developer: Hidden Path Entertainment
publisher: Xbox Game Studios / Microsoft Studios
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet, players: 1 - 8
game language: English
game release date for PC:
Age of Empires II HD is a remake of a classic real-time strategy game from 1999 – Age of Empires II: The Age of the Kings – and its add-on, Age of Empires II: The Conquerors, that was released a year later. The very gameplay has not changed, however, the graphics was improved, and the application was adapted to run on the latest operating systems. The game owes its second youth to Hidden Path Entertainment Studios (Defense Grid series, Counter- Strike: Global Offensive). It is them whom Microsoft company has entrusted the development of Age of Empires II HD, after Ensemble Studios – the team standing behind the original game – was closed in 2009.
Age of Empires II veterans know perfectly well that the historical background of the game was the Middle Ages. Of course, the same is true for its HD version. The game includes all campaigns and civilizations known from The Age of the Kings and The Conquerors.
Players choose one of 18 nations (including the Vikings, Japanese, Byzantines, Mongols, Aztecs, Koreans), whom they lead to development and domination over others. Individual nations differ from one another in terms of architecture, available technology, and their strengths and weaknesses. Many roads lead to victory - military conquest, economic expansion, or constructing and protecting a Wonder of the World. The main objectives the player has to take care of, are recruiting troops, expanding cities, developing various technologies, and conducting trade. The gameplay, including battles, is played out in real time. Skirmishes involve infantry units, cavalry, siege weapons, and ships.
In addition to single player mode, there is multiplayer in Age of Empires II HD. Steam integration allowed introduction of matchmaking system that connects together players with similar skills. Steam also provides leaderboards, achievements, and an option of storing saved games in a cloud. Fans of modifications can take advantage of Steam Workshop in order to easily share and download fan-made mods.
The most noticeable changes were made to the artwork. Admittedly, the Age of Empires II HD is nothing like the latest games, but the graphics has gained a lot thanks to the increased resolution, improved textures, and new water, fire and light effects. On top of that, the game offers multi-monitor support.
Game score 8.65 / 10 calculated out of 460 players' votes.
Expectations before the premiere: 9.6 / 10 calculated out of 65 players' votes.
age requirements: 12+
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 4 1.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM, graphic card 256 MB (GeForce 7600 GS or better), 2 GB HDD, Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8