Age of Empires II HD Edition is a re-edition of Age of Empires II, the popular strategy game in real time. Its name (HD Edition) indicates that, theoretically speaking, it should include new high definition graphics. And we say "theoretically" because even though the game is still as great as it was in 1999, this re-edition presents such small changes to the graphic aspect that we don't know why it ended up being called "HD Edition".
With this in mind, is downloading AoE II worth it? Let's find out.
The classic game endures
As far as playability, Age of Empires II is still one of the leading games in real time strategy, even though it came out in 1999. AoE II was one of the pioneers in confronting armies and hundreds of units, creating large scale epic battles.
Age of Empires II is a very paused strategy game. The developing and research times for the civilizations are longer than normal. For this reason, games become meticulous chess games.
AoE II is also very replayable: its campaigns are long and complex, it includes a random map creation function and, in the case of this edition, it includes its two expansions (Age of Kings and The Conquerors). In this respect, Age of Empires II HD Edition presents impeccable playability despite the passing of time. So, where is the problem?
A poor remake
The big problem with Age of Empires II HD Edition is that its novelties don't justify its existence. To start with: you are probably expecting the typical renewed graphics in high definition, right? The problem is that AoE II doesn't have HD textures. Instead of this, some details have been slightly retouched, such as fire or water. Aside from that, the original sound effects and voices are the same, and already in 1999 they sounded a bit off. But the disappointments don't end here.
The 1999 version of Age of Empires II had a few bugs that were never resolved, such as the impossibility of having the maximum number of certain combat units. HD Edition still has these bugs. And what's worse: it does not add current functions such as more quick access keys or automatic search keys. There was enough time to debug the game!
The only thing of significance in Age of Empires II HD Edition is that it is compatible with Steam Workshop, and so users have created new maps, new campaigns and even new modes (some have created role playing games withing AoE II!). Thanks to this function, Age of Empires II is even longer.
Fans come to the rescue
Age of Empires II HD Edition is an excellent game inside a poor remake. But, thanks to the work of Steam Workshop users, this remake is worth it. Fans have even created non-official patches that really modernize the game graphics. We could say that the circle has been closed: strategy fans owe as much to Age Empires II as Age of Empires II HD Edition owes to strategy fans.
Clicking the download button will take you to the Steam page where you can download the game.