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Quick Look: Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

Ben and Rorie figure out the most optimum build order ever conceived!

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Nov. 17 2019

Cast: Ben, Matt

Posted by: Jan

48 Comments

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Lionsy

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This reminds me of how much I would like an up to date and pretty-looking Rise of Nations - that game was so much fun online and at LANs.

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sa_drone

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Really hoping we get a GBeast Play Date of Dan and Mike Mahardy playing 1v1 while Vinny and Alex shoutcast it.

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Feckless

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@lionsy said:

This reminds me of how much I would like an up to date and pretty-looking Rise of Nations - that game was so much fun online and at LANs.

That's exactly what I was thinking. Though I dug up that game a little a while ago and it has aged remarkably well.

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warpmoon

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You can pause with F3, Ben just missed.

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hz1985

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Cursor hovers over and highlights "Pause Game" binding

"I'm not seeing, like, just a pause-pause."

Oh, Ben, it's not a race. Don't be afraid to take your time, especially if it means not giving bad info over an important feature, and there's not a lot of QoL features more important in a real-time strategy game than being able to pause and queue actions during the game.

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Xdeser2

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Edited By Xdeser2

AoE 2 is easily my favorite game of all time, and they really knocked this remaster out of the park. I was initially wary - it can be really easy to change key mechanics too much or ruin an art style but they really did a fantastic job with this.

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GoldfishRT

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@lionsy: I loved RoN but I feel like the endgame always fell apart and wasnt fun anymore.

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blumlein

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Edited By blumlein

@sa_drone: Make. This. Happen.

Also, there is a free enhanced graphics DLC that makes this game look almost like a fresh release.

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liquiddragon

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There is a new Terminator game out and y'all are cover a 20 year old game? Complain!!

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kirkdouglas

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@blumlein said:

@sa_drone: Make. This. Happen.

Also, there is a free enhanced graphics DLC that makes this game look almost like a fresh release.

It looks great but kills the framerate in my experience.

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ArmCommander

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Edited By ArmCommander

Hell yeah Rorie repping Total Annihilation. I loved that game and AoE2.

This looks great. I hope other classic RTS games like TA can get the same treatment some day.

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Lionsy

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@armcommander: Boneyards shutting down is still one of the worst nights in gaming history :(

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Avioto

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This game looks incredible on an ultrawide monitor!

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lovcol

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Yeah, the game looks way sharper with the 4K textures - which they didn't have installed here.

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eladren

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AoE II is, whtout a doubt, the game i have played most in my life, there was a time around 2000-2001 when i played this game about 4 hours daily, right when i got home from school. Its amazing that almost 20 years later i find myself eager to get home from work every day just to play this gem again.

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mikemcn

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Edited By mikemcn

As someone who has played RTS all his life but has always been terrible at the MP, Ben did an admirable job against that first rush. Go ben!

@avioto said:

This game looks incredible on an ultrawide monitor!

Oh man, I need to buy a monitor only for AOE.

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csl316

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I was always awful at AoE games, but man... I loved being bad at 2 the most.

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zacyzacy

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PSA if you have the 2013 Steam version, "complete the bundle" on the steam store page for 25% off.

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ahifi

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Ahh. Sorry to indulge, but a relevant memory:

The first game I ever played online was AoE II: Rise of Rome edition via the Microsoft Zone service in about 1999. Had such a weird little system where lobbies were represented as these bubbles you clicked on. There were only so many bubbles so if you wanted to host a game, you'd have to wait for a slot to free up and click one of the bubbles. There was even a player list to the side detailing who was idle, who was waiting for a game to start and who was playing. Lag was horrendous and performance issues were all over the place, probably due to widely divergent speeds and PC performances from whoever was connected (such as me on a budget PC using 56k), but it was fun. If I've remembered rightly, there was a little turtle symbol beside the names of people who were lagging badly too. For years, I thought this was what people meant when they said 'turtling'. Wonder if the stress test (as seen in the QL) has rendered that obsolete.

I'll spare the rest, but a shout out to Mr D for getting my parents off my back when they expressed concern that all I was doing at one point was playing this damn game. He told them it had educational value and that I knew more about historical civilizations than everyone in my class combined. Wish I had the same excuse for The Sims a year later. Also, sorry to Mr D for surreptitiously continuing to 'infect' all of the PCs in the IT room with Sonic. Also also, sorry to Mr D for the 30 computers that played Microsoft Sam saying 'blah' at the same time. Over and over. For about a minute. Causing Mr D, who had just returned to the room, to have a near mental breakdown. Once again, sorry Mr D. You rule/ruled.

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madmatt213

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Whenever I see “Matt” listed in the Cast for a video, I get very, very confused.

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Nephrahim

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@hz1985: I can't imagine anything more sacrilegious than pausing and queuing actions during an RTS. I know Rorie mentions it, and other games might let you as well, but REAL TIME Strategy games should always be played in REAL TIME.

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Xdeser2

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@sa_drone said:

Really hoping we get a GBeast Play Date of Dan and Mike Mahardy playing 1v1 while Vinny and Alex shoutcast it.

extremely hoping for this, or maybe an open multiplayer game during a playdate?

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ghobot

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"I fuckin love building walls" - Matthew Rorie

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Deadstar

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Edited By Deadstar

I wonder why they never covered the definitive version of AOE 1.

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Ohsnapkins

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You dudes forgot to download and enable the DLC.

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msoven

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Edited By msoven

I must chime in: Good work, Rorie, for appreciating Total Annihilation, the best RTS.

It's such a shame about every other RTS.

Holy shit, Rorie, you played TA:K? That makes two of us! I knew you were one of the good ones.

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Genessee

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I like how every time Ben moves the screen up there's more dudes. lol

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MerxWorx01

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@armcommander: Unfortunately the last we've heard of the spiritual lineage of those games is Supreme Commander and Planetary Annihilation and unless Chris Taylor decides to come back and make this style of large scale RTS again, I think we've seen the last of those games.

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Deadstar

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@merxworx01: It's sad because those games are incredibly awesome. They don't make business sense right now but I have to imagine there is an audience for one of those types of games at least every 10 years. Give the people what they want!

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Deadstar

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Edited By Deadstar

Can we get a playdate with AOE2 where it's Jeff and Ben vs Vinny and Alex? A classic 2v2 deathmatch.

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The_Nubster

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The in-depth tutorials are a great way to set the foundation for people who are coming to this through other services in the future, such as Game Pass. or who were fans in their early years but weren't committed or capable enough to put together the nuances of the game when they first played (such as me or Ben, having played the game very young). It's also just an amazing thing to have to set the stage for anyone who decides to pick this up instead of one of the many other RTS games out there right now. It's a really welcome feature.

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DrDarkStryfe

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Age of Empires 2 is an all time favorite of mine. I spent an incredible amount of hours playing online with the player made game modes; Castle Blood and so on.

Ensemble Studios was low key one of the best RTS developers of all time. On top of the Age of Empires series, they also did Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, Age of Mythology, and their swan song, Halo Wars.

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dya

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BEN. FFS, please calm the fuck down with your APM for quick looks or any other capture stuff! I'm having a damn seizure trying to watch you navigate a menu! It's understandable when you're in serious combat, but when showing the tutorial or anything else basic, please consider the viewer.

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MookalHoys

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I've played tons of AOE 20+ years ago (pepperoni pizza woodstock) and understand the basics. But sheesh. does this need more or less adderall? I know nothing more about this new edition than what I read on the back of the box things were so spastic.

Also Total Annihilation is fantastic. Shout out to Dark Reign, as well.

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dasakamov

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Blech, I always hated the idea of fixed "build orders": it always sounded like "you MUST play the exact same way everyone else plays if you want any chance of success. No creativity allowed!"

I know this isn't a AoE-specific issue, but it emphasized why I always stuck to SP-only skirmishes when I played games of this era.

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jaypethian

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@rorie The single player campaigns of SC2 are all free to play now, FYI.

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BINARYGOD

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Relic Entertainment handling AoE 4 is strange? Are you SURE about that, Ben?

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hassun

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I am ready to Wololo again.

Blech, I always hated the idea of fixed "build orders": it always sounded like "you MUST play the exact same way everyone else plays if you want any chance of success. No creativity allowed!"

I know this isn't a AoE-specific issue, but it emphasized why I always stuck to SP-only skirmishes when I played games of this era.

I agree, whenever there are only 1 or 2 'correct' ways to do something and that's it I find it very limiting and uninteresting.

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Halobob

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Ben, you right click too much.

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gortonimo

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I've never been more upset by a video in my entire life than I have watching this

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steelknight2000

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This is not authentic if you can't log in to the Microsoft Zone to set up lobbies for multiplayer.

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ph00p

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Pause Game was right there in the menu Ben looked at it was F3.

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KnockingNick

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Edited By KnockingNick

This is one of those games I played a lot of as a kid, but was never really great at. It's also really the only RTS that I've ever really played.

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ZedFlips

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Push F3 to pay respect to the single player version, and pause.

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norm9

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Console version please. It's been proven it works.

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Onemanarmyy

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Edited By Onemanarmyy

I agree with Rorie that campaigns often have you go against multiple bases & a bunch of units from the get-go to make things interesting. But i don't think that's the kind of cheating Ben mentioned. You still want them to have to produce the buildings they need to create their units & don't have accelerated resources & timers compared to you. I bet this game will still feature the first, while getting rid of the cheating 2nd part.

This looks really nice. And while i don't think it will be a huge hit among people that hadn't played it before, i still bet a lot of people played this as their first RTS and never really got into the deep end with how the game functions. Like something as simple as luring a boar closer to your town hall is something i never considered. If you can get all these older players back in & let them discover the depth that is available, they might feel a new energy to go through this game again & perhaps play it online.