I love to play games. Mainly on the Xbox 360, but before that I played games on the PC. One of the very first games that I ever played was Age of Empires. Today I am posting about the newest Age of Empires game. Age of Empires Online. I have a couple of friends that I play with, but if you get the game let me know so that we can play! It is free to download and play from their website. The following content was taken from IGN.
Let me know what y’all think!!!
In its time, 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.
To some extent, the marriage of these very hardcore elements is a happy one. For newcomers, the campaign missions for each faction teach you the very basics, starting with resource collection, then easing you into the more complex elements of the Age of Empires gameplay.
Your capital city serves the same function as your character in a traditional MMO. It’s where acquired items go, it’s where you equip those items and improve your civilization, and where you can, to some limited extent, express yourself by decorating. However, the capital city mechanic feels like it could have been made more integral or interesting. Right now, how well laid out or how well developed and decorated your capital city is has no effect on the broader AoEO — laying out an efficient city could have influenced your crafting materials income, or brought in new items for the city’s stores, for example. It’s also a little frustrating that, in order to equip (or even look at) my civ’s gear I need to go to the capital city. As a whole the capital city functions well as an identifiable place to associate yourself, though.
The quests you obtain in cities are how you get into the good old Age of Empires RTS action you know and love. While many quests adhere to a somewhat similar structure (build up and kill your opponent ), most have minor twists, and some really change things up. One had me racing camels through an obstacle course, while another successfully simulated a tower-defense scenario. I actually really enjoyed the oddball quests, and even the more standard quests stay varied enough to keep me interested.
Many quests can be played cooperatively by inviting someone to your party before you select the quest to play. This can be fun, but, unless both members are on the same quest, I never had much incentive to finish a quest in co-op. If you’re higher level than a friend and they want to do a quest with you, you’re not going to get any sort of reward. In fact, you don’t even get notification that the quest is finished, nor are you even told what the objectives for the quest are. While this is sort of standard for an MMO, in an RTS it feels very counterintuitive.
Content wise the quests don’t disappoint, but issues rear their heads in other places. The unit path-finding causes villagers to run into each other during resource gathering, and can even trap them completely if there are too many villagers or if the resource drop-off is too close. Even though they’re incapable of doing anything while they’re trapped, the idle-villager button (responsible for alerting you to any villagers who are standing around scratching themselves) won’t register them. Pathfinding can also split up your army and get it stuck in a wobbling, undulating pack if it tries to round corners.
The default unit AI also leaves much to be desired. If I tell my units to attack-move to a location, they will attack any enemy unit or structure in their path in the order they encounter them. The same goes for when my units are idle near enemy units and structures. The problem is my units don’t see a difference between a totally unmanned and harmless enemy farm and a massive pile of towers shooting volleys of arrows at them. In a similar fashion my priests, whose main purpose is to heal, will often just sit there completely idle while units right next to them are being cut to shreds. While both of these issues can be worked around by managing my army a little more, I really shouldn’t have to.
Questing gives you experience and gear, both of which contribute to customizing your civilization. I really like this aspect — it gives me the opportunity to tune my army to fit certain strategies and counter others well before I even go into battle. It’s a lot like deck building in Magic: The Gathering in that sense. For example, I build my army with strong counter-cavalry Spearmen, rapidly trainable Chariot Archers with extra-long range, and Desert Swordsmen Champions to take on ranged attackers. Of course, that leaves me quite weak in the early game, so opportunities exist to build further to neutralize that weakness. It’s going to lead to a lot of variety in the PvP portion of the game.
Or it would, if matchmaking in PvP didn’t have major issues right now. Though it will probably improve as more players join AoEO, the limited pool of players — and the even more limited pool of paying players — makes for unbalanced matches. Now, I’m not exactly a superstar at this game, so most of my battles would begin to swing in my opponent’s favor, then purely because I had better gear on my units and the ability to build better structures to produce the all-powerful War Elephants, I always won. Keeping the queue time low is an important priority for a game like AoEO, but if it came down to waiting a few extra minutes for a truly competitive match or wasting just as much time in a match where the outcome is basically predetermined by one player’s level and gear, I’d personally choose the former.
But player beware: though Age of Empires masquerades under the free-to-play moniker, many of its features (including the ability to build certain structures, and equip all but the worst gear) are locked away until you buy the premium Booster Pack for your civilization.
|out of 10||Click here for ratings guide|
The art direction is very strong, and unit animations add an immense amount of character. The campaign story is totally inconsequential though.
There’s nothing special going on here. Units are very low detail, although the art hides it well. It’ll run smoothly on older systems.
The soundtrack is strong though not particularly memorable. Priests don’t say Wololo, which suuuuucks.
Pathfinding and AI issues, and a lack of co-op incentives detract from cool quests and customization options.
There are a lot of quests, and the later ones have an elite mode. PvP will keep the more competitive players going for a while.
(out of 10)