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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » General Discussions » My review of the demo.
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Topic Subject:My review of the demo.
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G_Spot_Lover
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 07:54 PM EDT (US)         
I rate the demo a 3.5/10
The main game will probably be a 6.9/10 for me.
The demo leaves me unsatisfied, unimpressed.
Graphics look worse then AOM on minimum req's.
UI is unreasonably huge and gets in the way.

Campaign:

Horrible dialog. Uninteresting and plain cinematic.
Not much of a challenge, even on hardest difficulty.

Scenario 1: I got an army quick with little to no effort. Attacked the enemy. Built outposts. The scenario was over in less then 10 minutes. I understand this isn't even a newbie tutorial scenario like the pirate ship one in AOM. This is in ACT III and it's still so easy.

Scenario 2: A siege. Cool idea. Weakly played out. Sent shipments. Built cannons. Built a couple outposts. Upgraded trains. GG. Was over in less then 15 minutes.

Total playable time not more then half an hour. Pathetic.

Skirmish:
Only 2 civs available. That's fine. But the enemy AI is retarded.

On my very first game (barely knowing what to do) I beat the computer easily on hard. EASILY. I did not use any sort of build order or anything. They fell faster then dominos to my longbow men.

So I tried expert next... This provided more of a challenge, but was still pathetic. the computer destroyed my main base so I ran a little to the side of the map. I stayed there for 15 minutes (before resigning) building up and gathering resources. The enemy did not attack me once.

The enemy AI is extremely unintelligent and weak. I've noticed that they build their fort in the same exact place every time.
Also the AI pretty much only builds siege units and longbow men. EVERY GAME. They don’t use any sort of strategy what-so-ever.

Graphics:

Owch. I know most of you can afford and want to spend loads of cash to upgrade your computer to get the best graphics possible. Unfortunately, unlike many of you, I choose to spend my hard earned cash on my car and other things. I'm sorry my computer isn't top of the line.
So before you go and say "what are you talking about the graphics look so good on my {fill in high computer specs here}, you should know that it doesn't matter. This game has failed to cater to my needs and IMO is too demanding for the gameplay it offers. This gameplay could have been done with AOM graphics or even AOK graphics. The physics engine pretty much adds nothing to contribute to the way the game plays. The game is also not playable on my system for one reason: THE CANNONS.

My specs:
512 RAM
64 MB card
P4 2.8

The game runs well on low settings until 5+ cannons show up.
Once cannons start firing the game becomes completely unplayable.

How can the graphics be so unbalanced? One minute the game is running smooth with 100+ guys fighting each other, the next, it's unplayable? That's not right.

I've tried to disable everything and it doesn't help. Cannons lag regardless of any setting that's enabled/turned on.

Overall:

AOK was an awesome game, and still is an awesome game for mostly one reason: ITS GAMEPLAY.

The units in AOE3 pretty much all feel the same.
All ranged infantry feel the same. What's the difference if they're shooting a gun or shooting arrows? They all pretty much look and play the same.
It's true that siege play different then infantry and melee units play differently then ranged but that's it. I don't get the joy of using units as I did in AOK where the skirmisher felt different then an archer or where a hussar felt different then a paladin. Or when janissarys felt different then longbow men. In AOE 3 they feel the same, for me anyway.

The whole idea of collecting treasures is over used and lame. There are just far too many treasures on the map and it becomes a huge distraction early on.
Once you've rescued the same guy from a bear or killed the bandits (who by the way just run from you) for the 5th time it just becomes a chore. I want relics like in AOK that people actually fought over.

The home city isn't that great of a feature. It feels cramped and crowded and isn't as satisfying as god powers were in AOM.
Once you use up all your cards it doesn't become fun anymore to send food shipments.

Choosing a politician is ok. Some choices seem better then others, but it's ok.

You can't really play defensively in this game. It's clear if you do you will lose. This game is much like AOM in that it forces you to be aggressive because of trade routes.

Over all the game is average at best.
For now its AOK > AOE3 > AOM regardless of what the final version has to offer.

The demo has failed to impress me or even consider purchasing the game. The numerous eye popping bugs and performance issues on a system which meets minimum requirements show nothing but amaturism.

Let the thoughts, flames, posts saying the game looks great on your high end computer and defending of ES begin!
I look forward to reading =)


I <3 GAMESPOT!
AuthorReplies:
Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 09-08-05 08:00 PM EDT (US)     1 / 74       
I'll run the game on my P2 200mhz and then give it a 1.0 because it won't run like I wanted.

Quote:

The demo has failed to impress me or even consider purchasing the game. The numerous eye popping bugs and performance issues on a system which meets minimum requirements show nothing but amaturism.


Yea, it's a demo. ES said ~800 bugs were fixed since the demo build, you should probably just wait for reviews on final version to judge the game.

About the campaign.. I kinda agree, it's not as exciting as AoM's, and that siege scenario could've been better.

Quote:

It's true that siege play different then infantry and melee units play differently then ranged but that's it. I don't get the joy of using units as I did in AOK where the skirmisher felt different then an archer or where a hussar felt different then a paladin. Or when janissarys felt different then longbow men. In AOE 3 they feel the same, for me anyway.


Probably because you haven't learned the counters yet =\. Just now I had an awesome game where I had to constantly micro my units around (especially cavalry flank on siege, pwned!).

Overall I'd say try the game again on a higher end PC, I know you feel as you shouldn't, but it REALLY changes opinion and will probably give you a much better time.


[This message has been edited by Elpea (edited 09-08-2005 @ 08:02 PM).]

Shiva
HG Alumnus
posted 09-08-05 08:05 PM EDT (US)     2 / 74       

Quote:

About the campaign.. I kinda agree, it's not as exciting as AoM's, and that siege scenario could've been better.

I agree too. The second scenario was kind of fun, but it was easy even in the Expert level (mostly because my Cannons blew apart everything the enemy threw at me!) and I felt that the amount of soldiers given at the end were ridiculously high. Once they came, it was simply the matter of throwing my army at the enemy TCs until they fell - there was no micromanagement involved whatsoever.

Quote:

My specs:
512 RAM
64 MB card
P4 2.8

That's kind of weird. My 800mhz computer with 512 RAM and 32MB graphics card was able to run the game fine...sure the graphics were kind of dull, but after AoM, I'm used to it.


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Koroglu
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 08:06 PM EDT (US)     3 / 74       
it is true, AoK rules !!!
ki_dk
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 08:15 PM EDT (US)     4 / 74       
It is a good demo.

The only drawback is that the interface is huge, I don't like that.

His Majesty
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 08:23 PM EDT (US)     5 / 74       
I guess once the retail version comes out and people start playing online, complaints will reduce exponentially. I mean, the demo has been out for barely a day. How much can anyone really understand about gameplay and depth so soon? Of course the high graphics requirements will still be an issue, but it's simple - if you expect awesome graphics, upgrade your hardware - else play with what you have and be happy.

And I agree with Koroglu. Things like AOK/TC happen once in a lifetime. I have extremely high expectations from AOE3, but AOK will always remain my first love. AOK roxors, as they say!

Kumar Shah
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 08:26 PM EDT (US)     6 / 74       
Disadvantages of releasing demo before final build is done. I hope ES just releases the demo next time after the game is released, because people don't understand the difference between a build with 800 bugs and a build with no known bugs.

Can you do the Double Yoda?
A sexual move, where you do a double backflip, insert your penis into the orifice of choice, and scream, "Afraid are you?"
Mario118
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 08:26 PM EDT (US)     7 / 74       
Lol, it's a good thing no one cares about your opinion then

It's simple if you dont like the game, feel free to hit uninstall and leave the forums,

TaTa

Xwarrior
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 08:30 PM EDT (US)     8 / 74       
Dam getting into so much detail :/
how bout trying to enjoy the game
loved it on this side playing it on a MX 440
god dam magnum melted was too concentrated on the game ¬_¬
i honestly forgot body needs untill mum shouted dinners ready :S

was supposed to do tones of stuff today couldent do anything been runinng around trying to making it work on win2k and i managed and its GREAT
the music the game play puts you in a totaly different world ( try to like it you will know what i mean )

Missions was cool story lines giving me ideas for the map im working on AOE 2 Conqurers the only thing i want
in AOE 3
Is
PLEASE MAKE THE TRIGGERS LESS TIME CONSUMING
make it more like programming
it will be harder to learn agreed but much more efficient
although i am speaking without tasting how it is on AOE 3 i hope i dont have to tons of stuff to make 1 thing work although that obviously changes to what you want to do
but anyway ....
ES owns me a magnum!!

oh and the music in the game is just dam great i dont know what else to say

G_Spot_Lover
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 09:14 PM EDT (US)     9 / 74       

Quote:

I'll run the game on my P2 200mhz and then give it a 1.0 because it won't run like I wanted.


I wouldn't rate the game that low if it "didn't run like i wanted."
A good game is a good game regardless if I can run it or not.
The campaign, AI, and gameplay generally did not impress me (graphics aside).

Quote:

Yea, it's a demo. ES said ~800 bugs were fixed since the demo build, you should probably just wait for reviews on final version to judge the game.


What's the point of a demo? To show off how many bugs there are? I thought the point of it was to make me buy the game. I'm not judging the full game, just the demo. If ES didn't want people complaining about the demo then why didn't they make sure at least some of the HUGE bugs got fixed before the demo went out? I'd rather wait another month and play a bug free demo then what we have now.

Anyway =) it's good to hear many bugs were fixed.

Quote:

Overall I'd say try the game again on a higher end PC, I know you feel as you shouldn't, but it REALLY changes opinion and will probably give you a much better time.


The game should at least be playable on the minimum reqs. But yeah I agree the game would be better with good graphics. I'll wait till Christmas before I buy a new vid card and consider buying this game.

Quote:

That's kind of weird. My 800mhz computer with 512 RAM and 32MB graphics card was able to run the game fine...sure the graphics were kind of dull, but after AoM, I'm used to it.


That's messed . I defragged, cleaned my registry, deleted/installed everything I don't use, optimized XP (with a guide), shut off all other programs running. I can run the game with medium graphics fine until a few cannons show up. The game just freezes.

Quote:

Disadvantages of releasing demo before final build is done. I hope ES just releases the demo next time after the game is released, because people don't understand the difference between a build with 800 bugs and a build with no known bugs.


A man of your size has time to sit down and read everything. I don't sorry. Most games' demos aren't this bad. I didn't know (key word being know) the demo was uhh supposed to be so full of bugs. Understanding something has nothing to do with it.

I guess there's nothing I can do but wait since I don’t plan on getting a new graphics card for at least a few months. I'll wait for reviews, but at least I know I won't be missing much.

Anyway just because I'm not some huge fanboy doesn't mean no one cares about my opinion. Not that anyones matters on the internet anyway.


I <3 GAMESPOT!
Doggiedoodle
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 09:51 PM EDT (US)     10 / 74       
I believe the key point here is that its a demo... I don't know why everyone seems to forget that. Demos are always unsatisfactory because if they weren't why spend money for the full version? The quality of gameplay will be unknown until the launch of ESO2. You can't find out from a few games against a simple computer.
DeutscherSoldat
Banned
posted 09-08-05 09:52 PM EDT (US)     11 / 74       
I give this demo a 2 out of 10.

Why? IT doesn't feel like AOE, it feels like AOM. And if it feels like AOM, then it isnt AOE, and if it isnt AOE then this whole purpose of aoe3 is worthless!

I got my topic locked cause the moderator is an absolute moron - butt sniffin ES cause he doesn't wanna hear my input on it. I have other opinions than the topics posted. But whatever.

The game to me is not AOE! this is a rip off from aom, and aom sucks.. duhh thats why i play aoe!

just pathetic and sad, i had so much hope. (btw the user interface is such bs, that leonardo divincis code makes more sense)

G_Spot_Lover
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 09:56 PM EDT (US)     12 / 74       
More people play SP then people who play MP or both.

More time is spent developing the AI and campaign then working on the ESO 2 interface.

The SP game is important to me (and other people).

Also the real version won't magically be 100x better then the demo*. If the AI is bad and the campaign is bad I think it'll stay that way. But who knows all we can do is wait and see. Also if cannons lag on my system on the DEMO I'm sure it'll be similar for the real version.

Quote:

I got my topic locked cause the moderator is an absolute moron - butt sniffin ES cause he doesn't wanna hear my input on it. I have other opinions than the topics posted. But whatever.


Why I do agree that they do overly suck up what do you expect? These people got the royal treatment by ES so they obivously aren't going to come here and bad mouth them. But there is no reason to flame them, at least some are still reasonable. They mostly are just doing their job.

I <3 GAMESPOT!

[This message has been edited by G_Spot_Lover (edited 09-08-2005 @ 10:01 PM).]

RoxUrWorld
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 10:00 PM EDT (US)     13 / 74       

Quoted from G_Spot_Lover:

What's the point of a demo? To show off how many bugs there are? I thought the point of it was to make me buy the game. I'm not judging the full game, just the demo. If ES didn't want people complaining about the demo then why didn't they make sure at least some of the HUGE bugs got fixed before the demo went out? I'd rather wait another month and play a bug free demo then what we have now.

I believe ES's decision to release the demo early, even if it meant leaving 800 bugs within the demo, was to

a) Generate publicity for the game.
b) Allow time for people to test the game on their system, and give them some time to see if they should upgrade their graphics card/Ram etc etc

I haven't played the campaign yet and thus i shall not comment on it.

Quoted from G_Spot_Lover:

Only 2 civs available. That's fine. But the enemy AI is retarded.

I have to admit, after playing a few games, the AI kinda gets repetitive, it is true that the AI builds its fort at the exact same place every time and only seems to spam longbowmen early game. Well, I heard that the expert French AI in the preview version packs quite a punch and i hope ES manages to tweak the AI intelligence before game release. However, the skirmish AI doesn't and shouldn't bother you too much. For me, the best part of the Age series has always been the multiplayer aspect. I'm glad to see that the 2 civs are balanced (well not really yet cos we haven't seen the other 6) and that there is quite a distinct variation btw the Spanish and British, with both civs playing rather differently and i'm really excited about the other 6

Quoted from G_Spot_Lover:

The whole idea of collecting treasures is over used and lame. There are just far too many treasures on the map and it becomes a huge distraction early on.

The treasure guardians are all rather buggy but i believe that although the idea of collecting treasure is not exactly innovative, it is essential to early game play. IMHO, having your explorer kill the guardians is more important than collecting the treasure itself because of the early XP u gain, which helps u send shipments much earlier and aids in your build order.

Quoted from G_Spot_Lover:

The home city isn't that great of a feature. It feels cramped and crowded and isn't as satisfying as god powers were in AOM.
Once you use up all your cards it doesn't become fun anymore to send food shipments.

The god powers in AoM were great! But somehow, i believe that the home city adds more strategic value as compared to the god powers. The powers were 1 time thing and were mainly used in battles. However, the ability to build decks in AoE3 provides players with a chance to strategize, to plan and to create a strategy entirely of their own, such that each game on ESO plays differently. The problem in AoM was, players use the same general strat over and over again because of the god powers. Isis would most probably go Fast heroic with A&E, Loki rush etc.
The early resource shipments greatly helps in early game and you can either choose to boom or rush. Although the homecity doesnt allow us to turn the tide of battle unlike the god powers, but it provides a whole new gamestyle that is refreshing yet historically correct.


[This message has been edited by RoxUrWorld (edited 09-08-2005 @ 10:01 PM).]

Musket Man
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 10:02 PM EDT (US)     14 / 74       
Everyone please read the title of this thread.
"Review of the demo"

It isn't a review on the full game, its a review on the demo. So responding with "ITS A DEMO GOSH HOW COULD U REVIEW THE DEMO LIKE THAT IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THE FULL GAME" is off the point. I have not played the demo so I am not sure how it is, but it was a thoughtful review Of the Demo. The problems he has with it seem legitimately backed up IMO.


Musket Man: Inefficiently fighting crime with a musket since 1565!

(\**/)<-Crown your bunny!
(O.o )
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G_Spot_Lover
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 10:23 PM EDT (US)     15 / 74       
@ RoxUrWorld
Thanks for your opinion with out flaming me or telling me my opinion doesn't matter.

Quote:

I believe ES's decision to release the demo early, even if it meant leaving 800 bugs within the demo, was to

a) Generate publicity for the game.
b) Allow time for people to test the game on their system, and give them some time to see if they should upgrade their graphics card/Ram etc etc


The demo was successful then I guess. In my case it generated negative publicity though.

I can agree with you on many of your points.
The homecity feature isn't totally useless and I'm sure it'll be more fun online.
I dislike how much importance is placed on your hero early game though. It would be interesting to see how it plays out online (good players would have to micro their heros well).

@ Musket Man
Your totally right. People don't even think to read and just post something like "ITS ONLY A DEMO." I have kept that in mind the entire time while making this thread.

I was totally aware I was playing only a demo and so far that's all I have to judge the game on. Hopefully many things will change for the full version or the game will pick up online. Only time will tell. =)


I <3 GAMESPOT!

[This message has been edited by G_Spot_Lover (edited 09-08-2005 @ 10:24 PM).]

SandyMan
VIP
(id: ES_Sandyman)
posted 09-08-05 10:48 PM EDT (US)     16 / 74       
Clearly you guys are right. We should obviously not release demos before a game's release, because it is impossible for people to tell the difference between it and a finished game. Your feedback has been useful. Thanks!
G_Spot_Lover
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 10:59 PM EDT (US)     17 / 74       
If your saying you shouldn't release a bug filled demo with (in my case) incorrect minimum specifications then yes you clearly shouldn't.

Again, I'm in no way saying that the game is abosultely horrible or that I have judged the game solely based on this demo. Point is the demo is not up to standards (understandably or not) especially in terms of the gameplay I expect from the 3rd installment of the "Age of E" series. This has more to do with the actual concepts them selves instead of the unfished (but feature complete) stage of the game.

I'm glad this thread was of use to you.


I <3 GAMESPOT!
Vuredel
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 11:00 PM EDT (US)     18 / 74       
Don't take it too hard, Sandy.

I like how everyone before was signing a petition to get the demo out immediately, and now everyone's just so disappointed that it doesn't meet their expectations (no, that's not directed at anyone personally). I think we got what we really should have expected in an early demo. Frankly I'd rather have had a better version later, but c'est la vie.

TheGoodEvil
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 11:11 PM EDT (US)     19 / 74       
I started to take your review with a grain of salt once you said you have a very low end machine and then say the game looks bad... lol

nothing like a good dose of humor to get you going at night lol.

TGE


TGE's RTS Blog, news, thoughts, and advice on RTS gaming

Able Company (my job)

"I've kicked more ass on accident than most people have on purpose"

[This message has been edited by TheGoodEvil (edited 09-08-2005 @ 11:11 PM).]

_Vontos_
Skirmisher
(id: _Von_)
posted 09-08-05 11:13 PM EDT (US)     20 / 74       

Quote:

Clearly you guys are right. We should obviously not release demos before a game's release, because it is impossible for people to tell the difference between it and a finished game. Your feedback has been useful. Thanks!

Moral of the story: People are stupid.

G_Spot_Lover
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 11:35 PM EDT (US)     21 / 74       
Where did I say the graphics were bad?
You can quote me.

Yes my computer is low end but apparently should meet the minimum requirements.

And you automaticly would take any negative comment with a bucket of salt. Look at the color of your name.

Yes people are stupid because they expect a fun game? :S Get it through your thick fanboy skulls. This isn't just about graphics or bugs, I never said the graphics where bad, just that cannons lag on my computer to an unplayable degree (which is still meeting minimum reqs.).

And I'm always happy to make people laugh as I know it is not at my expense. I'm also getting some humor in the way people and some mods are responding to this. Keep posting your smart arse comments. You'll surely get more browny points with ES.


I <3 GAMESPOT!
TheGoodEvil
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 11:39 PM EDT (US)     22 / 74       
We don't need browny points from ES... but we do need to keep the realism of the game will play like crap if you're running it on crap.

you said yourself it runs fine until a certain point when you PC starts to lose momentum. that's where a lot of your complaints are coming from. from your PC being old trying to run the newest game on the market.

upgrade your PC then play it... No one will take your too seriously if your main complaint is due to your machine.

And for the record, I'm no fan boy at all but the game is good and solid, the UI is large and the demo AI is dumb but the gameplay and options are there.

TGE


TGE's RTS Blog, news, thoughts, and advice on RTS gaming

Able Company (my job)

"I've kicked more ass on accident than most people have on purpose"

[This message has been edited by TheGoodEvil (edited 09-08-2005 @ 11:41 PM).]

Mokon
Skirmisher
posted 09-08-05 11:44 PM EDT (US)     23 / 74       
Why wont AOE3 run on my atari!!!! ES you should support atari's to!

Mokon | | | AoE3 Rate 2200~ | | |
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  • ES_DeathShrimp
    VIP
    posted 09-08-05 11:49 PM EDT (US)     24 / 74       
    If it makes you feel better, think of this as a beta that the evil marketing beings wanted to call a demo. Just kidding, if you're reading this, marketing beings.

    You will be happy to know the AI is much better in our current build and we have even shrunk the UI some -- not microscopic, but it is smaller.

    We are also getting a lot of good bugs, and good data from folks with some graphics problems, so we are getting useful information. Keep playing and posting!

    G_Spot_Lover
    Skirmisher
    posted 09-08-05 11:54 PM EDT (US)     25 / 74       
    I already know I need a new computer to run AOE3.
    I'm not willing to upgrade right now. Maybe at Christmas.
    With all due respect most of my complaints aren't the graphics or even that I can't run the game when cannons are around.
    I'm saying that there are many things such as the AI and campaign that IMO aren't up to standard to what I (and others) have come to expect.
    I understand it's a demo. I understand it's not fully complete.
    I reviewed the demo. You don't have to agree.

    I'm not saying this game is bad because it won't run on my system.

    I may change my mind about this game once I hear some reviews or play it on a high end computer. Who knows. Graphics to me aren't everything. I need the gameplay up there too.


    I <3 GAMESPOT!
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