Havok for Age of Empires III
Havok have confirmed that their middleware physics engine will be used in the upcoming RTS game from Ensemble. Age of Empires III will mark the long awaited shift to 3D for this most popular of RTS series, which has sold over 16 million units over its long illustrious career. The inclusion of the Havok physics engine will help to bring the gameworld alive, an adjective that has only previously been applicable to the eagles and bunnies that occasionally flew and bounced across the screen. With Age III promising lots of explosions and sea-based warfare the visual experience of Age III should be leagues ahead of its predecessors.
Although we won't be seeing any catapult shots bowling down ranks of spearmen, the game's time setting between the 1500s and 1800s should provide for ample opportunity to smash through fortifications with cannonballs and the like. As illustrated in this quote from Ensemble's lead designer, Greg Street, "In Age of Empires III, we use the lighting effects, the reflections of the water, and the way cannonballs bounce off the ground to lure players in."