Despite its flaws, AoEO was an interesting game, because of the persistent aspects, which made the player feel like they were building something. The civilizations also felt much more unique than in the original AoE, which is a good thing. The cartoony graphics, as has already been mentioned, were a major put-off. There was also too little focus on history - in the original AoE, you got interesting historical information in mission briefings, as well as after completing a mission, and there was even more historical information in the help file. Historical information wasn't pushed onto the players - you could always skip it if you wanted, but it was there, which enriched the game. The AoEO missions were also often grindy and boring - they took significant time to complete, and yet didn't provide much of a sense of accomplishment, not because the gameplay rewards weren't significant, but mostly because they advanced the story too little, and the way storylines were told in the game was also not as appealing as in the AoE campaigns. The gameplay of AoEO was sound, and there was obviously a good amount of historical research behind the units and etc. But ultimately, the cartoony graphics and the uninteristing way in which campaign stories were told deeply flawed the game.