Age of Empires Online Review, News, Videos & Walkthroughs | MMODen
Age of Empires OnlineAge of Empires Online

Age of Empires Online

Age of Empires Online

Age of Empires Online is a free to play real time strategy MMO for all of us who have been into gaming since the 90s, and some part of us still remains in that decade. Be it an RPG, Action or strategy, we have seen the best of every genre back then. Although strategy games were also there, but it wasn’t until 1997 that Age of Empire took the genre to a totally new level. We all feel a very emotional and personal attachment with this title. Preparing an army, defending a nation, expanding an empire and progressing towards a newer age, it was all too fascinating.

After many parts and expansion packs, the series was finally put to an end. Even the development house was shut down. The empire was finally fallen, or is it?

It was late in 2010 that Microsoft announced the dawn of this fallen empire, as they are taking the charge now. More than that, this time it is rising as a bigger empire with infinitely endless borders. This time it is the Age of Empire Online.

The Overview

Age of Empire online is published by Microsoft and developed by Robot entertainment instead of Ensemble studio which lives no more. However, many of the developers on the team remain the same ones on the Ensemble team. Yet, later during the production in 2011 Microsoft announced that Gas Powered Games will be taking over the charge. Whichever is the true mind behind the online Age of Empire, both the companies manage a good profile. Robot Games mange the Halo war while Gas Powered Games has the titles such as Supreme Commander under their belt.


Like previous game Age of Empire online is also a real-time strategy, only this time it is a MMO as well. The game largely maintains most of the previous gameplay in an online persistent world. Like in previous game, you have to gather food from farms, wood from trees and gold and coal from mines. Make your army, research on skills and new technology and create other supportive members such as villagers and priests. You have to admit, strategy games are typically more addictive than RPG counterparts.

Therefore, the gameplay is still as addictive and captivating. The online MMO features only add up to these factors. You can go on a quest to save your friends and allies, or ask them to help you in a battle. You can trade items or just hang around other villages to see how they are planning their development. Conclusively, if we really have to rate the gameplay on a scale of 1 to 10, we will give it a ten as this game stays true to both its strategy and MMO spirit.

Empires and Civilizations

Thankfully, Age of Empire saves all the hassle of choosing from those stupid fantasy races. But that doesn’t mean there is n choice at all. In its beta, the game was launched only with one civilization, the Greeks. Right now, you also have the choice to be an Egyptian emperor. That is not all, the news of many other civilization is already flying around. So, let’s just keep playing instead of waiting and watching.


Unlike the previous parts, Quests are very important in the Online Age of Empire. Of course, it is an MMO, and you just can’t take questing out of it. Thankfully, the quest is not just limited to monster grinding here. In fact, there is a variety of goals you will have to achieve. One quest may require you to gather a certain resource and build several units while other may send you off to spy on enemy movements. Completing a quest helps you increasing your experience points and other rewards.

Crafting System

In Age of Empire online, players can collect or even purchase raw materials to craft new items. The items each have a level green, blue and purple. Respectively these colors indicate the effectiveness of that item. Unfortunately, only green items, the one with the lowest effectiveness, are the only ones you can craft without paying actual money.

The MMO Factor

Microsoft has pretty impressively ensured that the MMO is more than just a fancy tag for Age of Empire online. It is pretty easy to understand in the very beginning that the gameplay requires cooperative and collaborative efforts from the players. Challenging quest requires a player to team up with other players in order to return home with flying colors.

The Free To Play Factor

Free to Play MMO and that by Microsoft, can it be true? Well, partly it is. However, in later stages it would become quite irresistible to spend money on all the goodies and premium features. Honestly speaking, quite a number of important features can not be unlocked without paying a few bucks to the Microsoft. For instance, not all upgrades and bonuses are available for free players. A few interesting systems such as PvP modes and higher levels in crafting systems are only accessible for premium users.

Although pretty much of the game remains free, premium ultimately becomes inevitable as this is a Microsoft product. I don’t mean you will need it anyway; it is just that they know how to make you think you need it anyway. So, there is a concern here. Quite predictably, the game will become harder for the free players as more and more gamers will be paying for the goodies. So, Concern!


Remember how almost all of the previous AoE games seem almost similar in terms of graphics. When we first heard about the Age of Empire Online, we weren’t expecting any changes in the graphics and visuals. However, some did speculate about a completely Anime-styled spin-off, but apparently we both were wronged. Microsoft chose to offer very cartoonish graphics for Age of Empire Online.

Surprisingly, it looks really impressive and appealing. A good decision indeed as it looks fresher now and may be appealing to the new users as well. Moreover, it is a relief to know that it won’t be sucking the last bit out of your system.

The Final Word

Overall, the game is lovable both for the dedicated AoE fans and the younger generation who haven’t heard of all those epic battles we have won in the single-player series. God old strategy still holds the same addiction and captivation level, and all the MMO features help in taking it to the extreme. The variety of items and upgrade is virtually extensive but only problem is maintaining a fair play between paying and non-paying gamers. Anyhow, Age of Empire online is still new in MMO arena, and there is lot of time and scope for further improvement. After all, it’s a Microsoft, a newer version might be out before you can say ‘bug’.

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1 Comment
  • Roland
    May 27, 2012
    Reply #1

    Thank you for finally giving a good review and understanding the motives for changes in game in respects to graphics and genre. Besides if they did an AoE 4 there wouldnt be much room for game improvement but maybe newer graphics/civs. well thanks

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