First Impressions Age of Empires Online

Game review: Age of Empires Online.

I installed STEAM recently to try out the new Tropico 4 (the most awesome city builder ever) and I stumbled upon Age Of Empires Online. Being an old fan of the previous series, I jumped right to it. It has about 4 Gb and with a decent internet connection (not my case…) you can be done with it in about 1 hour.
First thing you notice when you open the game is the comical approach: cartoonish graphics, really funny animations not even mentioning the sounds. The unit reactions are hilarious. Everything blends nicely together leading to a very amusing experience. But is it too much? True, some of the appeal of the older Age of Empire games is lost but the new spin-off has proved successful and attracted a lot of both old and new players of the genre.  The game also breaks away from the historical trend, the quests and battle being all purely fictional.  Again this did not hurt at all, as a result it received a score of 90/100 from PC Gamer also naming it “the best free RTS you will ever find”.  But not everybody loved the changes as it received a lower 6,5 from Gamespot.

The game starts in your own capital. Here you receive your first quests that will guide and explain the use of each unit and building.  Through pop-up messages you will also receive pointers how each unit should be used and how to start your first strategy plan. Each quest consists into a scenario where players aim to gather resources which they use to build towns and create armies.
While destroying enemy towns and units, the game advances to a new “Age” that will unlock additional units and upgrades. Spread throughout the map, additional camps can be destroyed that will reward the player with “chests” containing random rewards  consisting in equipment or building materials. It appears that this release has successfully mixed the RTS and MMO genres through the use of loot and leveling mechanics.

Being Free to play these days has somehow lost its meaning as each “free” game also includes a monetization method. Thus if you want to use some of the quest rewards, unlock certain units or upgrades will require you to buy a civilization pack. All in all the game is beautifully built, the attention to details and the comic used making it an unforgettable experience. 

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