A high definition remake of the original Age of Empires, an RTS civilization building and management game.
Pro An interactive way to learn about history
Each civilization is based on historical facts, and there's plenty of optional in-game side reading for those who want to really dive into the experience. For example, you can play through the rise of Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, or the Egyptian empire while learning the facts, myths, and history behind each one.
Pro Remastered in high definition
All the graphics from the original Age of Empires (1997) release have been remastered in high definition. The original 2D units were created as 3D models this time around, and have better facing positions and animations. The structures now have more detail and appear a lot more crisp and clean. Trees and grass are lush and colorful. The new water especially looks great, which will be a treat if you're the seafaring type who will be spending a lot of time sending ships to battle.
Pro Lots of different victory conditions encourage alternative playstyles
Maps can be won in several ways, which is quite uncommon in the RTS genre. Usually victory involves wiping out all enemies on the map, but in AoE there are multiple ways to satisfy a victory condition. You can win the map by building and defending a specific structure called a Wonder, capture all the Ruins on the map, or holding all the special Artifact units. This encourages a plethora of other strategies besides just brute forcing your foes into submission with a relentless offense.
Pro Lots of gameplay variation among the different civilizations
Each of the 16 different civilizations has their own strength and weaknesses, which results in plenty of interesting decisions. For example, some empires have access to more skills overall, but they lack the top tier upgrade in each. Some may have more limited skill trees with less choice, which allows them access to the top tier skills faster. Some empires may have a high resource cost to produce workers. Others produce cheaper workers which allows a vibrant economy to form faster. The differences among the various civilizations ensure you can refine a unique strategy for each.
Con Very outdated gameplay
The game core is from 1997, so there's not a whole lot of quality of life aspects that modern gamers are used to. There are no hotkeys to quickly queue or move units around the map. The buildings don't have a lot of depth to them, meaning there's not a whole lot of room for inventive strategies. There are no unique combat units for each empire with special abilities. All of them essentially function the same between empires, with the only difference being a cosmetic appearance.
Con Unit pathfinding is unreliable
When you give a unit orders, the pathfinding can be unreliable. Sometimes units will get stuck on one another, and then decide to take a path you didn't instruct. For example, if you're trying to navigate several units through a narrow passage, they may become stuck or confused. They may overlap each other and glitch out, stopping altogether. Some might reroute to different paths automatically, which may put them directly in harm's way.