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.