Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition Reliving the past in glorious 4K

The Age of Empress II from Microsoft was released in 1999, around the time I got my first computer. In fact, the demo version was one of the first games I played. Needless to say that I am excited at the prospect of restarting the game. Microsoft announced the Age of Empire II: Gamescom 2017 definitive version two years ago and the game has just been released.

Age of Empires II is definitely one of the best games in the series if not the best. So the gods of Forgotten Empire, Tantalus Media and Witch Witch Software have high hopes of riding on them. Now that I’ve played the game for the past week, here’s my second year of age: the definitive edition review.

Graphics, Music and Cinematics

Microsoft advertised that updated visuals would be the game’s biggest selling point, and I’d like to get rights into it. The new 4k visuals of the game are absolutely stunning with the free DLC enhanced graphics pack. Now you can zoom in on the map and have a look at all of their 4K glory characters.

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A fair warning though that a beef PC would be required to play this game at 4K resolution.

The Intel 7700k processor, the Nvidia GTX 1070 AMP Extreme card, had a hard time maintaining fps at a steady 60 in the mine with 16GB of RAM. But I must admit that it is worth it. The visuals and various mechanics in the game look far more advanced than in the original game. And the textures have been recalled and updated as well.

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The music has also been updated and it was really interesting to hear the new scores for the newly added civilizations in the game. Each of the 35 civilizations have their own unique music, playing them while playing in a match or simply browsing through the contents of their history.

Most of the effects are still similar though music. The new music is as good and catchy as used in the original game if not better. For cinematics, the game has hardly any, as it uses the static and text method before playing each campaign map.

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Story and content

As we all know that Age of Empire games do not actually follow storylines, but are adapted from historical retelling. It is much higher here, but it seems that the amount of material has become too much. The number of civilizations in the game is now number 35 which is largely honest. And each of these civilizations has at least maps of the expedition.

These range from the Celts and William Wallace, the Zone of Arc to Vlad Dracula and the Kotyan mine in Europe. In Asia, we are a campaign of civilization in India from Prithviraj, Genghis Khan to Prithviraj. Maya and Aztec civilizations exist in the Americas, along with Yodit, in Africa with Tariq ibn Ziyad.

The range of content in the game is massive right now, and there are too many campaigns to finish now. The Devs claim that Edge of Empires II has at least 200 hours worth of campaign gameplay: the definitive version of which I hardly scratched the surface in the past week.

Moving on to the multiplayer bit of the game, it sounds just as exciting as the original. However, I was not able to play the multiplayer fully as I played the game mostly in the pre-release review period and were limited to other journalists with anti-high ping.

But for those who have not played the original game, the game requires strategy and planning to say the least. Each civilization comes with its own perks and demerits.

Therefore players need to work hard before choosing to fit their gameplay style. One of the things that could have been done better is the diversity of newly added civilizations. Most of the new additions feel the same, with a little variety of them.

Controls and gameplay

Control of the game is very much the same as it always has been. But there are some improvements that the gods have made around this time. Some new features have been added to make life easier for the players. An example would be the new feature of queuing tasks for villagers by pressing shift. The rest of the controls are very similar, and sadly, units from one place to another still have a cluny around objects.

The gameplay bit is definitely leaps and bounds ahead of the original game, and is just as engaging. But there were some problems with the game crashing while loading maps. This is not good at all, since it is not a good update of Devas, so there should not be any major problem.

For those who want a leg-up in campaign mode, classic vintage cheats are available. But the use of these chicks negates the possibilities of achieving achievements in that particular map. There are some unit control issues that were dealt with in the original game that made life easier when controlling a large number of units.


To summarize my review, I would say that Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is a case study in which the game’s remaster should work. Microsoft has done the job of cleaning up the game and adding lots of new content to the game.

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