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"Age of Empires II" Gets Expansion Pack After 13 Years

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 13 comments
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Successful games often get expansion packs, but few of them take more than a decade to materialize. Historical real-time strategy game "Age of Empires II," first released in 1999, will receive a new expansion pack called "The Forgotten" via Steam this fall.

To be fair, the expansion pack is technically for "Age of Empires II – HD Edition," which came out just a few months ago, not the original game from 1999. However, "The Forgotten" is based on "Forgotten Empires," a fan-made mod that added a slew of new features to the original "Age of Empires II" just last year.

For anyone not in the know, "Age of Empires II," and its first expansion "The Conquerors," cast players as strategists who could lead history's greatest civilizations, like the Britons and the Japanese, from the fall of Rome to the beginning of the gunpowder era.

Gamers who procure "The Forgotten" can look forward to a ton of new content, including five new civilizations, four new historical campaigns, a handful of new multiplayer maps and direct streaming to Twitch.tv. Players will also be able to control up to 500 units at a time instead of the current 200-unit limit.

For those who have grown tired of commanding Huns and Celts, the civilizations in "The Forgotten" will offer new gameplay perks and units. The Italians focus on naval strength, the Indians excel at producing elephant- and camel-mounted units, the Slavs and the Magyars command powerful cavalry, and the Incas build structures to withstand both time and sieges.

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History buffs may also salivate over the new campaigns, which follow the exploits of the Gothic king Alaric, the Italian mercenary Sforza, the Byzantine family Bari and the Romanian tyrant Vlad Tepes, better known as Dracula.

"Age of Empires II" has always had a strong online community, and "The Forgotten" will also deliver new gameplay modes.

"Treaty" games ensure that players have ample time to build up their civilizations before attacking each other (to prevent early-game "rushing" tactics), while "Capture the Relic" challenges players to produce and defend monks (weak, slow-moving healer units) as they attempt to collect valuable treasure.

"The Forgotten" has no solid release date or price yet, but expect more details to surface on Steam before too much longer. "The Conquerors" expansion was well-received, but that was 13 years ago. "The Forgotten" has big shoes to fill, but it has big historical figures to fill them.

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Display 13 Comments.
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  • 1 Hide
    velocityg4 , August 16, 2013 11:39 AM
    The best map was Black Forest. I'd just build row after row of towers and walls at the choke points then just sit and build up resources and tech. At the same time let the computer opponents drain there resources fighting eachother and burning up man power against my walls. Then when the time was right kill off a bunch of civilians and just steamroll opponents with massive armies and maxed out tech.

    AoE had it's day. The Total War games offer everything I ever wanted I couldn't imagine going back to AoE.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , August 16, 2013 11:44 AM
    I expect it to be a free DLC, because they've recruited the AoFE modder(s?) to fix the mess Hidden Path left behind, and "The Forgotten" will basically be AoFE.
  • 8 Hide
    WithoutWeakness , August 16, 2013 11:47 AM
    Talk about headline baiting. Had to get 2 paragraphs into the article to find out that the expansion is for the HD remake that was released in April. Headline should be "'Age of Empires II HD' Gets Expansion Pack After 4 Months."
  • 0 Hide
    DsrtFx , August 16, 2013 11:54 AM
    "The Forgotten" SHOULD be free to download and use, if they want anyone at all to shell out money for Age 2 HD...my friends and I will enjoy playing my original Age 2 copy with Forgotten Empires just fine without paying any money for the exact same thing.
  • 0 Hide
    wysir , August 16, 2013 1:12 PM
    I keep trying to get out... And they pull me back in!

    I'm wondering how this will effect balances and such. Us CS map modders have some work to do to update so you can use the 'new' races.
  • 0 Hide
    whimseh , August 16, 2013 2:37 PM
    Sorry but changing the resolution doesn't make a game HD, they shouldn't be allowed to call it AoE 2 HD. I'm not spending money on something I already have when I can just download mods that are better, lol. Pathetic.
  • 0 Hide
    ammaross , August 16, 2013 6:02 PM
    From the article: "Players will also be able to control up to 500 units at a time instead of the current 200-unit limit."

    Actually, the "HD" remake is what jumped the pop cap to 500. The expansion has nothing to do with it. Take it the writer hasn't even played the new HD version...
  • 0 Hide
    enewmen , August 16, 2013 9:06 PM
    I liked Empire Earth more. Also liked Pharaoh, Galactic Civilizations 2, Silent Hunter 3, Sims 2, Ultima, etc.. Hope they all will be updated just to run on Win 7/8.
    my humble 2 cents.
  • 0 Hide
    dvo , August 17, 2013 5:59 PM
    i hadnt realized that 1999 was 13 years ago. for some reason i was under the impression it was 2013
  • 0 Hide
    dvo , August 17, 2013 6:02 PM
    i hadnt realized that 1999 was 13 years ago. for some reason i was under the impression it was 2013
  • 0 Hide
    dvo , August 17, 2013 6:04 PM
    nvm apparently i hadnt read the last paragraph. i lose.
  • 0 Hide
    pezonator , August 18, 2013 4:50 PM
    Forgotten Empires is a truly amazing fan made expansion. I really can't believe Microsoft slapped on new resolutions and re-released the game, after this expac was made.... The only good thing about steam is the multiplayer (does it have that?) FE added HD resolutions first, 5 new civs, new campaigns, new units, new maps and new AI and 60 fps limit for smooth playback.

    AoE2 still has it's day, 10 times better than AoE3 and this FE xpac is very polished and professional. Clearly I can't praise it enough, these people deserve money.
  • 0 Hide
    axehead15 , August 19, 2013 9:04 AM
    Woohoo! AoE 2 was better than AoE 3 anyway, can't wait for this!
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