Whilst Age of Empires III and Civilization IV are classed in the same genre as strategy games, they have very different styles. AoE is real time and has a permanent "down with the troops" view and feel. Civilization IV, on the other hand, is turn based and features a lot of micromanagement. Rather than trying to represent one age as best as it can, it tries to cover the whole of civilization; from cavemen to spacecraft.
The two games took the 1st and 2nd place on the PC games sales chart for the week ending November 13th. So we thought it'd be very appropriate to write up a versus metareview of the two games - in the style of our previous F.E.A.R. vs Quake 4 metareview. Take the jump to find out what reviewers thought of these two strategy game behemoths.
Gamespy gave Civilization IV and Age of Empires III (100/100) each. It seems that the reviewers enjoyed both titles so much that they%uFFFDd recommend strategy fans pick up both titles. Their quote %uFFFDNo fan of strategy games should leave this on store shelves%uFFFD at the end of their Civ IV review could easily be applied to AoE III as well.
IGN handed AoE III a slightly lower score (88/100) than Civilization IV (94/100). The main reason for this appears to be the longevity of the games. The general feeling seems to be that Civ IV offers a lot more single player replayability: %uFFFD There%uFFFDs a nearly endless variety in the single player game.%uFFFD
Games TM makes a good point regarding this increased longevity %uFFFD it%uFFFDs not entirely accessible to new players. Talking about Civilization IV (80/100) they said %uFFFDEven though stellar work has gone into making the game as accessible as possible, there%uFFFDs no escaping the fact that Civilization games are for Civilization fans.%uFFFD
MetaCritic.com%uFFFDs scores give the feeling that Civ IV%uFFFDs extra content pushed it above AoE III. After a month on sale, AoE III is sitting at (81/100) a lower score than Civilization IV (93/100), which has been out just over a week.
If you%uFFFDre a strategy gaming fan, you%uFFFDre gonna have a hard decision choosing between these games. The most obvious to choose would be to pick based upon your personal opinions of their different styles. If you prefer real time %uFFFD go for AoE III. You%uFFFDre a turn based kinda guy/gal? Go for Civ IV. Either way, you%uFFFDre in for a treat: these are genre defining games.