In 14 years, your average video game franchise has a fairly decent shot at hitting a double-digit sequel number. It's not really in vogue to go back and simply keep adding content to an older game—so who ever thought that, a decade and a half after its original release, Age of Empires 2 would receive an official expansion? It's true, and it's happening courtesy of Microsoft Studios, which is supporting the team behind the fan-made mod Forgotten Empires to bring new content to the classic strategy game's HD release.
Age of Empires 2
Age of Empires II: HD Edition has been out a little over a week, and has scarcely left the Top 5 best-selling titles on Steam since. It hasn't all been sunshine and mutton dinners with the polished-up classic, however, as the realities of getting such a dated engine to run on modern machines has caused some quirks. A patch is now available for beta opt-in that, notably, fixes framerate issues on higher-end machines.
Well, this is a pleasant surprise: Age of Empires II: HD Edition is live on Steam for anyone who pre-ordered—apparently it has been as of the 5th. The store page still says it won't unlock for about another 17 hours, but the game launches fine, and all modes seem to be available. Since buying it now is still technically a pre-order, you should just be able to hand over your e-cash and get immediate access. It's essentially a soft release.
Wah waaaaaaaah. The sad trombone is here to announce that the official Age of Empires II FAQ has revealed that the Steam re-release of the RTS classic won't have LAN play. The single player will be playable in Steam's offline mode, but you'll have to have an internet connection to play multiplayer. It's not all gloomy tidings, though. Read on for a break-down of what we know about the game so far.
The rumors were true. Age of Empires II HD (which includes the content from the Conquerors expansion) is coming to Steam in April. And it's been aged up to the Modern Era (courtesy of Hidden Path Entertainment), with a host of tweaks and new features. We've got more details and a graphical comparison below.