age-of-empires-2
Metacritic: 92/100
Release: Sep 1999
Reviewed on: PC

Age of Empires II

Site Score
8.5
Good: HD version population limit – Civilization variety – Multiplayer
Bad: Some bland graphics and unit designs
User Score
9.2
(15 votes)
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Age of Empires II belongs to the hugely success AoE series of real time strategy games. Launching back in 1999 the game saw a HD release in 2013 with a few minor changes to gameplay, most notably an increased population cap (200 to 500).

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The game explores the Middle Ages with over a dozen playable civilizations from that era that each come with their own unique technologies and strengths which creates a huge number of strategies for players to use in the competitive environment which has helped the game stay as one of the most popular real time strategy games for multiplayer gameplay.

In terms of campaigns the game has five varied campaigns to experience which are great story based experiences providing a good mixture of challenges. The game really shines in the multiplayer and skirmish modes though with near countless options for players to mix and match, ensuring there is always a new experience in these modes, allowing all skill levels to be challenged.

Players will find gameplay is similar to most other games in this genre as they gather resources (food, wood, stone and gold) to use on their buildings, unit creation and upgrading various technologies.

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Once certain prerequisites have been meet players will be able to advance from one age to the next which opens up new technology trees, units and buildings. With four ages that take you from the Dark Age into the Imperial Age it’s a constant balance between saving resources for advancement for a jump in power and current spending needs.

Age of Empires II is undoubtedly one of the top games in the real time strategy genre and a masterpiece for its time. The gameplay still holds up to modern standards and with the HD version increasing unit caps beyond double their previous number it is strategy gaming at its best.

Summary:

  • The second game in the highly successful Age of Empires series.
  • Explore history in 5 lengthy campaigns with plenty of variety.
  • Over a dozen civilizations with their own units, technologies and strategies.
  • Perfectly suited for multiplayer gameplay.
  • HD version boosts unit maximums from 200 to 500.

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Age of Empires II, 9.2 out of 10 based on 15 ratings
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