User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 184 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 184
  2. Negative: 69 out of 184

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  1. Nov 9, 2013
    4
    Way to ruin a fantastic RTS series Microsoft! Coming from an Age of Empires 3 competitive player and a great fan of the series, this game was garbage. Cartoon graphics, micro transaction, buying civs? Half mmo/half rts, what kind of a concept is that? And now that Games for Windows Live is shutting down in 2014. the game will end anyway, great way to treat loyal fans, if the game had any. I still hope that some day, someone will make a true successor to the series, a real Age of Empires IV, the kind that we all love. We can only hope. Expand
  2. Oct 5, 2013
    2
    I actually expected Microsoft to do things right, but I was wrong. They turned the AOE franchise into a Pay2Win game with confusing mechanics, bugs and lots of problems....
  3. Sep 26, 2013
    2
    First of all I would like to state that this game does not live up to the standards that the original series laid out. The graphics are not up to par with any strategy game of 2011; the smooth cartoon theme is to blame for this. Additionally after extensive play, and conversing with several long time AoE fans, along with other RTS/MMO communities, I've discovered that the MMORPG communities look down on this games repetitious quests, while the RTS communities look down on the lack of detail, realism, and strategy involved in this childrens game. Additionally the free to play aspect of this game is a complete lie, it is not free to play, it is similar to a demo because of the LIMITED CONTENT PROVIDED TO ADVERTISE AND INFLUENCE THE SALE OF THE FULL PRODUCT. Hence the meaning of "Demo". I would not recommend this game to serious RTS or MMORPG players, however I would recommend this game for younger individuals, or non-serious gamers. Expand
  4. Aug 14, 2013
    10
    I have to say that the concept of MMO+RTS becomes highly enjoyable in this game. In early game, you can do simple tasks to learn the basis, upgrade and loot some start-up gear. While reaching lv15, you'd get access to all the four ages and many useful upgrades in the tech tree. Slowly after lv30, challenging tasks are out there for you to conquer.
    Now you're at lv40 and you'd realise the
    fun has just begun. You could choose to join any of the three alliance to do even more interesting and challenging quests with other online players, earn large amount of gold and empire points, and loot amazing gears to power up your civ. The legendary gears sold in stores are very useful too as long as you earn sufficient golds. The late game never ends so long as you are still anxious to improve your gear to the ultimate.
    Yes you may need to pay at least 10 bucks to your first civ, but after fully upgrade it to lv40 and start the alliance war, reward can be fairly satisfactory. After some while you can totally afford the other contents that need purchase. Believe me there's tons of fun in this game, skirmish, legendary quests, defend of Crete, interaction with other players, etc. You can't find them all in any of the other existing games.
    Expand
  5. Jul 27, 2013
    8
    Yes, this game requires payment to fully unlock civs ($10 per civ), thus allowing better gears to be equipped. However, if you play this game patiently, you could do many daily repeatable quests and non-combat quests to get to level 40. Then join the alliance wars, and just either donate materials or do some of the easy alliance quests to get alliance points. It will convert into Empire Points every 24hours, as well as accumilative 7 days and 30 days. Within a month, you would be able buy premium content with the "farmed" Empire Points. After I bought my first premium civ using EP, I was able to create a lot more materials at a time, and from then on, all i did was collect the mats and donate them for points everyday. Sometimes I cbf, but either way, I've "farmed" at least $50 of EP just by doing that. Then yes, unlock more premium civs more mats more donation to npc more EP. It's like a business, starting out small and becoming successful. Isn't that the most satisfying thing in any game?
    Now, I don't know what to do with my over-abundance of EP... awks.. lol i started buying vanity :/
    P.S On average, it should only take about 1.5 to 2 months to farm that 900 EP to unlock a civ. From then on, it takes far less and so on.

    Gameplay wise, the sound effects are great, combat is pretty okay, love the versatility of the skirmish room, but i wish there could be more than just 4v4. Defence of Crete is BEAST. And yes, gotta unlock all that with EP ^.^

    This game gets an 8 because of the "long" initial phase of getting a premium civ. Everything else is awesome
    Expand
  6. Jun 5, 2013
    2
    I will try and make this short and sweet this game will lure you in with very easy starting missions and tries to show it is actually playable for free. After you play for a couple hours however you realize THIS IS THE MOST SATANIC FTP GAME EVER! i have never seen a game be so cruel to the FTP player in my life. Heres a quick rundown of why. After those first couple hours the enemies will greatly outpower your own with gear you cannot beat because you cannot get any gear better than common/uncommon which is absolutely and instead of having to pay once to get the premium civilizations you HAVE to buy them all separate and if you dont you have the choice of 3 civilizations which are free, instead of 6 which you have to pay for. Even after all of that and you get the premium unless your absolutely amazing at strategy games and i mean REALLY REALLY amazing your gonna have to buy instant spawn units from the real money shop to stop your base from being immediately zurg rushed by enemy units. i unfortunately cannot tell you how the pvp is you'll have to look at another review to see that but if your not a hardcore pvp player and want a nice cheap good strategy game just buy the others in the age of empires franchise. Expand
  7. Jun 2, 2013
    9
    One of the best RTS games ever. Best game in the AOE series. Some say that the graphics look cartoonish. But it enables you to quickly identify the buildings units and allows the game to load on older machines. (I ran the game in 2007-sih old laptop with reduced resolutions.)

    Downsides:
    1. Microsoft stopped developing the game any further. What was implemented so far is all that one
    got.
    2. Had to buy one premius civ to make my time worth it. ($10 during promotion.) Even then it needs lot of time in PvE to raise to level 40. Now on hindsight I would have skipped PvE and just would've gone for PvP.

    Positives:
    1. Very fast paced game. You should check the vidoes provided in youtube streams of community manager IamPrezSteve and in twitch.
    2. Still active PvP gamers. And if you read the official forums, lot of experienced gamers still discuss balancing the civilizations.
    3. Each civ is unique and differs quite "substantially" from other civs. They have unique gameplay and are enjoyable if you perform the same quest but with different civ.
    Expand
  8. May 21, 2013
    0
    OMFG This is NOT a free game. I was looking for a good construction game in the category "don't hustle me for my money", this wasn't it. If you want a half descent game you will have to buy the "starter pack" and the "booster bundle" which comes to 37,98 EURO!!!
  9. May 9, 2013
    3
    I'll keep this short as I really do not have much to talk about here...

    While it may seem colourful and good-looking and "oh, it's the age of empires"...
    This game in uninspiring and straight-forward boring.
  10. Mar 23, 2013
    5
    From what I've played of it, I find that Age of Empires Online has 3 huge flaws. Number 1 is that buildings are incredibly weak. In previous age of empires games, you could wall of your villagers/economy so it doesn't get decimated. In this game, walls and buildings are destroyed really fast by pretty much any unit. Number two on my list is that siege is very overpowered. Catapults and ballistas do no friendly fire, but they do massive damage to enemy units. You can just spam cavalry or infantry to defend them, and they'll tear through foes. Also, they'll demolish buildings in practically seconds, so any attempt to build defensive towers and fortresses is useless. Finally, there are way too many microtransactions. Do you want to play a different civilization? That will be $10 more dollars if you want to do anything with it. Do you want to give yourself free resources instantly in quests and unranked matches? More cash down the drain. Besides these flaws, it is a solid game if you don't mind the cartoon graphics, which is why I'm giving it a 5/10. Expand
  11. Mar 6, 2013
    3
    I played it 2 years ago and it was not a F2P game at all. It was totally a Pay 2 Win game, playing free unbalanced game. So disappointing game, made me lose a lot of time to give him a chance (did like 15 first missions). I would give it a 3 in case someone enjoys playing a game with 0 chances as a free player.
  12. Mar 1, 2013
    10
    Absolute awesomeness! The only drawback is that to unlock everything you must spend a little bit of money. Other than that this game is amazing! That's all I have to say about this game.
  13. Feb 23, 2013
    1
    Don't know what the point of the game is, as I was unable to create units, power up, do anything. Even though it's 'free', it's still a ripoff because it cost me time to figure out that this is a total dud. If you're a fan of the Age of Empires franchise, you'll be deeply disappointed
  14. Feb 15, 2013
    8
    I decided to wait a while to play this game after reading the initial reviews. I wanted to wait until the DLC stuff became cheaper.

    Been playing it now for a month and it is actually really fun. It’s no worse or better than SC2 or any other RTS out there.

    On steam right now, you can purchase your race upgrade for $10.00 and the skirmish pack for $5.00. And with those two options you
    have tones of quests and skirmish games ahead. So basically you can have hours of fun for just $15.00.

    The game combines city building, mmo style level/gearing and of course, RTS. It doesn’t take itself so seriously and is really amusing to play.

    I understand the low scores at initial release, but right now I would recommend it.

    Oh, and some people complain about the Games for Window login. I just don’t get it. It took a whole of “count to thirty” to figure out I had to make an GWFL account and figure out how to log in.
    Expand
  15. Jan 1, 2013
    0
    Obligatory 0 for using Games for Windows Live. An unforgivable offence, as GfWL is Microsoft's attempt to kill PC gaming in favor of the Xbox. And this being an MMO-style game, I can't even pirate it, so I have no way of playing it at all. Then again, looking at the other reviews, that's probably a good thing.
  16. Nov 26, 2012
    5
    Graphics are OK and gameplay is very straightforward, but unless you're prepared to either grind or pay up there's nothing you can really do here. You can only get around 5 achievements at most without paying in a reasonable amount of time and the rest you have to pay. It's not a bad idea but there's no real motive to play the game. Sure, there are a lot of quests, trading to be done, ranking up, building stuff, getting achivements etc. and the co-op is pretty good. However, the lack of anything innovative and the unpolished nature of the game mean it's not something which is worth playing unless you're prepared to pay something. It may be free to play but there's nothing to do. It's pretty much pointless this game but at least it's free to download and try out and if you're still interested you can start buying stuff. Otherwise there's nothing to see here.Just an MMORTS which most certainly IS NOT FREE. Expand
  17. Nov 25, 2012
    10
    having played all the AOE series
    il say this is the best
    top graphics , quests ,pvp all in one
    there are some issues for few peeps with online pvp connections etc but
    thats to be expected
  18. Nov 8, 2012
    9
    Giving this game a zero is just wrong. Yes maybe it is more fun against the computer than competitively but it is a much better experience than Starcraft 2. I play Starcraft 2 until the end and yes that was fun but then thats it. I don't like to play against Koreans online so in one month the game is over. Age of Empires is fun for the whole family and various difficulties. It needs two things. Heroes like Warcraft 3. And a better level 40 experience. It is very hard to get the gear that is strong enough for the legendary and level 40 missions. Other than that it is my favorite RTS since Warcraft 3. In ways it is much better. You feel a connection to each empire. Expand
  19. Sep 4, 2012
    0
    One of the worst games I have ever seen. It claims to be free to play, yet is incredibly difficult to even start, and then once you start it you find out that it's just a demo, and then a game that costs upwards of 200$. The "micro"transactions range from 7.50 all the way to 100$, and if you don't buy anything, then the main element of the game (PvP) is just you getting beaten by everyone who pays for the game. Even if it was the best RTS player in the world playing against one of the worst, if the worst paid for everything and the best paid for nothing, the worst player would easily be able to win, as the game is pay-to-win rather than pay-to-have-nicer-looking-things like normal f2p games. Expand
  20. Sep 4, 2012
    4
    An RTS game with elements of RGP, and I must admit its a great idea and could be put to good use, however, its not what happens. They build a mode called pvp champion where pure RTS players can play against another players without any element of RPG, it means all civs and players should have the same chance to win, but unfortunately it doesn't happen because the new civs (Pros) are much stronger than the free civs, which makes the game totally unbalanced to play. The funy thing here is that they have a entire "balance team" working to make this game balanced, but the game is becoming to be the opposed of it... About the RPG elements, it also is exploited poorly, there is not a ranked or reward for players that wants to play against another players in this mode making it borring, the only think that can be done here is to play against computers. To get it worse, the game appears to be in development, and all new updates make the game less fun. Its a shame they have only bad ideas, and the only thing that works is what they copy from another games... Expand
  21. Aug 28, 2012
    0
    Avoid this game, avoid this game at all costs. it requires games for windows live to work. its a free game that requires a cd key, so to get it working you have to go to "buy" it from xbox.com because games for windows live doesn't exist anymore and have to put in billing information to secure your 0$ purchase. This problem has been around since March 2012 and nobody(not least the developers or Microsoft) wants to fix it. so after you install the game you have to search through forums in order to make it work at all. and after all that if you bought dlc on steam you are fresh out of luck because nobody has an answer as to how to redeem that dlc.
    Nobody will help you with the fundamentally broken GFWL. They have your money they don't care what you think of them. I cannot comment on the game itself because after two hours of trying to get it working I've pretty much given up on any hope that it actually exists.
    Expand
  22. Aug 21, 2012
    4
    This game was really bad! It didn't look like an Age of Empires game at all! Bad cartoony graphics, pay to win system and only 2 civilizations which were basically the same. They wanted to make a casual game,but a good Age of Empires will never be a casual game! The game was, in one word-CRAP!! Then Gas Powered Games took over and game started to become better but it was too late. They can't change the graphics from cartoony and crappy (like other kids and indie games) to amazing and realistic (like every other Age of Empires and every other good game with high budget), they can't change the whole game!! The best thing to do is to throw this game in the trash and start a new project like Age of Empires 1 HD or Age of Empires 4 but not in the next age (world wars) because we all know what happened to Age of Empires III with rifles, they need to make a game in Medieval times like Age of Empires II , or like Age of Empires I in Ancient times. Expand
  23. Jul 5, 2012
    2
    This is an Age of Empires MMO in 2D graphics. Not really good game. You can't do a lot of things, without paying for it. I hate that game, where u need to pay to be much better. I know that this is a F2P game, but its not cool.
  24. Jun 4, 2012
    5
    This is a clone of AoE 2, adapted in a way to earn the developers tons of cash. You gain every upgrade, and by upgrade I mean the sames as AoE 2, and very few, for your civilization one by one through endless quests giving you endless missions which are all really easy and pointless. Through this you gain a sense of progression and get brainwashed to play more. when you get a good item, you need to pay real cash to unlock the ability to use it. Despite the fact that the item is useless in a gameplay stand point if you want to play multiplayer you'll have to unlock it or else get raped by those who have it. To gain full access to most civilizations, you have to once again pay. Do yourself a favor and buy Age of Empires 2 for 5$, if it's even sold anymore, and get a better experience than this. The actual gameplay and game itself is equally good than AoE 2, so therefore it's good..I can't deny it. But it's still the same game adapted to be a money vortex. Expand
  25. Apr 19, 2012
    6
    This game is an interesting blend of MMO and RTS. The graphics are cartoony without being too silly, the RTS part of the game is solid (which can be expected of a game that comes from a rich RTS background). However, the pieces that make it an MMO don't necessarily add to the experience. And the fact that the 'levelling' still takes quite a bit of time makes the game become a bit boring quickly. The missions try to be varied, but due to how slow you progress between the ages it's a bit redundant: how many times can we go and build boats to destroy the other side's fishing vessels? On the flip side, when you do get to the next age, you get a boatload of new features that you may or may not use; perhaps introducing them gradually would have been a better approach. It's an interesting concept, but perhaps one that isn't as good in practice. I wound up playing for about 10 hours, and buying the whole version due to the sale. I didn't experience a big difference and quit shortly thereafter - I should have stayed free-to-play. Expand
  26. Apr 3, 2012
    9
    I made my original review of this game back in August 2011. I scored it as a 5. The score was based on Gameplay vs. Cost. At the time it would have cost somewhere in the region of £90 to play this game with the premium DLC's I felt were an integral part of the game, and after playing a few missions with the free but severely limited content I felt the score was justified and 9/11 people who read my original review seemed to agree......... So, now the game has had a big revamp in Spring '12. A big patch to address some major issues, a reduction in the price of the premium DLC packs, but most important of all, a release on Steam with a special "Wonder" bundle for just £9.99 - a 10th of the original cost....... Needless to say, I immediately bought the wonder bundle and began to play the game with all the premium content installed. I even went to the GFWL marketplace and bought a couple of the aesthetic DLC packs (which will work on the steam version once you have updated your downloads via the GFWL application).......... I have already ploughed 25+ hours into the game in less than a week and I'm enjoying every minute of it. The game lets you play it at your own pace, so should you find it difficult to beat some of the missions, you can create your own skirmishes vs the AI at a difficulty level you like until you eventually level up enough to take on the missions you were failing at....... The online aspect of the game is quite good with being able to trade and play vs or co-op with others in your server, giving it a slight MMO feel. It could do with a fully functioning Auction House to add to the economic side of things, but at the moment it seems ok. Graphically the game is nice, and everything loads in really fast and doesn't seem to tax my slightly ageing PC................ Overall I now score the game as a 9/10 and I feel it now justifies the score. Sure it is quite different to its predecessors, and there will no doubt be a proportion of the AoE fanbase who won't like this version. If you are new to the series, or even new to RTS, this game is one that you should give a lot of consideration to. Expand
  27. Mar 31, 2012
    0
    I have to give this game a zero. I downloaded the game through Steam as they had the All-In-Wonder Bundle for 66% off. But unlike other Steam games, I can't just simply download the game and play it. This "Games of Windows Live" App keeps popping up and I've tried several times to register, create a profile, download patches, etc.. and nothing I do seems to please it. So since Games of Windows Live won't let me log into the game, it's a fail. Too bad, because I absolutely loved the first three AoE games. Expand
  28. Mar 28, 2012
    4
    I know it's hard to complain about a free game, but in this case I felt I had to. I would have much rather paid $50 to have a full version age of empires IV that stayed true to the first three. (I still to this day play age of empires III all the time.) After playing this game with several other friends for 2 days we all grew tired of it and quit playing.
  29. Feb 25, 2012
    3
    The destruction of a once mighty franchise, this game defecates on its predecessors. The Games for Windows LIVE client will also try its best to prevent your play. This franchise deserved better, if you want to play Age of Empires stick to the original trilogy or Cossacks.
  30. Jan 14, 2012
    1
    I do not know where to start. I love Age of Empires series, I have played all of them for countless hours, because they were and still are, one of the best series of real time strategy. But THIS game is not Age of Empires! Developers just took the name of the famous series to make more money. I am writing this review in January 2012. The game has been released 6 months age. Majority of the features that every AoE had in day 1, AoEO does not have, they just now released option to play a skirmish. Which is still incomplete. You cannot play ranked 2v2 with your friend, there is no campaign, only the same boring missions again and again, every new civilization is priced 20 dollars, and actually the skirmish will be paid too.....I could continue, but I think you got the picture. I give this game 1/10. You may ask why? Well, I do not know, maybe it is a spark of hope, that after one year, we will get a proper AoE game, but not this, not this. Expand
Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Mar 9, 2012
    67
    In the end, Age of Empires Online works well as a demo rather than a F2P game. There just doesn't seem to have been enough thought about what each element from the MMO and RTS genres bring to the party. Instead, they've just been thrown together.
  2. 70
    Online sequel to the legendary strategic series focuses on a different target group than its predecessors and promises to become a global phenomenon. [Dec 2011]
  3. Nov 9, 2011
    60
    To use its whole potential you have to dig deep into your pockets to unlock premium content. The only thing left for the fans of the series is to hope for Age of Empires IV. [November 2011, p.80]