Age of Empires II HD arriving April 9

Microsoft reveals updated version of RTS coming exclusively to Steam April 9; includes the Conquerors expansion.

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Microsoft today announced Age of Empires II HD Edition, a reimagining of the 1999 real-time strategy game. With Ensemble Studios closed, work on the updated version is being done by Hidden Path Entertainment (Defense Grid series, Counter Strike: Global Offensive).

Age of Empires II HD Edition will launch on April 9 exclusively through Steam across the world. Gamers won't need to wait that long to play, however, as those who prepurchase (at a 10 percent discount) will be able to jump in April 5.

Age of Empires II HD Edition includes every single-player campaign from the Age of Kings original and the Conquerors expansion, totaling 18 in all. In addition, gamers can challenge other Steam players through the game's online mode.

According to Microsoft, Age of Empires II HD Edition has been remastered for high-resolution displays at 1080p. It also includes an "enhanced visual engine" sporting improved textures for terrain, water and fire, and ambient lighting effects.

Steamworks features for Age of Empires II HD Edition include achievements, leaderboards, matchmaking, and cloud support. In addition, gamers can share user created content through the Steam Workshop.

Lastly, Microsoft revealed the minimum system requirements for Age of Empires II HD Edition today. They are listed below, along with the game's debut trailer.

Minimum System Requirements:
Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Pro
Steam Software Platform
900x600 minimum display resolution
Direct X 9 Capable GPU
1.2GHz CPU
1GB RAM
2GB HDD

Discussion

268 comments
Kermyt
Kermyt

oooooooh enhanced water, fire, terrain. Let me get my debit card out now!! 

Why are they wasting time on this when they could be doing AOE4. Their is still a market for gather, build, fight games.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

Why would anyone want to buy this when they could simply download the free community mod "Forgotten Empires" (http://www.forgottenempires.net) which even has more features than this simple "HD" retexture overpriced cashgrab ?

StarCarlton
StarCarlton

Myself and a friend used to play this at work. I would gather my armies near his base. Then the phone would ring and it would be a customer. I would wait until he was involved in the conversation - then attack his base. You could here the - doo doo do dooo - trumpet - and he would start to stutter on the phone with the customer  - ha ha - that was awesome.

Nietzschie666
Nietzschie666

Dont waste your time...I just reviewed a torrent version...nothing 'HD' about it...same graphics as the original....uninstalled...no money wasted.

pmcllc
pmcllc

just bought it and I am happy with it thank you guys!!

pmcllc
pmcllc

I am happy with my copy thank you!!!

barakz0r
barakz0r

still have the discs of AOE II and his expansion in perfect shape !

old memories,ahh I feel...like...old O.o

petez34
petez34

the viking on the left reminds me of Denver Pyle haaahahahaha

Boomi904
Boomi904

With all the Technology, No new ideas .... just HD... really?

1wikkid1
1wikkid1

This is another trend that really needs to go away! NO, we DON'T want a $60 mod! All who wanted better graphics already got them, years ago, thanks to the people who do this type of thing for FREE! Most of the time these HD/HQ re-re-releases look like a$s anyway, those graphics were never made for this type of hi-rez displays in the first place. Ok so you sharpen stuff up, what about the hideous animations(that are now even MORE apparent) what about all the special effects? Yeah... another way to suck a few bucks out of the players. I'll stick with crews that actually deserve to get paid, luckily a new humble bundle just dropped. :)

mbize2007
mbize2007

Watch a video of the new 1080p graphics! .... in 720p...... *facepalm*

deadlydeo
deadlydeo

Some cool new features for AOE on Voobly.

  • Multiple Montior Support (play AOE on two montiors) http://i.imgur.com/Ylb2aeE.png
  • New anticheat patch. It has been totally re-built and now unlocks widescreen for non-premium and enables AoFE to have rated games.
  • Rated AOFE! Cysion and Voobly developers worked together for the past few months to get this accomplished. Thanks guys!
  • Widescreen for everyone on both rated and unrated games.
  • NAT 2.0 http://i.imgur.com/K7rLTuN.png
  • Live Streaming linked to the lobby (released a few months ago)

The Voobly developers have been working for months on a lot of these new features. I've been playing AOE since 1998 and I can honestly say in terms of new features this is the best year since then.


-

DeadlydeO

drybones41
drybones41

Spent so much time playing this with a friend, so much happy memories.

Divad222
Divad222

Curious if this will support the custom campaigns from Blacksmith. Those kept me playing the game for many many years.

If so then its a sure buy for me! Tho I have my doubts.

_Roo_
_Roo_

Even though I have this one in my game library I would pay $ 5.00 for the texture pack and the convenience of being able to access it on Steam.

I just checked and they are asking $ 20.00.  Are you f*cking kidding me?  Good luck.

My bet is it will be less than $5 on Steams summer sale.

Ovirew
Ovirew

It looks pretty much the same.  Honestly, I don't see much need for this.

If they actually re-made the game from scratch, but kept the game play pretty much the same, then it might be worth getting.  But this isn't.

sblazed
sblazed

Look basically the same beside a few different textures and lighting on the water lol


jerryatricrejec
jerryatricrejec

Why can't they do a new one? Just using the exact same style as AOE2? Why do the publishers release old titles "remastered" I want an update on the old school one not just "hd" really?

jayjay444
jayjay444

Day one buy for me:) love this game, one of the best RTS game's I've yet played. 

gecko054
gecko054

Awesome! bringing back my childhood memories in HD haha

benelori
benelori

I wonder if there will be any LAN support for this...

Joutja
Joutja

Wohoo. My copies of the game won't work on my laptop any more so it's nice to see this being re-released. Only problem is that I don't like re-buying games, not enough money and too many other stuff to get. 

YYankee
YYankee

Please make a Age of Empires 4! Long live Age of Empires!

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

So happy they're putting this on steam and not gfwl.  Also a discount and early access for preorder instead of stupid character skins?  Since when does microsoft do so much so right.

cubancigar11
cubancigar11

Will there by any DRM? I want to prepurchase but am worried about DRM.

Datatap6093
Datatap6093

@Boomi904 


AoE2 didn't have much wrong with it in the first place!  Played this game for a great many years.  This was the highlight of most lan parties back in the day.  Update graphics are just enough to spark an interest in diving back into it for awhile!

petez34
petez34

@Boomi904 That's probably a good thing. good games nowadays are extremely rare.

cubancigar11
cubancigar11

@deadlydeo Let me be sure again. Are you saying Age of Forgotten Empires will be available for AOE2 HD?

patrickalexson
patrickalexson

@Ovirew 

You're asking quite a bit for $20. Remake a game, which includes creating entirely new 3D models or a completely new set of sprites, rework the game logic (AI, core engine, etc).

There's quite a bit of good here. Multi-monitor support, Steam support. HD resolutions, slightly larger more detailed sprites and hopefully (though not confirmed) no having to end explorer.exe process to see the normal color of sprites without the color distortion.

Rikstah
Rikstah

@cubancigar11 No, hes saying Voobly has been offering a better matchmaking system, widescreen resolutions, AOFE if u wanna play that one, NAT 2.0, a vastly superior lobby, for free, just download/ buy the original AOC and the voobly client.


The AOE2 community has been alive for a great many years thanks to Voobly

Ovirew
Ovirew

@patrickalexson In the instance I was talking about, I would be willing to pay full price ($40-$60) if they completely re-made the game from scratch.

mYTH_2k4
mYTH_2k4

@patrickalexson @Ovirew Oh I'm pretty sure we won't need to kill explorer.exe anymore. :P It would either have to be fully supported or the process management would be done by the game itself. Wouldn't really be sell-able without it... 

JackPipsam
JackPipsam

@Tremblay343 @JackPipsam @cubancigar11 Hardly, we're not talking about consoles, we are talking about PC gaming.

ANY software which REQUIRES you to use it to play games on the PC platform is DRM.

GOG is not DRM because once you have it downloaded you don't need to do anything else or have any other programs open or logged into.
Steam IS DRM because once you have downloaded (or installed from disc with 'steamwork' titles) you NEED to have the Steam program open to use it and the offline has a terrible reputation I might add.

One could almost understand it from the DL standpoint, but the second retail products REQUIRE an internet connection and additional software to run it's under a DRM.

So sorry but Stream is a DRM.