Age of Empires is a game that had a large part in shaping the real time strategy genre.Â I can remember playing one, two, three, and their expansions; many of which I played while still a kid.Â AoE is actually one of the only games that I could convince my Mom to try.Â Why?Â She enjoys history and for some reason became attached to the idea of creating an empire and sieging others.Â It was rather easy for her to pick up and enjoy and was very fulfilling since it allowed you to progress from practically nothing to this full blown empire.
Microsoft announced Age of Empires Online today.Â It’s going to be a “persistent” RTS game where your empire continues to grow while you’re offline.Â Just how much is persistent? No clue — probably just that it doesn’t disappear when you log out. I have this idea floating around in my head of an actual RTS game that allows you to travel with your troops and siege other players like you would in a real RTS game — just imagine the world being enormous.Â Clearly it’s not going to be that, but there’s still a lot that they can do with it even if it’s just you in your own little world but capable of taking armies and troops that you’ve trained into battle.
AoEO is going to have familiar AoE gameplay, resource management, the ability to go on quests with friends, battle friends, and team up with others to battle.Â The game’s art style and direction have changed.Â It’s more cartoony now, but I don’t see anything wrong with it.Â Stylized graphics age well and they play the feel of the game into a much less serious nature.Â I’m getting a Battlefield Heroes vibe which is both good and bad (BF:Heroes was great before they messed up the microtransactions).
It’s not my ideal direction for the Age of Empire franchise.Â I would have loved to see a fully realized RTS game.Â The trailer shows gameplay that I definitely want to play though.Â So far this is something I’m looking forward to, with the only trepidation being mention of social gaming and free-to-play experiences being their motivation to go this direction with the franchise.Â At least they’re sticking solely to PC on this one as a digital download.
Oh, and my Mom thinks the idea of Age of Empires Online “sounds neat”.