Age of Empires Online PC


Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
Buy On
  1. Aug 17, 2011
    The free content is extensive, and if you don't like it, you can always quit without spending a dime.
  2. Aug 26, 2011
    As it stands now, Age of Empires Online is a very good game. It still retains the same mechanics and core strategy elements from the original series while adding in an online element that doesn't feel all that intrusive. Even though there's a decent amount of content locked away until you shell out money, there's enough to do here with the base free game. You can have more fun with it compared to some fully paid titles. Time will tell how the game holds up in the long run, especially with more items to buy and a fluctuating user base. With its current model, Age of Empires Online is easy to recommend even if you absolutely have no plans to buy anything for it at any point in time.
  3. Aug 22, 2011
    A recommended game for strategy players and a noteworthy achievement updating the beloved game to current times.
  4. Aug 25, 2011
    Age of Empires Online combines a fantastic RTS gameplay with nice graphics and a freemium model. Players have plenty to do without paying, but is recommended to upgrade.
  5. Sep 14, 2011
    Strategy is the entree and MMO are the sides here. I've enjoyed the dozens of hours I've put into the game, the biggest question is if it would hold up for dozens of hours more, and my answer to that is I'll unlikely play in any long-term sense, it just hasn't held my interest enough to encourage me to do so.
  6. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 19, 2011
    In Age of Empires Online you manage your very own online kingdom, fight other players and solve quests that require you to complete different objectives such as building temples or destroying enemy towns. At its core, the game plays like a typical real-time strategy game but it doesn't feel too traditional thanks to the various MMORPG features such as skill trees, crafting and equipable items. The game's biggest shortcomings are the lack of skirmish maps and the small player limit in battles. It could also use some more playable civilizations. [Sept 2011]
  7. Aug 17, 2011
    Age of Empires is updated to compete against the latest versions of mobile and social games. The tactic is obvious: provide a free experience supported by optional subscriptions. The basis of the product are of good quality and adequate enough to attract different types of players, but the specifics details concerning expansions packs will define the user acceptance and the future of the bet ultimately. A very good job for now.
  8. Aug 16, 2011
    Age of Empires Online combines fantastic gameplay with nice graphics to give a feel of classical antiquity.
  9. Aug 17, 2011
    With Age of Empires Online, Robot Entertainment offers a real-time strategy experience for a large public in terms of solo play, and probably one that's more interesting in PVP. But in order to enjoy it, it's really best to purchase a premium civilization. It still remains pretty straightforward and classic, but wrapped up in a nice, overall production, with very polished equipment management, crafting and decoration options for your city.
  10. Aug 16, 2011
    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.
  11. Sep 3, 2011
    You can find a flaw or two in here, but that is just a smirch on the game's face that is suprisingly addicting, and whose free-to-play model is effectively helping to get to more audience – from hardcore maniacs up to their mummies.
  12. Aug 16, 2011
    It's a bold attempt at marrying real-time strategy values with MMO elements, and although it's difficult to judge the game until a community has built up around it, the early signs are very positive.
  13. Aug 21, 2011
    Like any good freemium game, Age of Empires Online offers plenty to do without paying, but is constantly encouraging you to upgrade.
  14. Aug 22, 2011
    While it may seem trivial to say, Age of Empires Online lives up to its title perfectly. It's a fully-featured Age of Empires game, while including all the Online trappings an MMO aficionado could want.
  15. Aug 18, 2011
    Age of Empires is a nice free2play game and true to the heart of the series. It has nevertheless some balancing issues especially in coop and the comic look is definitly not for everyone.
  16. Aug 24, 2011
    In keeping with the chocolate bar metaphor, even apart from these issues, and the hefty price tag associated with the premium content, once you bite past the tasty yet somewhat odd MMO shell there's still a delicious RTS core to savour. Mmm, Age of Empires.
  17. PC Games (Russia)
    Sep 19, 2011
    Age of Empires Online is pretty, well-designed and a little bit nostalgic RTS. But the shortcomings of a freemium model are obvious here: to win you have to pay. [October 2011, p.99]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 186 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 78
  2. Negative: 37 out of 78
  1. Aug 18, 2011
    Competitive player review incoming. First things first, let's get 'free' out of the way. This game is not free. The DEMO is free, that is, theCompetitive player review incoming. First things first, let's get 'free' out of the way. This game is not free. The DEMO is free, that is, the two somewhat playable races are free, the two lowest level gear tiers are free (common/uncommon), and mind numbing PvE is free. This game does do what it sets out to do, however. It was designed to be casual, to be easy and thoughtless and to make a ton of money, and it will likely succeed in all areas. It's not a 'free' game for anyone who enjoys PvP or balance for that matter. It's not a game for anyone who LIKES MONEY, since each race costs what the price of the entire game should be, $20 dollars. Worse yet, unless I am missing something while I painstakingly searched all the controls and settings, they don't even provide hotkeys outside of opening up the settings and controls and digging around for them. No, that barracks you want to build, there is a hotkey but you're too stupid to be told what it is, just click on it. That is the tone of the entire game, a casual, boring, anti-competitive money sink. Cannot recommend this to like-minded tryhards like myself, or anyone who enjoys a challenge for that matter. Full Review »
  2. Aug 20, 2011
    AoE online is an okay RTS. The problem is, it's the most expensive okay RTS out there. Be warned if you're playing on an internet connectionAoE online is an okay RTS. The problem is, it's the most expensive okay RTS out there. Be warned if you're playing on an internet connection that isn't 100% stable too - as this game will boot you to the menu screen as soon as you experience even the slightest drop out. Full Review »
  3. Aug 21, 2011
    AOE: Online is one of those games that deserves 2 scores in a review. One for what it sets out to do, and one for what it does. At the core ofAOE: Online is one of those games that deserves 2 scores in a review. One for what it sets out to do, and one for what it does. At the core of the experience is a highly addictive, fun and competitive online RTS game. Mixed into it are RPG elements such as quests, loot, upgrades and epic items. These let you customize your army to your hearts extent. The upgrades are significant, able to buff the strength of a unit by more than 50%. It makes every match different as you'll encounter players with different items and units at their disposal. While there are still the expected balance issues, it's a fantastic experience.

    But there are negatives to this game, unfortunately a lot of them. The main problem is it's payment model. It claims to be a micro-transaction game but nothing could be less true. The cheapest items you'll find are $7.50 each, and consist of a pack of trees or statues to place in your capital for decoration. Seems pricey? Wait until you see the rest. A premium Civilization will set you back $20 for each one you buy. If you want to purchase everything there is for the next six months, it'll cost you $100. But it's free to play right? No. Unlike other similar F2P Microtransaction titles, Age of Empires cripples its free players. If you don't pay, you have no Advisors (which buff your units), you cannot get equip rare or epic items, and some units will simply be locked out entirely. The power of the locked out units is far greater than the default ones, as demonstrated early on when the game gives you a few of them to mess around with in a PvE scenario. Lacking units plus loot, a free player will NEVER be able to beat a paid subscriber who knows what he's doing. The advantage is just too big, meaning it's pay2win.

    That set aside, there are plenty of issues with the game balance itself as well. For starters, matchmaking is downright broken. When you first set foot in PvP, you'll be level 6. Without hesitating, the game will match you against level 20+ players time and time again. Not only will their identical units be twice as powerful as yours, they'll be able to tech up to an age you don't have access to. You'll be pounding his Tier 3 reinforced stone fortress to no avail with your Tier 1 Spearman as you realize that no matter how many units you produce, you have no way of winning. The RTS games themselves are slowpaced. Your Town Hall, the village-producing default building, comes with a free turret inside it and a crapload of health. Rushing and harassing is impossible here as it chews up tier 1 units and puts the hurt on tier 2 as well. That means the first 5 minutes of every match are the same. Make villagers, get resources, tech up and build units. It becomes tedious fast. Unlock more modern RTSes, there's no constant back and forth here. You want a surefire way to win? Keep your army in 1 place, wait until your ready and storm the opposing army. Expanding beyond your main base is unneccessary and pointless the first 40 minutes and will rarely come into play.

    The PvE factor, the only content available for free players, is downright boring. The first 4-5 hours consist of only tutorial missions. There's no story here, no voice acting or cutscenes. It's build your base and destroy the opposing base. It wouldn't be so bad if the AI gave you any resistance at all, but it doesn't. They send the same 4-5 men to your base every 5 minutes, and your town hall alone is usually sufficient to fend them off. These missions would be over in minutes were it not for the enemy towers placed everywhere that chew up your units. Again, boring, and repetitive.

    It all adds up to a very flawed experience. There's some great fun here. The loot system is unique and addictive. The PvP can be very satisfying, and CooP PvE is still fun as always. The horde-like Crete addon you can purchase is engaging and challenging. But the payment model is unfair to freeloaders. Without those, your community will crumble due to the lack of players. Microsoft has overpriced their content by at least 50% here and made some very poor choices as to what to give to free players. Make no mistake, this game is not free to play. You get a stripped down demo as a free player and have no chance to win. It's a business model that leaves a very sour taste, and I hope that the game fails miserably because of it. So in what it tries to do, I'll give it a 9/10. It's addictive and can be great fun.
    But for what it accomplishes, a 3/10 is generous, and I'm feeling generous today.
    Full Review »