While Microsoft's E3 mediablast had nothing to say about Age Of Empires IV, and more's the pity, they did gab more about their ongoing efforts to fancy up older games in the historical real-time strategy series. Following 2018's Definitive Edition of the first game, we'll be getting Age Of Empires II: Definitive Edition this autumn. Yes, I know Empires 2 received an HD Edition with fixes and fancying only a few years ago, but this is a grander endeavour with new art and a new expansion and such. Have your first peek in the new trailer.
I do like the vibrancy of that water.
The Def Ed brings new art made for resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD, a remastered soundtrack, and a new expansion rolled in. Named 'The Last Khans', that will bring three new campaigns and four new civilisations: the Bulgarians, Cumans, Lithuanians, and Tatars. Down in its technoguts, expect "quality-of-life upgrades such as automatic farm reseeding" and a new spectator system for multiplayer matches.
Fans on Reddit have pored over screenshots for every detail, clue, and hint, so I'll point you towards them. Me, here I am, writing at 2am, cooing over water.
AOE2 is the game which really kicked off the ongoing series revival. Its 'HD Edition' in 2013 fixed the game up a bit for modern systems, then become such a success that several new official expansions were made - over a decade after its original launch. The revampening will continue with Age Of Empires III: Definitive Edition after this. As for Relic Entertainment's AOE4, ah, it's a mystery. Microsoft went pretty quiet after announcing it at E3 2017. Mysteries. Though, y'know, how are you supposed to understand AO4's backstory if you've missed playing through several hundred years of human history?
Age Of Empires II: Definitive Edition is coming to Steam and the Windows 10 store this autumn. It'll cost $20, or $15 on Steam for folks who own AOE2 HD. This will also be one of the games covered by Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass doodad, which tonight launched on PC with a £1 trial month.
Oh hey, also, the first AOE Def Ed is headed to Steam in August after being exclusive to that Windows 10 jazz. What a foolish idea that was. The Steam version will support multiplayer with the Win 10 version too.
See our E3 2019 tag for more news, previews, opinions, and increasingly surreal liveblogs.