What you need to know
- Battle Royale mode is coming to Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition with the November Anniversary Update.
- Battle Royale is a free-for-all battle between eight players to see who lives the longest.
- A $10,000 tournament is being held Saturday, October 31 at 11am ET to kick things off.
- The Anniversary Update is set to bring a bunch of other tweaks and changes to the game.
If you thought Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition was finished coming up with new ways to entertain us, you were mistaken. One year after its launch, an Anniversary Update is set to deliver the biggest update so far in the game's history. Alongside a new Battle Royale mode that pits eight players in a free-for-all battle to the death, the update brings a ton of balance changes and features to the game.
Let's look first at the Battle Royale mode. Players enter the game at random spots — I imagine something like a Nomad match — with just a few units. It's up to them to scout the map and discover new buildings, including those for economy and military. Once under a player's control, supply buildings will slowly add resources while military buildings will allow for unit creation.
Like a King of the Hill match, these buildings will only remain under your control while you have units defending them. Other players can capture your supply and military buildings at any time, cutting you off from resources and reinforcements. And, it wouldn't be a Battle Royale without the threat of an encroaching danger zone.
We've seen an encroaching map before in some custom games, and the result is often hilarious. Buildings and units caught outside the safety zone simply cease to exist, which can turn a powerhouse player into one without quarter. What Battle Royale will look like now that it's officially implemented is unknown, but we can't wait to check it out.
To kick things off, an Age Royale Tournament with $10,000 prize pool is being held Saturday, October 31 at 11am ET. Sixteen popular players, streamers, and community members are participating, and if nothing else there should be some big laughs to be had as the new game mode is unveiled. To watch, check out any of the following participants' streams during the event.
- Mario Ovalle
- Nacho AoE
The new Battle Royale mode should no doubt be the big pull for the Anniversary Update, but it looks like the Age team has been hard at work making the game more enjoyable than ever. A new Quick Play system has been designed to get players into unranked matches quicker than ever. This should take over for the server browser, which wasn't exactly efficient. Quick Play will work with Random Map, Empire Wars, and Battle Royale matches.
The civilization UI has been reworked, with more detailed stats on each civilization viewable without having to enter the full tech tree. This should benefit newcomers the most, though even veterans need to check civ bonuses once in awhile. And the social UI used for inviting friends and creating parties has been updated for easier connecting.
Finally, the main menu has seen a significant update to handle all the ways to play. It doesn't much look like the classic Age of Empires 2 main menu, but it does seem much easier to navigate. Rounding things out are a ton of in-game balance changes that will complement not only the new Battle Royale mode, but all game modes currently available. Full patch notes for the Anniversary Update will be available at the official Age forums upon release. If you've been holding out so far on the overhauled game, now might be the time to upgrade to a new PC for playing Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and its new Battle Royale mode.
An RTS for the ages
Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition
A lot of game for the asking price
Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition manages to make the classic RTS feel new while not straying away from what made the game great in the first place. Grab it on Xbox Game Pass for PC or on its own.
Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
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