The HD remake of the classic RTS will launch on April 9, exclusively through Steam.
Age Of Empires II is one of those classic PC games that people think back on with teary eyes. Pretty much every PC gamer has that one story about playing Age of Empires II at a LAN party. Microsoft wants us to be able to relive those glory days, announcing Age of Empires II: HD Edition, a re-imagining of the 1999 RTS due out on April 9. The HD edition includes every singleplayer campaign from the Age of Kings original and the Conquerors expansion, and will be available exclusively through Valve's Steam platform.
If April 9 is too long for you to wait, gamers who opt to put their money down right now and prepurchase the game will receive a 10% discount as well as four days of early access. Since Ensemble Studios, the original creator of the game, has closed down, work on the updated version is being done by Hidden Path Entertainment, the developer which brought us Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Microsoft says that the HD edition has been completely remastered for 1080p displays, and includes an "enhanced visual engine" that will spruce up the visuals of the game's terrain, water and fire, and ambient lighting effects. Steamworks features for the game include achievements, leaderboards, cloud saving and a Steam Workshop - allowing modders and mappers to create and share user-generated content.
The game will include an online versus mode, but there is no word on whether LAN play will be included. As LAN play was a pretty big mainstay of the original, it would be quite a disappointment to not see it included in this edition. The fairly modest updated system requirements for the game are as follows:
Minimum System Requirements:
Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Pro
Steam Software Platform
900x600 minimum display resolution
Direct X 9 Capable GPU