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Age Of Empires 3: Definitive Edition now has a time-unlimited free trial version

Newbies can jump in with a rotating pool of three civilisations

Camels and elephants parade through a town in Age Of Empires 3: Definitive Edition
Image credit: Xbox Game Studios

To war, for free this time. Age Of Empires 3: Definitive Edition rolled into battle three years ago to spruce up the real-time strategy classic for modern PCs. Series stewards World’s Edge have now announced a free trial version that allows newbies to jump into the game for as long as they wish, as long as they can handle some restricted content.

Unpaid mercenaries usually skip battles and the same logic applies here. Age Of Empires 3: Definitive Edition’s free trial gives you access to three of the base game’s 16 civilisations, although that roster is constantly rotating for skirmish and multiplayer matches. Every week, one civilisation is swapped with another, so could theoretically test-drive them all if you wait four months. Free trial players also get access to 8 hostable maps and Act 1 of the Blood, Ice, and Steel campaign.

The Steam blog breaks down exactly what you do and don’t get access to, but you should note that ranked matches are off the table. Free trial tasters can only play on base game-exclusive maps if an existing owner invites them onto the map, though, so this seems like a good way to promote the game.

Age Of Empires 3: Definitive Edition continued to get support past its 2020 launch with a Knights Of The Mediterranean DLC that added new civilisations, maps, modes, and other series staples. I’m happy to see developers Tantalus Media and Forgotten upkeep the repackaged RTS threequel, despite being succeeded by Age Of Empires 4.

You can download the free trial on Steam, or you can still buy the base game for £15. The free trial won’t affect content for existing owners.

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