Skip to main content

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition's official Christmas mod might not be entirely historically accurate

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition is celebrating its first holiday season with an official Christmas mod, Winter Celebration 2019, that you can download for free until next year. The mod adds lots of cheery, festive touches that, I'm sorry to say, raise some questions about historical accuracy. 

I won't dispute that it snowed at some point during the medieval era, possibly even multiple times, but I'm less certain about the use of icicles as projectile weapons. Did villagers venture outside to root around in naturally occurring piles of gift-wrapped presents so they could feed their family? We may never know for sure, but I have my doubts. 

Here's what the mod includes:

  • Snow covered trees
  • Patches of snow on all non-water terrain
  • Piles of presents in place of forage/fruit bushes
  • Piles of presents underneath town centres
  • Icicles replace normal sized arrows
  • Candy canes replace spears from skirmishers and genitours
  • Presents replace trebuchet projectiles
  • Snowballs replace cannonballs for bombard cannons, cannon galleons and bombard towers
  • Snowflakes replace projectiles for mangonel/onager/siege units

All very suspect. Don't hold it against the game, though. The latest iteration of Age of Empires 2 is also the best, leaving little untouched as it brings the classic RTS into the modern age. If you were a bit disappointed by the previous HD remaster or the first Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, this is a much more significant upgrade. 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.