
Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is releasing on Steam, Windows 10 PC and Xbox Game Pass for PC on October 15th. If you’d like to be considered for an upcoming Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition beta, make sure you’ve signed up as an Age Insider by September 4th.
Game Pass for PC costs $5.99 CAD per month and is also part of Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Xbox Live Gold, Game Pass for Xbox One and Game Pass for PC. If you own the Age of Empires III: Complete Collection on Steam and pre-order/buy the Definitive Edition, you’ll get a 25 percent discount on Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, bringing the game’s regular price of roughly $18.74 USD (about $24.65 CAD) down to $14.99 USD (about $19.71 CAD).
Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers get this same discount in the Windows Store. This same discount applies to anyone who already owns Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.
All three AOE: Definitive Edition titles are set to be sold in a bundle for $44.99 USD (roughly $59 CAD).