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Age of Empires: Definitive Edition launches on February 20

Microsoft has announced Definitive Edition of the Age of Empires, the sequel to the incredibly popular strategy series, is launching on February 20 worldwide for Windows 10.

Adam Isgreen, Creative Director at Microsoft made the announcement on the official Xbox Blog. He also announced that they are opening up the multiplayer beta to more players worldwide starting January 29 so everyone can get a taste of the game for free before it launches on February 20.

The original Age of Empires was first released in 1997, and the series has been a commercial success, selling over 20 million copies. Since then, seven titles and three spin-offs have been released. The titles are historical real-time strategy games.

Isgreen said that when they set out to create the Definitive Edition of the original Age of Empires, the goal was to deliver the best possible version of this classic, from a top notch audio-visual presentation to multiplayer to core game systems.

“Everything needed to be as good as you remembered it (or better!) to deliver a compelling RTS experience 20 years after its original release,” he said adding that that took longer than planned.

 

However, he said it was important for the team to treat the Age of Empires franchise with the respect it deserves, so they took the time needed to get features like attack-move and the improved minimap exactly right, and even added things like an in-game tech tree.

There are several improvements for the Definitive Edition, including completely rebuilding assets for a modern 4K presentation, allowing to play online with Xbox LIVE and adding campaign narration for every mission. They also re-recorded the original soundtrack with a new orchestral score.

Further improvement include enhancing the campaign and scenario editor, which allows anyone to make original custom campaigns for the game by letting players easily share them with other players around the world via Age of Empires website.

Isgreen said these outline the many quality of life game play improvements, all while retaining the original feel and unique game play that made Age of Empires so special for so many.

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