Microsoft has unearthed a new expansion for Age of Empires III, which is due for release this autumn.

The Asian Dynasties will, as you might have guessed, branch out into the Eastern reaches of the world. This means you'll have new civilisations to get to grips with, sporting unique units and history, as well as 15 fresh Asian "Wonders" to erect.

But the biggest change will be the addition of a new developer, as Ensemble Studios makes way for Rise of Nations creator Big Huge Games. A move that could bring some much needed life back into the RTS title.

"We feel that the in-depth experience of Big Huge Games in the real-time strategy genre, combined with the solid reputation of the 'Age of Empires' franchise, will result in something fresh and unique for gamers," said Brian Reynolds, chief executive officer and creative director of Big Huge Games.

The expansion pack will also add a sprinkle of new content to spice the whole dish up, giving you new ways of trading and winning, and random map styles will present you with remakes of classic Age of Empires action.

Age of Empires III was released back in 2005, its solid but predictable gameplay rewarded with a comfortable score. It expanded just over a year later with The WarChiefs, but unfortunately failed to climb to a higher mark.

Pop over to our Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties gallery for a look at the first screenshot.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

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Age of Empires III

New World, old gameplay.

Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties

Thank God for Buddha, Confucius and Brahman.

Age of Empires 4 revealed with Relic at the helm

Original game's remake due in October, Definitive Editions of AoE 2 and 3 announced.

Age of Empires III "a huge mistake"

RTS bit off more than it could chew.