Age of Empires: Back, and online

Intel Pentium 4 was the fastest processor. Apple only made computers. Microsoft was developing service packs for Windows XP. Google was just a search engine. And we spent hours in playing Age of Empires multi-player in our college labs…

UPDATE: It is now available for free. More here

Age of Empires Online

Yes, the hottest real-time strategy game at the turn of the decade with multiple successful editions and one of the best things that happened to gaming before console gaming arrived was the Age of Empires series.

And so, after more than 20 million copies sold worldwide, Age of Empires returns in an online avatar. Developed by Robot Entertainment and Microsoft Game Studios, Age of Empires Online is the next evolution in the best-selling real-time strategy (RTS) franchise Age of Empires. Marrying fresh features with classic RTS gameplay, Age of Empires Online pays tribute to the original game while incorporating a new look, feel, and approach that appeals to long-time fans, newcomers, and everyone in between.

Age of Empires includes a refreshed art style with an unprecedented level of detail. Begin the journey with your own Greek civilization, and watch as it progresses from a village to an empire. Embark on quests along the way, alone or with friends, and immerse yourself in epic tales, quirky characters, adventure, history and strategy. Together with the Games for Windows – LIVE service, Age of Empires Online delivers a rich, social experience.

Key features of Age of Empires Online include:

  • Classic Age of Empires Gameplay: Experience the familiar gameplay that made the franchise successful, with an updated art style and uplifting tone. Revisit the classic game elements of empire creation and resource management in a vibrant historical setting.
  • New Social Experiences: Discover new social experiences within the game, including live chat, gifting and trading of content, and cooperative multiplayer quests.
  • A Constantly Growing Online Empire: Dive into a continually evolving online world where new content, civilizations, and quests are introduced.
  • Games for Windows – LIVE Integration.

Age of Empires Online will release exclusively on Games for Windows – LIVE in 2011. Currently, a closed Beta is up and running, and you can sign up for an invite. Age of Empires Online will be exclusive to the Windows PC and Games for Windows – LIVE and not extend to Windows Phone 7 or Xbox Live.

For details, game trailer, wallpaper downloads, and signing up for beta, head to Age Of Empires Online.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com and a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. He enjoys following and reporting Microsoft news and developments in the world of Personal Computing & Social Media.