Age of Empires II: The Forgotten is the first new official expansion for the series in over a decade. It is also the 2nd official expansion of the Age of Empires II series, following The Conquerors expansion. Just like any expansion, The Forgotten contains most of the same gameplay from the base game but includes a few new changes to add to the fun. This version has five new civilizations, 7 campaigns, new technologies, new game modes, and new larger maps.
The new civilizations available to play are the Incas, Italians, Indians, Magyars, and the Slavs. The Incas are a more military based civilization with a strong economy; they are similar to the Mayans and Aztecs. The Italians are a Mediterranean civilization that specializes in archery and naval strength. The Indians are an ancient civilization that uses camels, elephants, and gunpowder to fortify their armies. The Magyars are a Medieval Hungarian civilization with a powerful cavalry. Lastly, the Slavs is an Eastern European civilization with the power of infantry and siege.
Another fun addition to The Forgotten expansion are the seven new campaigns. The storyline battles include Alaric, Sforza, Bari, Dracula, El Dorado, Prithviraj, and Battles of the Forgotten. In the El Dorado campaign, follow Francisco Orellana and Gonzalo Pizarro to find the City of Gold hidden somewhere in the Amazon Forest. In the campaign Prithviraj, the titular Indian king must somehow bring together the Rajput clans. As for the other campaigns, they are adventurous, historical battles from around the world with compelling storylines.
Other features of the expansion, are the two new game modes Capture the Relic and Treaty. Capture the Relic is a fast-paced battle that involves using an army of monks to gain a treasure and take it back to the player’s base, in order to win. The second game mode is Treaty, also known as “No Rush” mode. This involves the beginning stages of the game focus more on the economic growth of the civilization before it focuses on military advancements.
In order to increase resources, the effectiveness of items, villagers, or the militiamen, all the civilizations have been given two unique technologies except for the Goths which already had two unique technologies. One of these technologies can be discovered in the Castle Age and the other in the Imperial Age. The Shatagni technology (Imperial Age) for the Indian civilization gives the hand cannoneers +1 range while shooting. The Sultans technology (Castle Age) also made for the Indians makes all gold production 10% faster. The other technologies work in similar fashion as the Indian technologies.
Further changes that come from The Forgotten expansion make gameplay better. The artificial intelligence of the game has been improved. New maps were added, also there are maps that are four times larger than the previous large maps. Spectator mode was added so that others could view online multiplayer matches. This also allowed for the game to be integrated with the game streaming website, Twitch, and allow users to showcase their gameplay.