Feature image of Age of Empires 2 definitive edition Xbox version

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition (Xbox) Review – This Definitive Edition is a Definite Buy

Not for you if:

  • You don't like Real Time Strategy games.
  • Sci-Fi is your thing and swords just don't cut it.
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Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition (Xbox version) is finally here. I say finally because Age of Empires 2 has been around for a long time. The definitive edition is a re-release of Age of Empires 2 and was well received on PC. How does it fare on Xbox? Pretty damn well, I actually prefer playing it on console now that I dipped my toes into the Xbox version.

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version console interface and better visible healthbars
War, war never changes.

Historically accurate and future proof – Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox review

This review will mainly focus on the console aspect of Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition and why you should consider picking it up. As I mentioned in the intro, this version is based on the Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition version that is a remaster of the Age of Empires 2 released back in 1999.

So why remaster Age of Empires 2 you wonder? For many RTS players, Age of Empires 2 is not only nostalgic but also one of the better RTS games released back in the day. Based on real historical empires set in medieval times, an upgrade of the original Age of Empires and one that most fans got more competitive in.

A worthy remaster

Both the Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition and the Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version are exactly the same. An upside to this is that you can easily enjoy some campaign matches on your sofa and move over to the PC for some ranked play. Progressing on your same account, if you got it on the Microsoft platform at least. Also Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version has flawless cross play with pc. And if you only have an Xbox console, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version features complete mouse and keyboard compatibility.

The Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition has seriously improved 4K visuals and 4K resolution support. Making it stand out as absolutely beautiful, especially when you play it on TV and are a bit further away from the screen. Furthermore, smaller quality of life features made it into the Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition like queuing up villager tasks and better pathfinding.

Ages worth of content

The Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version is a beefy boy. Even without considering the endless amount of time you can spend on the competitive side. If you are completely new to RTS games, there is a tutorial that will take you through all the steps in the genre. Not only that but it will guide you on how to use the intuitive interface and controls Forgotten Empires have created for this Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version.

After the tutorial there is a separate set of missions that will teach you the advanced basics of build orders and advancing as efficiently as possible through the ages and tech tree. All of these narrated and written in the style of iconic figures in history like Sun Tzu.

After you are done with that you can go straight to multiplayer or play some skirmish matches with any of the thirty-five available civilizations. No worries, each of these civilizations plays roughly the same but has minor changes and some unique units. Nothing too overwhelming that will deter you from trying them out, or playing against them. However, if you feel like playing something with more of a story, there are twenty-six campaign missions. All of them narrated and they take you along some of the most historical characters and battles known to man.

The console Real Time Strategy king

When it comes to Real Time Strategy games for Xbox, we’ve been quite lucky with the Halo Wars series. Even Command and Conquer made it to the Xbox with a console version. Forgotten Empires has learned and taken some ideas that just work from the predecessors. The all familiar ‘hold A to create a circle and quickly select many units’. Radial menus for building buildings or defences. The basics are all here and feel familiar.

But there is more, the way to optimize how your workers or villagers collect resources with a simple button press and swipe of your thumb stick. A radial menu with key functions and options when hovering over empty ground. Press the RB button to enlarge the map and quickly move a cursor across to replace your camera or send troops to a certain point.

And not to forget, the incredibly helpful icons on said map and the super easy to read and huge font in the menus. Like they knew most console gamers are further away from the screen and can’t read the damn small text in seventy percent of the games. All these features make playing the Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version super intuitive and tailor-made for the Xbox console.

Enjoy some PC – Xbox comparison screenshots.

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version interface overviewAge of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version PC interface for comparisson
Left side is the new Xbox interface, right side is the old PC interface. I really prefer the Xbox interface.

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version review – Conclusion

Amazing graphics, optimized UI for clear reading and tailored for smooth gameplay, tons of content to play through and a competitive scene. What does the Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version not have? You. Download it now through game Pass and have a go at this amazing classical RTS, cross play with your friends on PC. Even if you don’t have Xbox Game Pass I can wholeheartedly recommend getting Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition Xbox version if you are a fan of Real Time Strategy.

What, you don’t have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate? You simply haven’t read this article on how to get Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on the cheap.

Stijn Ginneberge

Posts published: 125

Gaming for me is about experiencing their stories, overcoming challenges, living in fantasy worlds and exploring alien planets. You can also find me in the local game store or on an airsoft field.