Parents' Guide to

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition

By Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Updated historic strategy has great tactics, bloody combat.

Game Windows 2018
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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It's not perfect, but this strategy game should gratify fans of the original and win over other players who might not have clicked their way through the original. Boasting graphics that offer four times the resolution of HD, the game enables you to see immediately the graphic overhaul of the units, but it's still not as detailed as it should be when you zoom in. The interface is clean and easy to navigate, and the enhanced features and production quality (including great-sounding music) really add to its immersion. The campaigns will be a delight for history buffs, letting you choose the desired civilization, work your way up its tech tree, and help guide the fate of these epic battles on land and sea. After you get your feet wet with the solo campaigns and various challenges, you can jump online in up to eight-player battles with new competitive modes.

But some problems that plagued the original haven't been ironed out, such as bad pathfinding artificial intelligence (AI), which means your villagers or soldiers will frustratingly take odd routes to get to where they're going (perhaps showing the enemy where your civilization is). Another issue is the general lack of diversity in the nearly 20 cultures you can play as, not to mention the missions get a little repetitive after a while, because there isn't too much depth to the gameplay (for example, don't expect trade or diplomacy, as you would find in Civilization games). Still, it's fun -- a hypnotic balance of resource gathering, building, and battling -- just don't expect too much replayability. For $20, you can't go wrong with Age of Empires: Definitive Edition -- especially if you have a nostalgic leaning toward the original game -- but here's to hoping the developers address some of the AI issues with a downloadable patch.

Game Details

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