Conclusion: All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Age of Empires: Online , but I think more can be done to make it a truly compelling online experience, and the marketing men at Microsoft are kidding themselves with those premium prices. Nevertheless, this is a bold step for an RTS into the ripe and unconquered pastures of the Internet, and while it isn’t completely surefooted, its spears are certainly sharp.
Classic real-time-strategy game now online with great charm.
Common Sense Media
18 September 2011
Summary: Parents need to know that Age of Empires Online is an online strategy game about building empires, with player interaction for cooperative missions. The game also works off a micro-transaction model, foregoing a monthly subscription fee in lieu of offering items and civilization upgrades for real-world money.
Excerpt: Armed with a free-to-play framework, garish visuals, and hefty helping of MMO trappings, Age of Empires Online is clearly designed for conquering a much wider playerbase than did its predecessors. It's possible to find the gameplay that made Age of Empires II so popular among the pastels, but does its bubbly coating herald a golden age for the franchise, or does it mark the end of an era?
Conclusion: Still, it's free to dip into and trial the system so why not give it a go? Who knows, you may even consider it worth the cost of two brand new games. It's honestly a shame that Microsoft hasn't shown a bit more intelligence in this regard.