Age of Empires 3’s definitive edition just got its first major update since releasing late last year. As well as a new hefty balance patch, the United States has been introduced to the game as a new playable civilisation. You can get a full overview of what they offer on the official Age of Empires forums, but it’s not even been 24 hours yet and already players are worried it's slightly broken.
The US in Age of Empires 3 gets some pretty interesting advantages over other civilisations. For starters, it begins with a ‘book’ crate, which gives it a head start on all the other civs towards ‘aging’ up. The civ also gets ‘Immigration’ cards instead of the usual ones that other civilisations get. These cards are drawn from the pool of all the other civs, meaning that you can claim some of the best bonuses from across the game.
Add its Gatling Gun – essentially the world’s first machine gun on wheels – and you can see why the US is poised to become a powerhouse. We've already seen some early forum discussions on the United State's impact on the game, though some people seem mad simply because the new US civ exists.
Age of Empires YouTuber Aussie_Drongo has done his own overview video on the new US civilisation, with added analysis:
Meanwhile, the update that dropped alongside the new civ brought in a wide range of changes. Many to them accommodate the US’ existence, but some there are other other quality of life changes, too. For example, you’ll no longer lose free units if you’re at your population cap. Those units will now wait until cap frees up before spawning. You can read the full patch notes for more details.
The US civilisation is available on Steam and the Windows store to purchase for $4.99 / £3.99, although you can get a discount if you have Game Pass for PC. You can also unlock the civilisation for free by completing 50 in-game challenges, one for every US state.
Note that you can only complete three challenges a day, and so at a minimum you’re looking at 17 days before you’ll unlock the civilisation. This route is only going to be available for a limited time, but Forgotten Empires has pledged to give the community at least a month’s notice before they set an end date for the challenges.
Age of Empires 3 is also due to receive a second expansion later this year that will be themed around African civilisations, but as of yet no concrete details have been announced.
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You can also check out everything we know about Age of Empires 4.