Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms expansion launches November 5th, but should you get it?
The developer behind Age of Empires II HD will release a new expansion this Thursday, titled The African Kingdoms.
In the launch trailer (see above), the expansion promises six new civilizations, rebalanced gameplay, new campaigns with voice acting, and a new "sudden death" mode. The civilizations and campaigns will largely be based on medieval African kingdoms (one of the new playable civilizations will be Portugal).
The expansion follows the remake's first expansion in 2013, The Forgotten, which added civilizations hinted at in the original game but never made available to the player. Age of Empires II HD and The Forgotten are collaborations of Hidden Path Entertainment and Microsoft, who decided to create a high-def remake in response to fans' modding and continued community involvement with the 1999 game.
The "Sudden Death" Mode provides an additional challenge for AOE II fans.
The promise of voice acting in The African Kingdoms is a welcome addition, as is the addition of unique units for each kingdom. The vanilla HD edition received criticism for its lack of updated game assets and campaigns that had no voice acting. Casual AOE II fans likely won't be driven back to the game by this new update, but the innovations are likely enough to satisfy the game's diehard fans.
No information yet on what The African Kingdoms will cost when it's released tomorrow. The expansion will be available for PC on Steam.