The Age of Empires series is deservedly considered a cult classic of the gaming industry. The strategies in the series once set the bar for the whole genre, but for me personally, Age of Empires will always be a game that has awakened a love for these games. I spent very little time in the first part of the game, but the sequel and subsequent additions took a whole period in my life.
I tried Age of Empires 2 only a few years after the release – in the eighth or ninth grade of school. Then strategy became one of the main interests, occupying many hours of campaigns, simple catscenes of which in the fantasy seemed grandiose historical moments. I remember the moments of the campaign for Attila and the Incas, which I later used as the basis for training to work with the editor when I created my own maps and adventures.
Since then, Age of Empires 3 has been able to impress with graphics for many years, after which remasters and even additional content for classic games were released. However, the main event of recent years was the long-awaited release of Age of Empires 2: Definitieve Edition – the evolutionary development of the HD version, which improved absolutely all aspects of the strategy, while maintaining almost intact mechanics.
Age of Empires 2: Definitieve Edition can be used as an example of how developers should approach remasters. Not only does the game work perfectly at high resolutions with excellent animation, but it also includes a lot of new content, including civilizations and campaigns. However, even what has accumulated in 20 years should suffice literally for weeks. No kidding, if you’re going to play Age of Empires 2: DE now, you’ll be done with only single content by spring – there are more than 25 campaigns here!
Technical improvements: Lighting has become more pleasant
The detail of the objects has increased
Possibility of zooming
It is now possible to create queues for the construction of buildings
Automatic field sowing is available
There’s filtering of units by type
However, as fascinating as the historical missions are, multiplayer mode and battles against AI are what fans still spend years for. Despite being old enough to play, PvP in Age of Empires 2 remains exciting and exciting even today. I still regularly watch matches between pro-gamers and the transition from HD to DE-version is only delightful. It should be noted that the observer mode requires improvement, but it’s only a matter of time.
Advice to those who think of trying themselves in multiplayer mode – before you fight with real people, sharpen your management skills against AI, especially since he has a lot of agility on high complexity. In recent weeks, I’ve lost more than one battle against AI – the lack of practice has affected me. Records of professionals can and do help in terms of strategies and tricks, but do not compensate for forgotten hotkeys and optimal tactics for specific civilizations.
The main thing that I noted for myself is that Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition doesn’t make you feel like an outdated game. Yes, it’s not a realistic game, but that’s the beauty of it. For all its conventions, AoE2 presents a holistic experience that can be mastered in one evening, but it will take years to master.
What awaits the AoE series in the future, I can’t even imagine, but the fact is that today, if you want to get the best experience of classical strategy, you don’t need to go far – Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition is available in Steam for only 435 rubles. Keep in mind that localization in the game leaves much to be desired and requires improvement. I play in English, so there are no claims to the version.