Age III: Asian Dynasties: I (Heart) Big Huge Games
TomChick - News - 10/04/07 - Link

I had a love/hate relationship which tilted considerably closer to the love part of the equation with the War Chiefs expansion. Given my time so far with the Asian Dynasties expansion from Big Huge Games, I'm in danger of veering into fanboi territory.

Now you can get a look at what Big Huge Games has done. Frankly, it's pretty damn impressive.

The demo only has the Japanese, but you can get a sense for how well BHG mucked around with the basic formula. Try out the monks (check out those monastery upgrades), shrines (animals love the Japanese people!), consulates (or -- in the case of the Japanese -- the "we don't need no stinkin' ferriners!" option), rice paddies (for your choice of food or coin), wonders (instant line of sight on all enemy units plz...oh, wait, maybe this Shogunate that provides a constant stream of my choice of unit), and Daimyos (a one-man killing machine plus barracks). Also, the Honshu map is one of my favorite new scripts (too bad the AI sucks at the naval game).

While you're playing, be sure to check out the options screen for the new hotkeys. Your new best friend will be CTL+SHF+M (select all military units, up to the 50-unit selection limit) and later ALT+Y (move ALL military units to this point). And remember how cool it was in Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends to be able to select multiple barracks to give build and rally orders at once? Now you can do that in Age of Empires III.

There are even hotkeys for unit stance. Hey, Ashigaru musketeers, ALT+G! And you Naginata Horsemen make with the ALT+T already.

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