Age of Empires II HD Coming to Steam

Yes! Yes! Yeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss!

Interesting. I presume with steam integration for multiplayer?

Then again, many things that go into the Steam DB don’t show up. EG/ Dynasty Warriors 7


The “HD” part is really tripping me up. I’m having trouble picturing how a game that used gorgeous 2D sprites originally rendered from 3D can look even better.

Detectives have figured out that Matt Pritchard, formerly of Ensemble, now works at Valve, and he apparently did the lion’s share of work on this HD version. An “ES_MattP” posted this on the Age of Heaven forums:

So I had this idea:

Make a Windows 7 Compatibility patch for Age of Kings.

It would include replacing DirectDraw with Direct3D9, dynamically supporting widescreen resolutions, removing the Zone Related Code, and making the game comply with other Windows 7 requirements.

Simple as that.

And I had the one thing that everyone else who wanted that didn’t have. I still remembered much of how Age of Empires and Age of Kings was written. Because I was one of the authors who wrote the code in the first place. And because I’ve had the experience in using both the old and new technologies. The graphics engine needs to be updated., we all know that. I wrote a lot of the graphics code (must not take all the credit, Angelo L wrote the initial version and systems framework). And I could easily visualize what changes would be needed to use the more modern Direct3D 9.

And I knew most of the other things that would be involved for Windows 7 compatibility.

So I got the idea. Approach Microsoft and see if they were interested in someone, anyone really but probably me, making a Windows 7 Compatibility Patch for Age of Kings — FOR FREE. All that would be needed would be access to the Source, which Microsoft has in their archives. I had an idea of what it would take time and effort-wise, and I was willing to do it for no compensation - just to do it for the fans of the game, and keep the legacy of a great game, and Ensemble, alive for a while longer.

There’s a lot more really interesting stuff in his story, to include how hard it was to find anyone at MS that would claim “ownership” of the Age of Empires back catalog. The long and short of it is that this is “HD” in that it can run on modern systems in widescreen.

I’m going to be wiping drool off my chin for the foreseeable future.

Wow. This would be incredible. I hope it comes to be.

After reading that, and digging around other places - this actually does look like it’s happening. Also possible 4-pack!

Welp, only thing that remains to be done:

So awesome. SQUEEEEEE!!

I don’t really want to curb all the enthusiasm but I will anyway.

All it says here is that the game will run on Windows 7. What is HD about that? There is already a widescreen mod available that provides for greatly expanded resolution choices.

I absolutely adored AOE II ten years ago. If I still wanted to play it today then I would be playing it right now. Clearly I am not and neither are any of you. What is being offered here that is suddenly worth getting you to play that wasn’t there before?

Yeah, I’ve played AoE II in 1920x1080 for years now. With fan made bug fixes, gameplay enhancements and countless brutal and varied AIs. The game is in an almost perfect state for a long time now.

An official Steam version, with achievements, using Steamworks for multiplayer, and I don’t have to fool around with fan-made mods. That’s worth a few bucks to me.

Apart from the resolution mod, which other mods and patches would you recommend?

Also check out TheHorde, Crusaders among other AIs.

There is also this massive mod:
Almost an expansion but I haven’t checked it out myself yet.

Holy shit that looks amazing. If this HD version wasn’t coming out I’d be tracking down a version on Amazon right now.

Man, you guys are going to make me go and hunt for my discs for this one to reinstall.

I am excited just because I would love a digital version that just works well on modern systems. If I can get the original working well, I just might be pacified.

It’s officially a go!

Microsoft today announced Age of Empires II HD Edition, a reimagining of the 1999 real-time strategy game. With Ensemble Studios closed, work on the updated version is being done by Hidden Path Entertainment (Defense Grid series, Counter Strike: Global Offensive).

Age of Empires II HD Edition will launch on April 9 exclusively through Steam across the world. Gamers won’t need to wait that long to play, however, as those who prepurchase (at a 10 percent discount) will be able to jump in April 5.

Age of Empires II HD Edition includes every single-player campaign from the Age of Kings original and the Conquerors expansion, totaling 18 in all. In addition, gamers can challenge other Steam players through the game’s online mode.

According to Microsoft, Age of Empires II HD Edition has been remastered for high-resolution displays at 1080p. It also includes an “enhanced visual engine” sporting improved textures for terrain, water and fire, and ambient lighting effects.

Steamworks features for Age of Empires II HD Edition include achievements, leaderboards, matchmaking, and cloud support. In addition, gamers can share user created content through the Steam Workshop.

Lastly, Microsoft revealed the minimum system requirements for Age of Empires II HD Edition today. They are listed below, along with the game’s debut trailer.

Minimum System Requirements:
Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Pro
Steam Software Platform
900x600 minimum display resolution
Direct X 9 Capable GPU
1.2GHz CPU

I’ll be in my bunk.

Complete Steamworks integration, surprised that this happened Microsoft games has moving away from doing things for small core groups of gamer for so long, someone there must love this game and have some actual influence to let this be funded, and if successful maybe other games from MS catalog can receive the same treatment, I vote for Rise of Nations next.