Age of Empires II HD is a reboot of the original Age of Empires II. It has all the things from the classic game but includes new features in a higher resolution. This game was remastered by Hidden Path Entertainment, Skybox Labs, and Forgotten Empires, then published by Microsoft Studios onto the PC gaming platform Steam in April of 2013.
In order to play the game, players choose from a variety of civilizations from around the world, each with their own unique abilities. Then the player must start building a strong economy by gathering resources. Resources are used like currency; they can be used to gain certain technologies or be traded in the market. Items that are considered resources are wood, stone, food, and gold. The civilian population called Villagers are controlled by the player and are the ones that collect the resources. Another way to get resources is trading at the market or international trade at the docks. By gathering these resources the player’s civilization can advance to the next Age with the construction of towns, amassing a mighty army, and defeating enemies. Buildings in the game are used for researching technologies to upgrade economy, military units, and efficiency and for protection from invading forces.
For the player to move to the next Age, they have to construct a particular building and spend some of their resources. Within the game, there are four Ages: Dark, Feudal, Castle, and Imperial. In the Dark Age or the beginning of the game, the player starts with 3 Villagers, except for the Chinese and Mayans that get a few more. The main focus of this Age is to gain resources, particularly food. Next, is the Feudal Age, in which has a focus on gaining more military power. Then, the Castle Age focuses on building Castles and making military units even stronger. Lastly, the Imperial Age focuses on an even stronger military and building a Wonder. A Wonder is a structure that grants victory to those that defend it for a certain amount of time, in different game modes.
This game features campaigns that let the player participate in historical battles. In the Joan of Arc and William Wallace campaigns, the player plays as a unit of the titular character. The Genghis Khan campaign follows his invasion of Eurasia. The Saladin campaign puts the player in Egypt as they try to remove the Crusaders from there and become Sultan. The campaign featuring Frederick Barbarossa, the first Holy Roman Emperor, has the player trying to conquer Europe and expand the Roman influence.
Other fun features of Age of Empires II HD includes a multiplayer mode where the matchmaking is done through the PC gaming platform Steam. The Steam integration also allows for players to challenge their friends for world domination throughout the Ages. Additionally, this version allows for widescreen or multi-monitor support for those who want to play across screens.