Today Microsoft announced that Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is now available on PC. It’s available for $19.99 on Steam or the Microsoft Store and instantly available for Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers. While the original wasn’t regarded as highly as its two predecessors, World’s Edge, the 343 Industries of the Age of Empires series, has brought the 13-years-old RTS into the modern world with 4K graphics, ultrawide support, a new online system, matchmaking, completely rebuilt assets, and re-recorded character audio as well as the recreation of every cinematic in all campaigns from scratch.
Of course, the improvements to Age of Empires III aren’t just in the visual and online backend. The remaster also includes the new Extreme difficulty, accelerated deck building and prebuilt decks, editor and campaign tool improvements, a rebuilt UI with both classic and modernized views, camera zoom capabilities, and a host of user-controlled game and command options.
Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is also adding two brand new civilizations to join the 14 from the original base game and two expansions already available:
- The Incas, a “classic” defensive civilization that can build large defendable cities.
- The Swedes, offering clever gunpowder units and can command a large number of mercenaries.
- Tweaks to the Native American civilizations’ mechanics and writing to make it slightly more historically accurate.
Talking about historical accuracy, one of the lowest points of the original Age of Empires III was the base game’s story mode that had too many fictional and fantastical scenarios. Now the World’s Edge team has added a Historical Battles mode, which allows you to play through select historical engagement challenges from specific time periods. On the multiplayer side, they’re putting back the popular ‘The Art of War’ mode from Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. Thanks to positive fan reception, the team decided that ‘The Art of War’ is going to be included in all Age games releasing in the future.
With so much new stuff crammed into this release, this seems like the perfect time to replay — or reevaluate — Age of Empires III, don’t you think? Tell me what you think of this remaster and/or the original game in the comments below.