Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, the review

As we will see in the course of review, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition of Forgotten Empires is much more than the remastered edition of an old game. After all, the remastered edition of Age of Empire 2 already exists: it's called Age of Empires 2: HD Edition and it came out a few years ago, followed by at least three major expansions, which have been added to the original ones. In short, what is the meaning of this new operation? in the meantime Microsoft wanted to follow up on the experience of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, continuing the operation of updating the franchise; moreover, he wanted to perfect his own formula, proposing an edition of the game that goes beyond the remastering of the contents, proposing itself as an attractive product even for those who own and have played the previous editions of the game.

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, the review

In short, if Age of Empires 2: HD Edition was the original with some tweaks, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition is Age of Empires 2 to the nth degree, with deeper changes in the interface, content and graphics.

Revised mechanics

For those unfamiliar with it, Age of Empires 2 is one strategic in real time based on the collection of resources and the historical evolution of controlled civilization, whose buildings and units improve significantly from one era to the next. Without bothering to describe again what is rightly considered a classic of the genre of RTS, let's focus on news of this edition, which are not few. As we said, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition has undergone a complete overhaul of some game mechanics.

The developers went to dig out all the little problems that plagued the original and worked hard to fix them. For example, now there is no longer the risk of selecting citizens together with the army, sending them to die in war, since the system takes care of distinguishing them automatically, excluding non-combat units from multiple selections. Another welcome simplification is that of production, both economic and of units. Incidentally, field work can now be automated and there is no need to restart it every time a crop cycle ends.

The interface also allows a clearer management of the activities of the individual buildings, showing the production queue clearly on the screen through icons. This way you no longer run the risk of getting confused about the units being trained and the time required to deploy them. These are small comforts that greatly modernize the gameplay of Age of Empires 2, now much more in line with modern real-time strategy.

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, the review

Honestly, after trying them we didn't feel any need to go back to the old version of the interface, also because many of the revised aspects were actually annoyances, more than features, annoyances that no one really misses in the world of strategists.


However Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition does not offer new features only in terms of the interface. Much has also been done to give owners of old versions a reason to replay. For example, theartificial intelligence of the highest difficulty level, in order to make it more reactive and more human in tactics, eliminating the advantages it had in the old versions, perceived by many as tricks. Also added new content, such as challenge missions, thought of as an extension of the tutorial for players who want to try advanced tactics. In fact, calling them tutorials is quite inappropriate, because they are very demanding, but it gives an idea of ​​their purpose. For example, he is taught to "run" between the ages, that is, how to reach the Castle Age as soon as possible, or how to slow down the rush of opponents and so on. As you may have guessed, these are tactics designed essentially to play online, where the barriers to access are now very high, given that it is frequented by players who have practically done nothing but study the game for years.

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, the review

Knowing them will not make you win immediately, but at least it will allow you to realize what is happening. Challenge Missions also offer another benefit: they eliminate some of the barriers to entry to the genre, never considered by traditional tutorials. In short, learning how to produce units is right, just as it is right to know how to manage the army, but having a tutorial that explains some concepts so far linked only to practice is a pretty good entrance bonus.

Graphics and new content

On top of all this, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition also features a new one expansionCalled The Last Khans, which is in addition to the three published in recent years and which offers three new campaigns, which allow you to use the new civilizations and which give access to three stories that are little known but told in an exciting way, in the style of the series. In total, the contents of Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition are considerable in quantity, given that we are talking about a total of thirty-five civilizations included for twenty-seven campaigns. The official numbers speak of at least two hundred hours of gameplay, excluding online, but in our opinion if you really want to try everything, replaying some campaigns at the highest difficulty levels, it goes even further.

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, the review

In short, what better appetizer waiting for Age of Empires IV? Also note the excellent work of revising the graphics, which not only keeps all the news of the HD version, but also adds a high definition texture pack, great for those who play with 4k resolution. Also added some brand new animations, among which those of destruction of buildings stand out, really well done even if they clash a bit with the style of the others. In short, this is really a lot of stuff for a game whose price has been set at just under twenty euros. Obviously it has its years, but if Age of Empires 2 has not yet tired you, or you have never played it and want to try it at its best, the Definitive Edition is definitely a recommended purchase, regardless of any other possible evaluation.


Digital Delivery Steam, Windows Store Price 19,99 €


Readers (27)


Your vote

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition is the perfect re-release of an excellent game, superior in several sizes to what was done with the first Age of Empires. Revised mechanics, lots of new content, improved graphics and much more form the definitive Age of Empires 2 experience, which will appeal to nostalgics as well as new players on the hunt for a good real-time strategy, waiting for Age of Empires IV .


  • Lots of new content
  • The mechanics overhaul was successful
  • The graphical improvements are remarkable
  • The game is that
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