Age of Empires II HD is a high definition remaster of the classic, Real-Time Strategy game, where players control an empire over a large span of time. You play in an isometric, pixelated, medieval world, where you gather resources in order to build towns and armies. Expand your empire through planning, diplomatic relationships, or a crushing force when there's nothing left to be gained.
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Pro Awesome ambiance with a great finish
While the graphics are slightly outdated, they were very well done for their time. And when combined with the history behind the game and its wonderful soundtrack, the game comes across as extremely polished.
Pro Facilitates the user's preferred pace
This game neither gives the impression of being thrown to the wolves nor that of being left stranded on an island. Whether you want to move slowly and steadily through the game or take things at a more heightened pace, Age of Empires 2 will allow for both (given a little planning).
Pro Runs on very old computers
As this game is quite old, requiring only a 1.2GHZ processor and 1 Gigabyte of RAM, this title will run on older PC's and laptops alike without issue.
Con Age of Empires II HD is an unsuccessful remaster due to its outdated graphics
With the only notable upgrade being high resolution options, Age of Empires II HD fails at being a proper remaster. While higher resolutions give the game a slight face lift, the rest of the engine is left largely unchanged. This means the graphics we see in this remaster are nearly the same in its original 1999 release. Due to this, the game is grating to the eye and does not deliver on its high definition promise.
Con A lack of proper User Interface scaling makes a clunky UI worse
While this is a remastered edition of a classic Real-Time Strategy title, the UI was left largely unchanged. Selecting workers still prompts you to click buttons to bring up both economic and military buildings, then choosing whichever building you wish to construct. This is uninteresting design and makes the UI difficult to navigate.
On top of this, the game does not feature UI scaling. Since the game is bound to your current desktop display settings, the UI will adjust itself to match that resolution. This means if you play at 4K resolution the User Interface will be absurdly small, making it near impossible to see what buildings you wish to construct or what units you want to train. This is counter-intuitive design, for this era of modern gaming, and makes properly playing the game more of a hassle than it should ever be.