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Age Of Empires 3: DE's latest DLC adds a ‘casual-friendly’ game mode

Italy and Malta plant their banners as the Knights Of The Mediterranean

Historical real-time strategy threequel Age Of Empires III: Definitive Edition will see the arrival of a ‘casual-friendly’ mode that shifts the focus from combat to economic success in its latest DLC pack, Knights Of The Mediterranean. Developers Tantalus Media and Forgotten Empires have revealed that the DLC will also feature new Italian and Maltese civilisations, an allegiance-shifting diplomacy mode and a variation on random maps based on historic European wars.

Two new game modes debut in the Knights Of The Mediterranean DLC. ‘Tycoon’ is the new, aforementioned ‘casual-friendly’ mode that emphasises landing economic success for your empire over a combat victory. The devs say it’ll stop players worrying about having to “bolster armies or defend against full-scale sieges”. The other new mode is ‘Diplomacy’, which lets empires swap allegiances in multiplayer and sounds bloody cool to me. Also coming with The Knights Of The Mediterranean DLC are ‘historical maps’ – randomly generated maps that are themed around conflicts such as the Napoleonic Wars.

Italy and Malta are the two new major civilisations introduced in the Knights Of The Mediterranean DLC, both with their own novel units and buildings. Italy can construct the Basilica, for example, while Malta has fixed guns for long-ranged combat. Nine new minor civilisations themed around royal houses such as the Hapsburgs and Hanovers are being added in too, each giving a unique ability and having more units and technologies than other minor civilisations. You’ll need to build a Trading Post on these royal houses to ally with them, too.

Age Of Empires III: Definitive Edition was launched in 2020, revivifying the 2005 original as part of Xbox Games Studios’ overhaul of the Age Of Empires series. It's since been succeeded by Age Of Empires IV, which came out last October, but it's great to see developers Tantalus Media and Forgotten Empires continuing to support the game like this with new expansions.

The Knights Of The Mediterranean DLC for Age Of Empires III: Definitive Edition is out on May 26th on Steam and will also be available on the Microsoft Store. It’ll set you back £8/€9/$10.

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CJ Wheeler

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CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.

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