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Age of Empires: Online
- Microsoft Age of Empires Online
- 1User Licence
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The award-winning, best-selling Real Time Strategy game is moving online. Build mighty empires, manage resources, and battle with or against other players in epic historical settings. Craft and trade items, chat, and level up by completing quests. Plus, earn rewards for your efforts: new units, weapons, armor, and skills. And that´s just the beginning of this rich new experience.
Age of Empires is back and more fun, and immersive than ever!
- Classic RTS Gameplay. From the creation of your capital city to resource management and competitive matches, Age of Empires fans will feel right at home.
- New Innovative Features. Embark on quests alone or with a friend, earn rewards, your empire even continues to grow and accrue resources when you aren’t online.
- Empire Building: Start with a humble town, build it into an epic empire, then show it off to your friends.
- A Living and Growing World: Every completed quest brings new abilities and new rewards! The more you play, the more powerful you become!
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Long version: So far, no reviews have explained the differences between Age of Empires Online (AOEO) and regular Age of Empires (AOE) titles such as AOE3. Here's a summary of the differences:
1) As you can see from the in-game images, the realistic graphics are dropped in favor of a cartoonish style which reminds me of Warcraft 3. This is not in itself a bad thing, it comes down to opinion.
2) The historical period depicted in the game is roughly similar to the one used in AOE2. Thus, you will have archers, spearmen, swordmen, etc, but not musketeers or cannons as in AOE3. Again, whether this is a pro or a con comes down to opinion.
3) The realism is considerably lower than in previous AOE editions. For example, there are items which "summon" 5 archers to fight at your side, similarly to the cards that were sent from your home city in AOE3. Even though the effect is the same, the fact that these units appear out of nowhere detracts from the realism (as opposed from being shipped from your Home City in AOE3). Furthermore, there are spell-like items which enhance your units' damage for a period of time, etc. Therefore, this is no longer a half-realistic game but a typical real-time strategy (RTS) title in this respect.
4) The business model is vastly different from any previous AOE titles. This is no longer a pay-and-own game like AOE2 or AOE3, but rather a game where a good part of the content is free (more on that later), and you can buy specific parts of the game for smaller prices than a full-fledged game. While a free game is obviously good in quality/price ratio, and the price of each civilization is relatively small (RRP of 20 pounds), the cost of the overall game is seriously overpriced. Note that with 40 pounds, the price of a normal game, you buy TWO civilizations. For comparison, AOE3 got you EIGHT civilizations, and it had a similar price when it launched.
5) The things to do are also different from previous AOE titles. The Home City concept from AOE3 is present: you still have a main city where you build buildings which give you certain upgrades: an item store to better outfit your troops, for example. The RPG-like element of AOE3's Home Cities are even more present in AOEO: you have crafting materials which you can use to create items, a tech tree much like Diablo 2's skill trees, blueprint stores for new buildings, etc. You cannot ever fill the entire tech tree, but only about half of it, even if you fully level your main city.
6) The multiplayer aspect is also quite different. While a MMO-like game such as AOEO could induce you to think that you'd be able to play big multiplayer matches, you can't. You are limited to small 1v1 or 2v2 games in PvP, and even then only in the paid version. On a positive note, the campaign mode contains some co-op missions which are an interesting twist from typical RTS modes. Sadly, these co-op missions are simply the single-player version of said missions with an extra town hall and a few extra villagers that the second player can control. In other words, there is not much added value from co-op missions: all of the missions simply become a bit easier because there are more starting resources on the human side if you co-op. Sadly, unless you practically beg on the chat for someone to team up with you, you will wait until the end of time for a co-op partner through the automatic system.
7) Finally, this game has an MMO (massively multiplayer online) flavor: you can chat with the other people on your server, trade items with them, visit their home cities (where you can undertake quests or buy stuff from their store, etc), etc.
So far, these are facts. As for my opinion, Microsoft deserves credit for thinking outside the box and creating what is probably the first MMORPG-RTS hybrid out there. Also, the return to an earlier period of History is something I like, but that is a matter of taste. However, in all other points I don't like this game. The cartoonish graphics are (in my opinion) a step down from the very nice graphics of AOE3, even with maxed settings -- I still get a "wow!" feeling in AOE3 when one of my heavy cannons scores a direct hit on an enemy infantry formation and the cannonball just pierces through it, sending several human bodies flying halfway across the map. You will most definitely NOT experience any feeling of the sort in AOEO. The existence of spell-like and summon-like items which you can "craft" severely detracts from the immersion I felt in AOE3. While the pay-per-civ model has a lower entry cost, the overall cost is ridiculously overpriced: at 20 pounds per civ, the eight civs of AOE3 would cost you £160! Even at half-price, as it is now here on Amazon, it's still expensive to pay 10 pounds for one civilization. The crafting and levelling is more confuse than it was in AOE3. The MMO dimension of AOEO is quite worthless: you can trade or team-up with specific players, but there is no auction house for server-wide trading, no co-op matchmaking system, and only 1v1 or 2v2 player-vs-player modes.
All in all, I appreciate the original concept but if you don't own AOE3 already, I recommend you spend your money there instead of on AOEO. If you already own AOE3 and you enjoy Farmville-like games, you will probably enjoy this, but you should always try the free version before you pay.
With AoE4 we now have more "fun" but this simply takes AoE away from its core values and leaves us with a new version of Settlers. The guidance rating has dropped from 12 to 3, which says much for the realism that AoE4 is lacking. Even my 10 year old son (who plays AoE3) considers the new game to be "for kids"!
Such a shame.
The graphics are very poor and look like they belong on fb
The gameplay is still quite buggy. Your units dont do as you ask half the time. it can get very frustraiting.
The servers are not very good. If you dont live in the US youll lag trying to do just a 2 player coop. Not even worth trying 2v2
It lacks any real story to its single player quests.
It has a very poor AI so compensates by allowing the AI to "cheat" youll spend days/weeks getting items to make your troops stronger only for the AI to build "Elite" units that do 3x damage and have 3x health.
The game its trying to be a bit of everything and just fails to be good at any.
You can build and decorate your main city. It totally lacks any real customisation.A very limited amount of buildings. You cant even build roads and the few decorations costs more money.
It has a grindy quest rpg aspect. Again limited gear and quests that bug out when you try to play a coop with others.
The game is fun but only for a short time. Youll soon get bored of the same quest over and over again.
The pvp side is limited to just 1v1 and 2v2. No clans no lobby. you cant even choose who you play against.
I could easy go on for hours listing all the bad bit about the game.
There is so many better games out there. It should never have been released in this state its nowhere near ready.
Just looks like a quick cash in on an old title. A way to pull in some fast cash and move on. In its current state i cant see it lasting too long. The single player game is online only too so when the servers close your game is gone.
When you pay for this product all you recieve is a 20 digit code for the upgrade on a card, however if the site isnt working properly then it is useless
It takes awhile to get used to, they have added alot "social" aspects to the game.
You can play normal single player and multi-player in a slightly different way.
You build your own city (this is outside of the actual game play)
In this city can buy upgrades and trade special items you find in games with other players.
In your city (and others) you will find quest givers. These quests are single player and co-op missions.
Im yet to try out the crete add on which is horde mode (waves of attacks).
You can play this again by yourself or with a friend.
There is also the spartan arena where you can play 1v1 or 2v2 pvp. This will be your standard multiplayer.
Hope this helps.
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