Age of Empires Online Test: The New Spin on an Old Classic – We Try It Out

08/28/2012 03:27 am by Kyle Hayth in TestsDownload GamesAncient World

Age of Empires is a world-renowned series, with millions of fans worldwide. The real-time strategy game has challenged players over and over again and this time, publishers Microsoft are presenting players with a free-to-play, online version of the series with Age of Empires Online. The online game adds a new twist to the traditional Age of Empires gameplay and we felt that it was high time to put the title to the test. Find out what makes the game different, what we liked and what we found to be a little frustrating.

Creating Our Empire

When we logged in for the first time, we had the chance to select which civilization we would like to take to greatness and lead. In the selection, there were three “free” civilizations from which we could choose – the Greeks, the Celts and the Egyptians. However, there were also three other “premium” civilizations that can be purchased with the fancy, new Empire Points. Unfortunately, we did not invest any money for Empire Points, so we had to choose from the three free ones. Of course, each civilization has their own strengths and weaknesses and after much thought, we decided to go with the mighty Egyptians.

The mighty Egyptians.

Getting Started with Our Little Village

We found ourselves to be pleasantly surprised when we first saw our capital city – there was plenty of bright colors, fun animations and apparently, a lot to do. Taking a look around, we saw fishing boats off of the coast, along with traders, bringing in goods and a series of buildings, each with a different function. There was the trader where we can buy and sell goods, Empire mail where mail can be sent and received, and of course, our Palace. The palace is where we keep track of our milestones (important accomplishments in the game) and upgrade the technology of our empire.

This overview of our capital city is also where we could select and accept quests from various characters around the town. These quests were quite easy to find and complete, seeing as they were highlighted with bright yellow exclamation points. We took a gander at what there was to do and finally were ready to set out on our first quest.

The Badari Beat-Down

Our quest was to defeat the gold caravans of our rivals and secure the trade routes for ourselves. However, this is a task easier said than done and we had to plan accordingly if we wished to complete the mission in a timely and efficient manner. Quests, including this one, are where the traditional “real-time strategy” element, which is a cornerstone in the Age of Empire series, came into play.

We had our towncenter, where we made villagers, and in the surrounding area we had houses, a barracks and the available resources. The gameplay, for anyone familiar with real-time strategy games, was simple and straightforward: collect resources, build troops, upgrade your units and complete the objectives. In this case, it was to destroy 10 gold caravans and defeat 4 of the mighty Badari Barbarians. We managed to complete the feat after some hard work and head back to town the victors.

We had to open the available quests from our map to start them.

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