Age of Empires is one of my very first PC gaming memories. Well, actually, watching my Dad play Age of Empires is one of my first PC gaming memories. Now Microsoft have unveiled their free to play MMORTSRPG version of the original series and I have to say, I'm having conflicting emotions.
One emotion is: HOLY CRAPOLA GET ME IN ON THAT.
AoE 2 (in particular) was a beautifully constructed and well weighted game, the campaigns were relatively long and in depth, and the skirmish mode was customisable to the extent that it never really got old. I reckon I could (and might, later tonight) go back and play this game and still thoroughly enjoy it. In fact, whilst at University (I was in a house with 3 other gamers) we would regularly sit down to be thoroughly smashed by our friend Sam who had an uncanny knack for strategy games. Now, mashing this treasured childhood memory with my current love for MMOs can only be a good thing - right?
Oh no, here comes the second emotion: the Postman Pat Effect.
Any self-respecting Brit will know of Postman Pat. A Welsh children's TV character created in the 80s, he was a mild mannered small town postman who got into all sorts of japes, always accompanied by his cat: Jess. It was typically British; reserved, laid back and low tech. Did you know that in the new series he is married? And has a HELICOPTER? Its morally wrong.
I'm worried MS will Pat-isize AoE. They'll mess it up and ruin the golden memories for me.
MS say it will have all the appeal of an RTS with some of the MMO elements like experience points and crafting. Sounds interesting to me. Plus its free to play - with extra elements able to be bought with real world money if you want. So, worth a look imo.