If you played Age of Empires during your younger days, great news! Microsoft just unveiled that a HD remake of 1999 classic real-time strategy game, Age of Empires 2, has been in the works thanks to Hidden Path Entertainment (the same developers who helped out in making Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive). The remake covers both the original AOE2: Age of Kings game and its expansion pack released in 2000, The Conquerors Expansion.
Age of Empires II HD will be released as a Steam-exclusive title on April 9, 2013 with an enhanced visual engine that will improve textures and bring support for resolutions up to 1080p Full HD. The game will not only sport a graphics update to bring it up to the modern widescreen resolutions that computers have these days, but will also support Steam features such as achievements, online multiplayer with leaderboards, Steam cloud synchronization and Steam Workshop support.
Two of those massive Steam-powered features have the chance of restoring Age of Empires 2 back to its formal glory with a huge follow: Multiplayer and Steam Workshop. Official multiplayer for Age of Empires 2 was axed a couple of years ago when Microsoft did away with MSN Gaming Zone, but it’s about to make a massive comeback by leveraging the connectivity of the established Steam platform. Steam Workshop will allow players to create and share user-created content; this will bring custom maps and campaigns to the table (and hopefully custom created units and civilizations).
Age of Empires II HD will have slightly higher system requirements than the original game, but relative to modern day games, they are still low and will allow almost any computer to run the game. You need to have at least a:
- 1.2 GHz CPU
- 1 GB RAM
- 2 GB of disk space
- DirectX 9 graphics card
- At least Windows XP
Age of Empires II HD will come out on April 9, 2013 for $19.99, but it is available for pre-order now on Steam at 10% off. Those who pre-ordered the game will be able to start playing slightly earlier on April 5.