http://i.imgur.com/puUh117.jpg
Age of Empires 2 is a classic RTS game that for many, defined the genre. I have had many epic LAN battles with my friends over the years and its really sad I can't play it with them anymore. I have tried much to get back to those awesome multiplayer battles, but nothing has worked.

As it turns out Hidden Path and Microsoft think this problem must solved and have paired up to release Age of Empires 2: HD Edition. Travis and I just got press beta access to this game and I had to post my first few hours with it!

Put simply, this is the game I wanted them to make.

fullscreen/windowed

There is a simple toggle to go from full screen to windowed mode and it works very well. If you have the game windowed you can resize it afterward and the game snaps to and works seamlessly. I tried the game in both Windowed and Fullscreen and had no issues at all. I have a very high resolution widescreen monitor and it looked great.

multiplayer

Age 2: HD has no LAN support.

http://forums.ageofempiresonline.com/forums/thread/350618.aspx

As they state, you can play Age 2 single player in offline mode but to play multiplayer you will need an Internet connection to Steam. Now before your rage-o-meter hits 1,000 there are a few things you need to know about how the Age 2 multiplayer on Steam works.

Age 2: HD lets you create games on Steam by first selecting the games visibility: "public," "friends," or "private." I created a "friends" game and since Travis and I are Steam friends Travis saw it right away and joined. It was buttery smooth and worked right away in Steam out of the box.

So yeah, LAN isn't included here but the Steam integration is top notch and we had zero issues getting into a game.

a few new awesome things

* Steam Cloud Saves
* Steam Workshop Integration. When I saw this in game my mind exploded with the limitless possibilities of awesome Age 2 mods. Can't wait to see what people come up with.
* Multi-Monitor Support.
* You can increase the population cap to 500 in mulitplayer. Seriously, it works and I totally did it. This means you can expect some ridiculously huge battles with your friends.

final thoughts

First off this is just a teaser of my first few hours of the game, I plan on posting again after Travis and I hit up a full mutiplayer epic with a 500 unit cap and my other exploits. Needless to say, this port is really what I wanted and am so very happy it was made. Leaving out LAN kind of hit me in the feels but if the Steam integration keeps being stellar I don't take point with it.

I felt like a piece of history and culture was lost with Age 2 classic and now its back and polished up for the modern era and this makes me very happy.

And really, I think we can all "wololo" that.

The game will officially launch on April 9th or April 5th with pre-order.

AdamPFarnsworth wrote on 03/22/2013 at 12:37am

Can't wait to play!

http://imgur.com/E4yz1

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/22/2013 at 02:33am

I just played multiplayer with Travis, going to be writing about that soon :D

Travis   Admin wrote on 03/22/2013 at 02:36am

It. Was. Awesome.

It still lags out a bit when you get a ton of enemies on screen, but I'm sure Jon will be talking about that soon in his post.

beansmyname   Supporter wrote on 03/22/2013 at 02:40am

Never played AoE II. Played a metric-poop-ton (trying to keep it clean) of the first, though. Many a late night gaming session became an early morning bedtime as me and my cohorts played 3-on-5 battles against the AI. Egyptian priests were my army and the computer's weapons became mine. :)

I drooled over AoE II before it came out, but life happens and I just never played it. Glad to see it got revived and is just as fun as it ever was.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/22/2013 at 03:17am

Yeah, it is very fun. I just posted about the match Travis and I had.

Microsoft and Hidden Path both said this won't be coming to Linux though. Total bummer.

beansmyname   Supporter wrote on 03/23/2013 at 01:38am

Oh well. There'll be other games. There will always be other games.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/23/2013 at 05:10am

Always more games!

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