Classic PC strategy gaming series Age of Empires is set to return in 2011 with a brand new persistently online multiplayer game called Age of Empires Online. Age of Empires Online will be free to play upon launch and is currently in a closed beta phase - you can apply for the beta here. The graphics have been updated to what Microsoft are calling a 'modern' look - they're much more cartoon-like than in previous Age of Empires games, which may alienate some long-time fans but could also appeal to younger gamers who are new to the series. For more information and to view the official trailer, have a look a the official website here. Age of Empires Online will be released for Games for Windows - LIVE some time in 2011.