Age of Empires turns into a type of F2P MMO with micro transactions and cartooney graphics. Still, it's what's left of Ensemble Studios but.. uh. Honestly, it looks like shit, why are they calling it AoE?
By: Jarno Kokko Aug 17, 2010
Age of Empires Online Announced
To kick off their Gamescom 2010 lineup, Microsoft Game Studios announced today Age of Empires Online, continuing the award-winning Age of Empires series. Official press bit has this to say:
With more than 20 million copies sold worldwide, the "Age of Empires" series redefined real-time strategy games for Windows-based PC players. Now, the timeless franchise once again invites players to experience its rich storyline in new ways. Developed by Robot Entertainment, "Age of Empires Online" will invite players to create a living, growing online world, shared with friends and friendly rivals around the globe. Begin the journey with your own Greek civilization, and watch as it progresses from a village to an empire. Embark on quests along the way, alone or with friends, and immerse yourself in epic tales, quirky characters, adventure, history and strategy. Together with the Games for Windows - LIVE service, "Age of Empires Online" delivers a rich, social experience that lets you play however you want - anywhere, anytime.
Marrying fresh features with iconic gameplay, "Age of Empires Online" offers something for long-time fans, newcomers and everyone in between. "Age of Empires Online" will feature:
* A persistent online capital city that lives and grows even when you're offline
* Cooperative multiplayer quests, trading and a level-based system that lets you progress at your own pace
* Fun, approachable style and storylines
* Free-to-play experiences via Games for Windows - LIVE
More information, news and chances to join the beta program are available at http://www.ageofempiresonline.com.
Sounds interesting and looks okay, even if I'm a bit wary of two things - the apparent similarity to FarmVille graphics style, the fact that the beta signup specifically asks if you have played FarmVille before and the doubletalk line about "Free-to-play experiences" which I translate to "prepare to be nickel-and-dimed through microtransactions". Still, it seems that Microsoft Game Studios have suddenly realized that the PC market still exists. Impressive.