Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is set for release this autumn. Microsoft announced the news during the Xbox E3 2019 briefing with a short trailer for the revamped and updated edition of the classic RTS that was a mainstay during the strategy game boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
We caught brief glimpses of gameplay for the first time and spotted new unit assets and animations, what appears to be much higher frame rates and reskinned buildings with fresh destruction mechanics. The world itself looks to have benefited from a significant facelift with lush flora and fully animated fauna.
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition features 4K Ultra HD graphics, a fully remastered soundtrack and game audio, and a brand spanking new single player component ''The Last Khans'' that incorporates three new campaigns and four newly created civilizations, the Bulgarians, Cumans, Lithuanians, and Tatars.
All 24 scenario campaigns from the original plus expansion packs return tracking various highlights of Medieval history return as well in updated form, as do the existing 35 civilizations that comprise the title. Microsoft is promising over 200 hours of successive gameplay. A mainstay of the game, the multiplayer component is, of course, part of the package.
Additionally, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will usher in several quality of life improvements such as automatic farm reseeding, a new spectator mode, tournament features, and native streaming support. We also understand that it will support cross-play between Steam and the Microsoft Store.
For those lucky enough to be at E3, a playable demo is on show at the Microsoft booth. For everyone else, you sign up to the Beta here to be in with a chance to take part in early test phases this summer.
The release of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition neatly coincides with the 20th anniversary of the original and launches on PC and Xbox One.