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Microsoft Announces Age of Empires Online

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 40 comments

The return of AoE from (some of) the original makers.

Microsoft may have shut down Ensemble Studios in a heartbreaking manner, but the talent behind the Age of Empire games hasn't fizzled out. The reformed team at Robot Entertainment are on the franchise again, as Microsoft has taken the cover off of Age of Empires Online. As the name suggests, it'll be something you'll need Internet for.

Not much is known yet, other than it'll have similar themes from the previous entries into the series.

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.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    nforce4max , August 18, 2010 2:13 PM
    :o 

    I have waited years for this!!!!!! This is my favorite RTS.
  • 16 Hide
    sliem , August 18, 2010 2:43 PM
    Free-to-play is always good.
    It's a bait, but you don't have to take the bait.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    jplarson , August 18, 2010 2:08 PM
    Sounds a lot like Ikariam.com, but much much better.
  • Display all 40 comments.
  • 20 Hide
    nforce4max , August 18, 2010 2:13 PM
    :o 

    I have waited years for this!!!!!! This is my favorite RTS.
  • 7 Hide
    tu_illegalamigo , August 18, 2010 2:19 PM
    Awesome! This is one of my favorites, behind the unbeatable, ultimate (to me) RTS, CIV II gold multiplayer!
  • 6 Hide
    t-vizz the 2nd , August 18, 2010 2:32 PM
    Finally an RTS worth buying!
  • -7 Hide
    hoof_hearted , August 18, 2010 2:34 PM
    * Free-to-play experiences via Games for Windows – LIVE

    Meh, sounds like another MMORPG where the free stuff is just bait for the premium content.
  • 16 Hide
    sliem , August 18, 2010 2:43 PM
    Free-to-play is always good.
    It's a bait, but you don't have to take the bait.
  • 0 Hide
    velocityg4 , August 18, 2010 2:56 PM
    Might be interesting. Though I used to love AoE my desire to play the game has fizzled out. The Total War games are far superior as you build an empire and have direct control over battles. It requires much more thought and strategy.

    Though the nice thing about AoE is that you could fire it up play for 20 minutes and win. Whereas the Total War games require weeks or months of slow progression. Especially with the time needed to plan out buildings for cities and units to produce when you have over 15 cities.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , August 18, 2010 3:00 PM
    omg mmorts O.O I just hope it doesn't degrade into something stupid like ikariam
  • 5 Hide
    ShouldntHave , August 18, 2010 3:09 PM
    hoof_hearted* Free-to-play experiences via Games for Windows – LIVEMeh, sounds like another MMORPG where the free stuff is just bait for the premium content.

    I interpret this more as meaning "it's free to play games once you have bought the client", not "you can DL a client for free and play", in order to keep ppl from freaking out that "now that it's MMO there's going to be a monthly fee." Could be wrong; have no idea.
  • 2 Hide
    tgsa , August 18, 2010 3:16 PM
    I know you have your own city and all, but it doesn't seem as if it'll be like the original games and I'm not sure I really like the cartoony style portrayed on the website... Or maybe this is just my method for not being disappointed when the game does release.
  • 1 Hide
    hamthony , August 18, 2010 3:22 PM
    I'm confused, the name suggests an mmorph with story line from the rts (caugh.. warcraft) but the article reads like and rts, why have a strictly online game for an rts???
  • 2 Hide
    tntom , August 18, 2010 3:28 PM
    AOE II and III were two of my favorites. Rise of Nations was awesome too. I hope it is a smart combination of RTS and MMO. I want something I can play with my friends without always having to worry about getting online at the same time. Not sure if that is possible but I hope it offers something like that.
  • 8 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , August 18, 2010 3:34 PM
    I am a HUGE Age of Empires fan, and have played it since Age of Empires I all the way until Microsoft disbanded Ensemble Studios (sad day).
    Glad to see that they are returning to the series in some form. In my opinion, the Age series was right up there with games like the Civ series and Starcraft.

    I just hope the "free-to-play" doesn't turn into a "pay-to-play-if-you-want-to-actually-win"
  • 0 Hide
    azcoyote , August 18, 2010 3:58 PM
    Free to Play Rocks. Runes of Magic is like that and I LOVE that game.
    Who needs the premium content. The main game is a blast!!
    Sign me up MS.
  • 3 Hide
    borisof007 , August 18, 2010 4:36 PM
    "I just hope the "free-to-play" doesn't turn into a "pay-to-play-if-you-want-to-actually-win"" QFT
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , August 18, 2010 4:37 PM
    MMORTS sounds like it could be a cool new genre. I'm pretty tired of the MMORPGs out there.
  • 1 Hide
    Tmanishere , August 18, 2010 4:43 PM
    I remember playing on the MSN Zone for months on AoE II. There were so many good players on that game.
  • -1 Hide
    hillarymakesmecry , August 18, 2010 4:43 PM
    Apart from the unit cap I thought AOE was awesome. You needed way more than the alotment to conquer someone in multiplayer.

    I hate the unit cap in Starcraft two, even though I don't hit it all that much.
  • -1 Hide
    loneninja , August 18, 2010 4:52 PM
    Windows Live, it'll fail. I can't even play GTA IV single player because of Windows Live related errors, no saved game.
  • 4 Hide
    Stryter , August 18, 2010 5:00 PM
    They should have cut a deal with Valve and brought the game to the Steam platform. It will have a lot more success than having it run on the LIVE service.
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