Ensemble Studios have announced Age of Empires III is to be released to retail in the U.S. on the 18th of next month, and gamers can now get their hands on the first playable demo of the game.
The highly anticipated third instalment in the franchise will see players take the role of one of the European powers in the 1500 – 1850 AD era as they try to explore, colonize and conquer the America’s.
The game is set to be released in two versions – a standard and Collector’s Edition version.
The Collector’s Edition box is available to pre-order now for $69.99 and comes with the following extras: a 210 page “The Art of Empires” book, “Making Of” DVD, the soundtrack for the game, a 43in * 27in poster of concept art by artist Craig Mullins, an exclusive AoE 3 Player’s Guide and the Collector’s Edition of the game manual.
As a taster ahead of the release, a demo can also be grabbed from the official website that shows off the new 3D graphics, physics system and the “Home City” feature, though you’ll need a decent set of specifications to play: at least a GeForce series 3 gfx card, 1.4 GHz processor and Win XP.