This is the first available add-on pack for the superb historical strategy game that is Age of Empires III
. Like the base game, this one combines in-depth tactical play with plenty of detail and some nice visuals to create a fine strategy experience that extends the lifespan of an already excellent game. The original continued the franchise's expansion into the real-time strategy genre and charged the player with building up an army from nothing, striking outwards and playing at diplomacy, combat and politics in order to create their empire. This pack retains the essential mechanics of the game but allows you to see the world through the eyes of Nathaniel Black, an Iroquois who finds himself caught up in the Indepence War but who is not sure where his loyalties lie. You also get to control Nathaniel's grandson who must choose between siding with the Sioux or the settlers in the Black Hills Gold Rush. As well as the storyline, this pack gives you three new playable factions, the Aztecs, Iroquois, and Sioux, along with several new units and buildings to expand you tactical options, including spies and saloons. This is a fine example of how to do an expansion pack. Although the essential gameplay is unchanged, the new storyline and factions add a lot to the appeal and manage to make the game feel fresh all over again. The lush visuals add much to the game's atmosphere and also help to make it feel special while the gameplay remains as entertaining as ever, making this an excellent addition to any strategy collection.