Back in 1999, when I was four years old, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings was released. The real-time strategy game series were a big success. Flash forward to 2019 where developer Forgotten Empires remastered the original game to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular game. Personally, I have never played Age of Empires but it has been on my list for a long time now. Needless to say, I was beyond excited to receive a review key for Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition! Let’s gooooo.
What we liked!
- Lots of content: Age of Empires 2 already offered a lot of content and the Definitive Edition is only adding more. You get the original game, all the expansions and new content. You sure as hell won’t get bored, nor will you finish this one quickly. And you’re only paying 20 Euros? Honestly, this is only my first point but I’m already going to tell you something: this game is worth buying. Just by simply looking at the content vs price aspect, you get a lot for your money.
- Excellent tutorials: If you’ve never played AoE, like me, there are quite some things you need to learn. There are various tutorials explaining different parts of the gameplay. I found this to be very helpful. You can also skip a tutorial when you think you get the gist and move on to the next one.
- New content: As I mentioned above, there is also new content to be found. I find this to be a must for a re-release of an old game. Okay, you can update the graphics and stuff, but adding some new content makes the game way more interesting. In the Definitive Edition of AoE 2, there is a new single-player campaign called The Last Khans. This is brand new and also presents us with four new civilizations: Bulgarians, Lithuanians, Tatars, and Cumans.
- Upgraded visuals: As with most old games that get an updated version, Age of Empires 2 also got a set of brand new visuals. The popular strategy game now comes with 4K Ultra HD graphics. Seeing as this game dates back to 1999, these updated visuals sure as hell do the game some good.
- Extra fixes: The developers didn’t stop with the visuals. Some extra fixed were also carried out. This edition has plenty of quality of life improvements like on-screen control groups and extra statistics including the number of people getting what resources. This helps you organize your overall game a lot better. I found these extra tools to be quite helpful. There is also a camera zoom implemented and even the soundtrack was remastered.
- Nope, I got nothing.
What we disliked
- Multiplayer mode doesn’t work properly: The only thing that got on my nerves was the multiplayer mode. Turns out I am not the only one getting frustrated by it. Everything is in place but the multiplayer mode doesn’t seem to work properly. Disconnecting issues with servers appear a little too often. I honestly didn’t mind that much because I prefer playing strategic games offline, but I’m pretty confident a big community is counting on the online aspect of this game.
Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition was everything I expected and more. I enjoyed the gameplay, graphics and even the tutorials a lot. Since I haven’t played the original version, comparing wasn’t that simple, so I looked up the new features and concluded that they come in quite damn handy. If you’re a real-time strategy game fan, I highly recommend this title. If you’re an original AoE 2 player, I also recommend trying this one out.
Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂