Age of Empires II Definitive Edition Quick Thoughts
I remember sinking in so much time into Age of Empires II back in the day, it had come pre-installed on a lot of computers I had owned and I had a lot of memories just wasting time with it. When they announced the Definitive edition back in 2019 I had hoped it would make it’s way to consoles, and now it has and if you have Gamepass, you can play it for free.
The core gameplay elements are shared heavily with the original but Definitive Edition builds upon it. The remaster includes new 4K graphics, new improved visuals for troops and buildings, the ability to zoom in and further out and a new spectator mode. It features a new expansion called The Last Khans and includes four new civilizations: Bulgarians, Cumans, Lithuanians and Tatars. Four new campaigns were added for the new civilizations: Ivaylo, Kotyan Khan, Tamerlane and Pachacuti which is about the Inca civilization and replaces El Dorado from the HD Edition (Lithuanians do not appear as a playable civilization in any campaign; however, they represent Poles in the Ivaylo campaign). It includes all previous expansions from the original (The Conquerors) and HD edition (The Forgotten, The African Kingdoms, Rise of the Rajas).
My main concerns going into my play through was just how well does the controls translate from keyboard and mouse to console. (Yes I know the game does support keyboard and mouse on console, but not everyone has the set up to play it in that fashion, I wanted to test it) Now other PC game ports have done decent jobs with these types of translations like Civilization, The Sims, and even the Two-Point games all handle pretty well on console. Age of Empires does a decent job, although it is more complicated than the other games I mentioned.
So if you are into RTS or military type games, this one is an easy recommend as it’s one of the best ones of all time. Your objective is to grow and dominate all being done in real time with actual limited resources, so there are many ways to tackle your objectives and no two game plays are alike. There is a lot of thought and care put into this port and it shows.