Age of Empires : Definitive Edition has been delayed. Its previous release date was set for this week, October 19th. We’ve been a part of the closed beta for some weeks now, and while it has been a pleasure to revisit this classic title. There was some concern with the numerous hangups we were still experiencing with online play. While we cannot discuss much of the aspects of AoE due to Microsoft’s NDA, we are relieved that the title will go through more rigorous testing before its full release.
In a statement released yesterday, the development team said, “When we set out to re-release the original Age of Empires […] we had many debates over the extent of restoration that we should undertake. The challenge of re-releasing a classic is just that: it’s a classic and it deserves to be treated with careful reverence. At the same time, in a living, thriving genre, norms continually evolve, technology advances, and player expectations change. This is as true for RTS as for any other genre. So, the challenge is to recreate the experience not as it *actually* was but as we all remember it. How can we modernize the game while preserving the fun, discovery and magic of that first experience?” (Full statement here).
From our perspective, this is a great approach. Age of Empires: DE already has captured the gameplay and core mechanics of the classic title, with sharper 4k visuals. However, fine tuning all aspects of the game, especially the multiplayer aspects are a must (Maybe Microsoft will bring back the Zone! No. Just kidding). It is good to see Microsoft Studios treating this series like the svelte classy lady that she is. Especially when you consider Microsoft Game Studios is planning definitive editions of Age of Empires II, Age of Empires III, and finally Age of Empires IV headed by Relic Entertainment sometime in the coming year. The IVth chapter will be the first new Age of Empires game since 2005, prior to the demise of Ensemble Studios.