Friday, 14 January 2011
Age of Empires Online?
Any fan of RTS games will have some point or another played an Age of Empires game (or Age of Mythology)
They were fantastic games, loved as much by hardcore RTS gamers as more casual players! I started with Age of Empires II. That was my first real experience of an RTS game , and I thought it was great! The diversity of civilizations, and the graphics associated with them, really stood out to me - There was such attention to detail! Get bored with one civilization? No worries, you had about 20 to pick from (I think?)
When Age of Empires III came out, I was on to it like a shot! I played through the singleplayer, and got into the Online gaming scene a bit. It wasn't quite as good as the original one, but that's how it usually is. When you're mesmerised by one game, the next one doesn't ever seem to be quite as good. I'd waited 6 years for it as well! Not literally though... It wasn't like I sat there scribbling tallies on my wall waiting for it...
Now you can imagine how excited I was when I heard somewhere that a new Age of Empires game is in the works! However - Age of Empires: Online? That doesn't sound quite right now does it? Where's my roman numeral IV?
Here's a trailer for it:
That doesn't look how I want it to look! What's going on!? It looks so bouncy; why is everything attached to springs?
Age of Empires Online is persistent game. Your empire will always be active, even when you're not playing. There's no offline play at all, which may upset some people. But they've said they're aiming it towards how gamers play nowadays, online and in groups. I can agree with that, but I still think there's an equal number of people who like to play singleplayer and alone.
The game will be for digital release only; no retail copies at all. Now, to me this sounds like a DLC-Chain in the making. I imagine they're going to release a cut down game, and then give players the "Choice" of what they'd like their game to consist of. Of course, fork over the dosh in order to do it. Only one civilization is going to be released in the first instance of the game... Yeh... I think my theory sounds about right. If they do bring out a new civilization(s) what's the bet you'll have to pay for it?
Further reading shows it's nicely tied up into Windows - LIVE. Great. I love that I do. About as much as a fork in the eye that is. Such a pointless bit of software in my opinion; I've got plenty enough forms of communication between my gaming friends which I've had for years, so why do I need another one forced upon me?
I think alienation will be rife. Older gamers who played the original, or II won't like the drastic change in graphics, interface and playing style. If it is full of DLC, it will turn them right off the game; I know I won't give it the time of day if they start charging me for everything.
I can see if now:
"Your villager doesn't have the right tool to access that resource. Have you tried buying it from our in-game store?"
But! I could be wrong! It could be a fantastic game, and I may be misinterpreting what I'm seeing at the moment (I don't have a stigma towards Microsoft at all...). Closed BETA is currently operating with applications being open at the moment to members of the public. If we happen to get a slot, we'll try and hand out some more information if we can.
Very eager to see whether it will sink or swim
Set for release sometime in 2011 (No date has yet been set)