It’s still weird to me that effectively we’ll have two HD or remastered editions of Age of Empires 2. Either way, AOE2 is getting re-released on November 15 Australian time. Here’s a full match so you can see how it’s coming along.
There’s a few things that you’ll have to get used to in the showmatch below is just how smooth the animations are. That’s because, y’know, this is a game being released in 2019, not 1999. Something that’s not necessary is the awful bloom effect: it’s so strong that it’s almost like a reverse vignette on the whole image. Fortunately, you can turn it off in the options.
AOE2: Definitive Edition will have three new campaigns and four new civilisations at launch, which Forgotten Empires project lead Bert Beeckman noted would be slightly stronger on day one. They added that most existing AOE2 mods, campaigns and scenarios will work with AOE2DE from launch, although tools will be provided to convert anything over that doesn’t work natively.
(Small warning. The switch to the player POV resulted in a crass Steam account sending a friend notification mid-game. Developers: if you’re running a stream, disable the Steam overlay.)
Bonus quality-of-life addition: you can change the direction of gates with the mousewheel. “It will finally be in there,” Beeckman quipped. There’s also an extreme difficulty mode being added to the game for veterans. It’s launching simultaneously across Steam and the Microsoft Store, with crossplay for both versions.
It’s all looking good — minus that bloom, of course — but it just makes me wonder: what’s Relic doing with Age of Empires 4?