* Prices may differ from that shown
Asian Dynasties is an extension of Age of Empires III, a real-time strategy and role-playing game. It is therefore it is required that you have AoE III already installed on your PC. It is the second expansion of the series, following 'War Chiefs' which was released around a year and a half prior. Asian Dynasties introduces 3 new Civilizations, the Chinese, Japanese and Indians, to the list of 8 European nations and 3 Native American nations (if you have War Chiefs as well). Once the game is installed you will notice that the graphics have vastly improved from the previous installments, and the voice acting has been complimented in a few magazines as been 'great' and/or 'lifelike.'
Most of the battles remain the same as in AoE III. That is that the 2 options, 'supremacy' (which makes you build up your resources yourself) and 'Deathmatch' (your given resources and have to crush the enemy quickly) both remain. But they have also introduced a number of new battle types. For instance 'King of the Hill,' in which you have to maintain control over a fort for a time period, and 'Regicide,' where you have to kill your opponents king while defending your own, along with a couple treaty based battle types. The new Asian nations are also required to build Wonders, various famous monuments, such as the Great Buddha, to advance in ages, and each have their own benefits. And Asian Dynasties have also introduced a new resource for the Asian Nations, so along with Wood, Food and Gold, you can increase your number of 'export,' which you can exchange for European troops. These can prove vital as many of the Asian units, with the exception of a couple Japanese units, are greatly inferior to their European counterparts. For all they have introduced superb new units, such as Elephants and Samurais, the run of the mill infantry, although unique, are pretty weak.
Each nation have their own advantages and disadvantages, and these are all explained in-game before selecting your nation. However the Asian civilizations, like the Native Americans, seem to be at an overall disadvantage to their European counterparts. This may not be apparent against the AI, which, to an experienced player, will be no challenge, but is more apparent in the Multiplayer option, where players choosing non-European nations are few and far between. Multiplayer games allow players from all over the world battle each other, and build up their nations points and therefore level, like in single player battles. However numbers seem to be dwindling in the multi-player lobby. And the available battles have also been reduced thanks to the introduction of the extensions, because someone with the vanilla AoE III cannot play someone with Asian Dynasties. So by having Asian Dynasties, and also War Chiefs, you will be able to find a lot more available battles than without them.
As well as introducing new major civilizations, Asian Dynasties has also come out with a number of new minor nations, from which you can recruit new units. For instance you can recruit Shaolin Monks from a Shaolin Village. The available nations change from map to map. This leads me nicely on to one of my favorite aspect of the game. They finally stepped away from the American maps they have clung onto for the past 2 and a half years, and finally introduced maps from elsewhere. Here they, obviously, focus on Asian maps, such as Mongolia, Borneo, Honshu and Himalayas. These maps also include their own flora and fauna, which you can use to your own advantage when building up your economy and resources. They have also left the Black Family story in the campaign. For those who don't know, in the last games the campaigns focused around a families journey too and life in America. These received quite a lot of criticism from the online community, because of their lack of historical relevance. So now they have built campaigns around the unification of Japan, Sepoy Rebellion and theory that the Chinese had landed in the New World before the Europeans did.
You can buy it off Amazon from £8 to £10. And this is surprisingly expensive given that it is about 3 years old now. So if you don't have AoE III already it will cost you around £18 to get Asian Dynasties. Or alternatively you could pick up all 3 games for about £23 in the 'Complete Collection.' For all I used to like the game a great deal, I feel it is very hard to go back to the game and feel the same way. The tactics and game play seem very dated and primitive compared to modern day strategy games like Empire Total War. There's also very little continuation, you will only receive a higher level with the ore you play, and it does get repetitive after a while. I recommend that anyone interested in the series already should buy this expansion. But to any newcomers I would say just go for the Vanilla edition and try it out. Asian Dynasties, for £10, doesn't provide a great deal more in the way of game play. And should you tire of the vanilla, you could always download modifications, i.e. the Napoleonic Era, that the online community has created on websites such as AoE3heaven. And they should provide just as many new features and units as Asian Dynasties.
1.4 GHz Processor
256 MB of RAM
2.0 GB hard disk space
64 MB video card
1.4 GHz processor
512 MB of RAM
64 MB video card
This game is a wonderful add-on to the Age Of Empires III. For those of you who have played Age Of Empires III before I'm sure, that like me, you will gagging for more - here is your answer.
With this is add-on you can play as an extra three asian nations: Japanese, Indians and Chinese. As well as the new nations, there are new maps to explore and a brand new campaign to play as well. The new maps are completely different to the previous game and really make the game so much more exciting as well as obviously expanding the seemingly never edning list of opportunities.
The online play is much the same but this does not bother me because the online gameplay of AgeOf Empires III is superb and is not in need of improvement.
One of the best game add-ons that I have had the enjoyment to purchase.
The Asian Dynasties is the second expansion pack for Age Of Empires III, after the WarChiefs. It explores the far east with playable tribes such as the Japanese, Chinese and Indians, each of course with there own adaptable playing style. On full graphics this game really shows how much work has gone into the Age Of Empires expansions, as almost every aspect of the environment has been covered. From falling bits of wood when you attack buildings with cannons, to the ripples of water when a boat passes by, every bit of The Asian Dynasties is lifelike.
If there was one criticism i have of this game however, it would be the mouse control. On the slowest setting the mouse dribbles across your screen, taking an age to get anything done. However, when the speed is turned up to anything more than 1/5th of what it was, the pointer is zooming around like the Naked Villager cheat on AOEII
Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties is the second expansion pack for the massively popular Age of Empires III from Ensemble Studios and Microsoft Game Studios, which has sold over 2.5 million copies to date*. Engaging gamers of all ages and types in epic warfare in the Eastern world, Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties will lead Japanese, Chinese and Indian civilizations to expand their empires.