Age of Empires: Online – Butchered

Age of Empire Online finally emerged in to the wild, boy have they hacked up the free version.

A most of the payment structure which I talked about in my last Age of Empire’s post is now wrong. Gas Powered games, what the hell are you guys doing there? You can’t play for 5 minutes without being reminded that you are on the crippled version. You guys seem to have made the best attempt possible to butcher the game up to limit the free to play players. You can’t even equip most of the drops you get it chests.

Next little annoyance I found with it was that you could only buy items from the shop using MS Points. Points which you can only buy in bulk. Bulk which is larger that a Premium Civilisation but not large enough for you to actually buy anything else with. I’ve never really had a problem with Games for Windows Live before but you guys really are a crafty bunch of jackals.

I was really hoping the AOE:O was going to be the return to form of the RTS genre. The game itself is solid, classic RTS with a spattering of RPG and gear elements. If you are willing to pay for a premium civilisation it is still well worth playing but don’t fool yourself in to thinking this is free. It’s a demo that unlocks when you feed it money.



  1. Brandon C (@waywardzerg) · August 30, 2011

    Hm… I don’t agree. Yes, the game does remind you that you’re playing the free verison. But, you can equip a lot of stuff, and you have custom games. You can do coop, and have access to quite a lot of gameplay without paying the (rather reaosnable) $20 for a premium civ. In fact, you really don’t even miss a lot of content if you don’t pay.

    Please, tell me what *exactly* you don’t get for free? Not what you *feel* like you’re missing, what you’re actually not getting. What is it that is detracting from your free experience? 1 tier of the tech tree? I feel like they broke up the free/paid content very well.

    • nuronv · August 30, 2011

      I agree you actually get quite a lot of content for nothing, but “free-to-play” just seems to be a new way of saying “Demo”. You should at least be able to play first 10 levels or so of Tutorial quests before you are reminded that you haven’t payed. Frequently you will be given units during this period that normally require you to have Advisor Cards to use, the game like to remind you of this at opertunity.

      “What is it that is detracting from your free experience” The main problem I have with the game is that while you are trying to have fun it wants to talk business. It just seems to invade every aspect of the game to some degree.

      I would just prefer if they let you play in peace up to level 20 then ask you to pay to continue. You would get a good overview of the whole game with all of its elements, you would also have a good range of units and buildings to play with. I just think its better than snipping little bits off here and there that stick out like a sore thumb.

      I do agree however that the price for Premium Civs is reasonable. I have purchased one.

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