Rebuilt: Age Of Empires Definitive Edition announced

Age of Empires [official site] turns twenty this year and Microsoft are celebrating by releasing a Definitive Version of the game, with fancy new 4K graphics, all sixteen civilisations, including those from the Rise of Rome expansion, ten campaigns, and a host of other adjustments. It’s coming later this year and you can sign up for closed beta access right now.

Like a disappointed dad seeing the onset of teen gloom, I’m frowning at the new graphics. They’re tidier, sure, but they look a bit drab next to the original look. That’ll be included as well, in an authentic 1997 mode.

More impressive than the visual overhaul is a completely re-recorded soundtrack. There’ll be more info at Gamescom, with a hint that it’ll be more information about Age of Empires as a franchise rather than this definitive edition of the first game specifically. While we wait to see what that’s all about, take a look at the beta signup info right now (if the website has recovered from the hammering it’s been getting since the announcement).


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    Drib says:

    You know, as much as I’d like to disapprove of constantly rehashing old games… I want to play this one. I enjoyed AoE, and I’d like to have another go.

  2. Carra says:

    Seeing how successful these games still are, it really makes me wonder why they closed down Ensemble Studios. Damn you M$.

  3. Eawyne says:

    It looks “fakey”… the 3D is screaming at me, and the color, although present, are dull. Compared to the sunny ambiance of the original, it pales.

    I’ll pass this without hesitation.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      The new animations have a lot more detail but their slowness makes it look like televised wresting where everyone is faking as well.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Yeah I definitely don’t like the new look. The old graphics look a lot better. The new graphics have a muddy look to them whereas the original is crisp and colorful, even if it is pixelated. They could learn a lot from Blizzard with Starcraft Remastered. SCR looks great while still looking true to the original. They should just put the original AOE on GOG, I’d buy that in a heartbeat.

    • Wang Tang says:

      You all surely read this bit: […] the original look. That’ll be included as well, in an authentic 1997 mode.?

      Because improved pathfinding alone makes this a worthy purchase in my opinion. God, that could be so infuriating in those days, villagers getting stuck on walls and bushes…

  4. Zaxwerks says:

    Is it just me or is there terrible motion blur on all the animations on the new version? Especially on the horses whenever they move, they just appear to be a messy blur.

  5. racccoon says:

    Good enhancement, as you can see they have kept the code and not really gone to renew the code to a more higher platformed engine. They could of, but, it does seem that they didn’t. Its kind of like that other game cossacks when they revamped, they couldn’t revamp much as they were limited by the original code.

  6. kud13 says:

    This is a good thing that’s happening, but of course Microsoft is approaching this the worst way possible.
    They are making this a Windows Store exclusive. Given the upsurge in the Steam players of AoEII HD, they are really fracturing the community with making AoEI (which a ton of people on Steam have been requesting) a non-steam title.
    It remains to be seen how that plays out, but I’m not optimistic, given how long it the devs to start making AoEII functional.

  7. Aspirant_Fool says:


  8. melerski says:


  9. Unruly says:

    It’s about time. I never got to play Rise of Rome back in the day. It’s just a shame that it’s going to be Windows Store only, meaning I still won’t get to play it because I’m never using the Windows store for anything.

    Hey, Microsoft, Wololo! Put it on Steam! Wololo!

  10. CaesarNZ says:

    Oh please why cant someone make Empire Earth HD version.
    I’d soooo love that.

  11. Zorgulon says:

    We need an army of wololo-ing Steam Priests to convert this game away from the heathen Windows Store faith.

    AoE 2 was one of the first PC games I ever played and I loved it. I remember picking up the original AoE from some bargain bin and it never quite gelling with me for some reason. I preferred the gameplay (and probably the graphics) of the sequel, and that probably will still be true today. There is one exception though: AoE had the better cheats.

    I hope there is a HD remastered version of the fabled “E=MC2 TROOPER”

  12. Catweasel says:

    Online play through… Xbox live? What the heck?