|Age III: The WarChiefs: The New and Improved World|
TomChick - News - 10/18/06 - Link
I'm still torn about Age of Empires III. There's some great stuff in there, but it's such an old-school balancing act, juggling your economy and your military, but without enough interface and game design to make is less painful. It's still boggling to me that there are so few hotkeys in this thing. I know those guys at Ensemble play RTSs. What are they thinking?
But at least they're willing to mix up things, indeed totally break and reset them, with the expansion pack. The WarChiefs, to its credit, should piss off hardcore Age III fans. I can imagine them mad as wet hens for how WarChiefs adds magical Indian stuff, reneging on the original game's commitment to dry historical presentation. Those guys at Ensemble are, quite literally, such Indian givers!
It's like how Big Huge decided in Thrones and Patriots that Rise of Nations needed a splash of character, so they added invisible Iroquois, and Dutch wealth, and superunits, and so on. So it is with WarChiefs, which makes me happy enough with Age III that I'm playing again, even though I have the same reservations about the basic design.
And that says a lot. When I keep playing a game that I think has serious design flaws, someone's doing something right.
You can read my WarChiefs review here.