Just a morning quickie for you, dearie. Microsoft’s free to play, levelling up-based resurrection of its mysteriously-killed RTS franchise Age of Empires now bears a more-or-less release date, and that is this Autumn, or Tumble, or whatever it is that the colonies insist on calling it. The Gas Powered Games co-developed Age of Empires Online is a free to play jobbie, funded by paid-for DLC – primarily in the form of extra playable civs, modes and willy-waving cosmetic upgrades for units.
At launch, you get the Greek and Egyptian Empires to play with before you splash out, and the first add-on will be a wave-survival mode called the Defense Of Crete. Oh, and if you’re a silvery plastic fetishist, there’ll also be a paid retail version of the game which includes a bunch of the DLC from the off. More details on the DLC and stuff over on Eurogamer.
I’ve got an AoEO key somewhere – must swallow my distaste for all things microtransacted, take a sober look at how it works in this instance and report back soon. Meanwhile, here’s some guy’s in-game footage to give you a sense of things: