Age of Empires takes a giant step towards Farmville graphics

The media page of the new online version of the game explains everything.

They pretty much made the graphics a lot more like the large multitude of free to play online flash games you see in ads, graphics that even resemble some of the games you find on Facebook.

Oh well, who needs a fancy GPU and multicore for games anyway if gaming companies start going to back to the level of graphics seen on the days of early GPU’s (as in the first generation of GeForce cards) and Pentium 4’s. I might as well say that if that’s the case then don’t expect any moderate to heavy use of physics and destructable, heavily interactive environments either.

This is a bit of a shock noting that this was a major franchise for Microsoft, the same company that developed DirectX 11 to improve game graphics and increase immersion.:spin:

I wouldn’t worry about it, it’ll be Microsoft’s way of hooking new customers, it’s actually quite a good move by them, even though the graphics aren’t on the cutting edge I’m sure it’ll be fun for a half hour, that’s probably what it’s aimed at, people who don’t have hours to spend playing games.

I have a question about SilverLight though, it is an equivalent to Flash/ action script right?

Isn’t it a good idea to have games accessible to a bigger audience, as opposed to hardcore uber-gamers? Graphics don’t make the game, gameplay does. Fun beats graphically stunning any day.

Seems like a very narrow opinion.
I certainly don’t play or purchase games because they say DirectX 11.
I play/purchase games because they:
a) are fun to play
b) have an interesting visual “style” that I enjoy looking at.

Since I’ve played Age of Empires, I know the game could be good, and I think the style they’ve chosen for these more simplified graphics (probably simplified for necessity and marketing), is quite good.

High quality textures and super high poly models, with tons of lights and shaders are for FPS/RPG games that require visual immersion, not for RTS games where the main purpose is “strategic play”.

My bad, I thought this was some on-line game they did, hence the question about silverlight.

Anyway, it’s nice they have take the game in a different direction, if it doesn’t work there will always be other games, and more than likely the next edition of AOE…

lol, kinda looks like the Wind Waker of the AoE series…to me it doesn’t seem as good as the originals though. :frowning:

My bad, I thought this was some on-line game they did, hence the question about silverlight.

Farmville graphics? Bah, this isnt even close to that kind of rubbish. For a start Farmville is 2D cartoon sprites, this is 3D with cel shading done very nicely.

The trailer:

Tell me you cant look at this screenshot and say the graphics arnt beautiful. Its different yes, and I see that a lot of hardcore fans are dissapointed in the graphics change and making it an online game, but u cant win them all.

This isn’t really a step towards farmville graphics either, more of a step towards generic MMO graphics. I stopped liking AoE for it’s simplicity a long long while ago, together with most other RTS games. I blame Rome: Total War.

On the topic of bad graphics, has anyone here played Dwarf Fortress? Quite possibly the most addictive game I’ve ever played.

edit; and yeah, the AoE does look pretty good despite the simple style.

well, I didn’t say I dislike the graphics, AD-Edge - on the contrary, I find them very nice :smiley:

I actually like this style more than a realistic one tbh, might be my personal interest, but I find so much more interesting to look at these kind of characters / buildings than those highly realistic ones. And if this means that it’s possible to make the game run smooth, even with lots of units than it’s fine with me.
I did the beta thing, so I hope I’ll get an invitation sometime, although the chances are pretty low I guess

I read about dwarf fortress in one of yahztees extra puncuactions and have been waiting to give it a try.

As to this new art style isn’t bad especially for an online mmo games. Hell i remember when everquest 2 first came out, That game was kind of brutal on my computer.

Should you try it out, download the Lazy Newb package, it has a good looking graphics replacer. That way you won’t be scared off by the incredibly confusing ASCII graphics and it also has some nice features (programs that allow you to quickly switch jobs on dwarves, a small mod that disables aquifers).

You actually play it through your browser (or through silverlight). I think the reason we have the current graphics is to keep the general spec low so that they get more players.

I think that the reason they are shooting it through the browser is a general anti-theft device.

I’m a big AoE fan, but my response to this is kinda ‘meh’.

Making it cartoony was a nice touch… kind of… If it was a different game though. Cause right now it looks like a parody of the game.
I really hate the character design.
I allways liked age of empires characters, because they looked so ‘skinny’ and athletic. And mano of them fit to the screen.
Right now they look fat and clumsy. the character design is a reason i dislike many strategy game visuals.
It’s really dissapointing that AOE has gone this way with the characters.