I played Age of Empires Online when it launched a year ago but it didn't stick with me. At PAX this year someone handed me an Age of Empires Online card and recently redeemed it on Steam and gave the game another go. Before I had to download the game through Games for Windows Live but it is now all managed through Steam. You need a Games for Windows Live account but if you already have an XBox account that may work as well.

I encourage you give Age of Empires Online a shot because the game is very fun. They recently released an update that fixes some gripes people had with the game at launch. The game has since adopted a model similar to League of Legends in that you can outright buy Empire Points to get the later Civilizations OR you can do things in game to earn Empire points.

Age of Empires Online has a very unique stylized art style. It can also run on older hardware which is nice for some with older gaming rigs. As I played the game I noticed the game feels much more at home with Age of Empires 2 than any of the latter games. After reading more about it, the developers modeled Age of Empires Online after Age 2, which is a great homage to the classic play style.

It sounds odd that a MMORTS would even work at all, but they pulled it off very well. I am only level 6 and there are tons of quests still to complete and things in the game I haven't yet tried. The early level quests are things like, "build a few farms" and "go kill some bandits" but then the game opens up and soon enough you are tasked with dispatching the enemy in the typical Age of Empires fashion to gold and xp.

The game offers 1v1 and 2v2 PvP after you hit a certain level. You can also go into Skirmish modes and try your hand with all flavor of bots or play co-op with friends. Let me know what you think of the game and if enough people are interested, it might be fun to play it some night together!