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Age of Empires Online

August 17th, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 7 Comments · MMO, RTS

The Ensemble exiles who landed at Robot Entertainment are making an online RTS out of one of my favorite franchises.

Marrying fresh features with classic RTS gameplay, Age of Empires Online pays tribute to the original game while incorporating a new look, feel, and approach that appeals to long-time fans, newcomers, and everyone in between.

At first glance, reading about it might remind you of Ikariam and Nile Online and Travian and all those other real time games that bore me before long but it probably isn’t that at all.

The big differences?

1) This is Ensemble (sort of) and they have earned my faith.

2) There are quests, both solo and co-op, which means you have things to do that don’t just involved saving up for that next building

3) They are starting with one Civilization but promising others post-release. So more varied game play and experiences will be available.

4) The battles look like battles, so there is going to be some real online RTS stuff here and not just shuffling a certain number of spearmen around and waiting.

5) Villagers “pick berries, chop wood, and construct the buildings you use to train your army. Their upgrades let them carry more resources and move and build faster.” An econ heavy online RTS?

Age of Empires Online will be exclusive to Games for Windows Live some time in 2011.


7 Comments so far ↓

  • Alan Au

    The Ensemble lineage buys a lot of good will, but I’m wary of the persistent online aspect. Even if the gameplay is more RTS-like than the traditional Nile Online model, I’m worried that it may require some form of “maintenance” participation. That could be a deal-breaker for me, but of course, I’m still just speculating at this point.

  • frags

    Games For Windows Live is a no go for me :(

  • Punning Pundit

    This looks interesting, but I’m assuming that they’re going to have a full-featured offline single player experience. Because that’s how 90% of players play…

  • Jared H.

    Pundit, I am part of that 90% which is why I am only somewhat excited about this game. I have fond memories of the Age of Empires games, I’ll be disappointed if I’m forced to play with people that will kick my butt in order to play this new game.

  • Jorune

    I never cared for the Age series until the 3rd installment and fell in love. However, I’m MMO phobic by nature for several reasons:

    1) If I’m paying monthly for something I’ll feel obliged to always play it or I’ll feel I’m wasting my money.
    2) MMO’s in general kill the mod scene. I play some of my favorite RTS’ using mods that make the game better, like the Dawn of War AI mods, or Joint Operations, an awesome Company of Heroes mod.


  • Jorune

    I forgot reason number 3:

    I play on a laptop (which runs Crysis just fine Troy, I remember you bringing this up in a recent podcast, its a standard Dell Inspiron), which means I don’t always have an internet connection. So I haven’t picke dup Settlers 7 yet, and won’t until they get rid of that DRM scheme.


  • Tony K

    I’m glad to see a new AOE game. I’m also glad developers and publishers continue to support RTS games. I think it makes total sense to move the business model to free-to-play. This game and Company of Heroes Online are the first two RTS games I know of taking this business model. Persistency, online activation, and microtransactions will hopefully be successful in keeping the genre alive and with continued investment.

    Might first impression from the trailer reminds me of a more heavy version of a facebook game. The cartoony art style and presentation clearly intended for a more casual audience.

    This also reminds of the new BBC game that was just released: Battlefield Academy http://www.slitherine.com/games/bbc_ba_pc . This game is a turn based WW2 strategy game also that has a similar artstyle.