Great installment in the popular battle strategy video game series
Age of Empires III: The Warchiefs is an expansion pack for the well-regarded real-time strategy game Age of Empires III. The follow-up to a critically acclaimed predecessor by Microsoft's Ensemble Studios, Age of Empires III added a number of modernizing touches that make the gameplay more accessible. The Warchiefs takes things even further, offering up a number of new playable empires, as well as lots of single-player campaign content.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
In The Warchiefs, the fundamental gameplay evolves without overhauling the entire game structure. In fact, it is mechanically very similar to Age of Empires III and preserves most of the strategic and tactical systems that entertained players from the beginning. For example, players will notice that copper and tin mines now dot maps along those containing gold and silver, but these are largely cosmetic changes, with no real impact on gameplay itself.
More Exotic and More Interesting
That's not to say that Age of Empires III: The Warchiefs doesn't bring anything new to the table. In fact, it adds three entirely new empires which fill some gaping holes in the original. While the base game does a good job of providing variety in terms of the historic cultures players can lead to victory, it was lacking in the well-known empires of the Americas. The Warchiefs addresses this deficit head-on, letting players become leaders of the Aztec, Sioux, and Iroquois nations, three new options which all have some distinctive units and technologies of their own.
Exploring and exploiting the potential of these civilizations in multiplayer will consume plenty of time for most players, meaning that the expansion represents some pretty solid value. The single-player campaigns that center on these cultures are just as well-designed as those in the base game, too, so even players who lack competitive fire will find plenty to do.
Worth It For Those Who Love the Original
In some ways less ambitious than it might have been, Age of Empires III: The Warchiefs is nonetheless easy to recommend to those who really enjoyed the base game. While it doesn't do anything radical to the original game's mechanics, these minor improvements will please players who were wholly satisfied with that version of the game. Gamers who found the original wanting, however, will likely be unimpressed with this expansion and might want to look elsewhere instead.
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