The definitive edition of Age of Empires 3 has now been officially released (as of 15th October 2020). It is available on both Microsoft Store and Steam for £14.99 UK and $19.99 US.
Featuring 4K Ultra HD graphics and enhanced audio, this old game will certainly look and feel brand new. But as with the previous Age of Empires definitive editions, not only has it been remastered, it’s also been expanded.
Including all previously released expansions (The WarChiefs and The Asian Dynasties) and all fourteen original civilizations, the Definitive Edition comes with some new content and features. You can now play as two brand new civilizations – the Swedes and the Inca, and there are two new game modes to enjoy – Historical Battles and The Art of War Challenge Missions. Multiplayer has also been updated to support cross-network play, plus they have included a spectator mode and incorporated mod support.
It’s great to see the Age of Empires franchise has been rejuvenated and with the promise of a fourth installment in the future. However, you should note that the storage requirements of the new Age of Empires 3 are pretty big at 42GB instead of the original games 12GB. Plus the system requirements are also heavier as well, especially on the video side. The same heavier specs also apply to Age of Empires 1 and 2 definitive editions. Granted, these games have been updated with improved graphics, but it just feels a bit irritating that you will need a better computer to run these remastered old games if your current set-up can’t cope.
On another note, Age of Empires is not the only old game series to be renewed. Remastering and re-releasing old games has become sort of a trend and an industry of its own. There are various titles which have also had attention too, such as the original Command & Conquer and Red Alert which were revamped with the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection (released 5th June 2020). Many old titles have also reappeared on marketplaces such as Gog and Steam. But PC is not the only target platform as android has also seen old titles re-released on the Play Store, such as what Rockstar Games have done with various Grand Theft Auto games and Bully: Anniversary Edition.
Personally I think re-releasing remastered versions of old games is a good idea. It’s great for the fans and an opportunity for others who haven’t tried these titles to have a go. Plus, I would’ve thought it would be good for the companies involved as well, as these titles would most likely have guaranteed sales.