With the battle royale genre leaking into every kind of game (even racing titles) Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition now has its own version of the mode thanks to a new update.
The November Anniversary Update – which is live now – adds Battle Royale and Quick Play as two new game modes to the title.
How does this work in an RTS? You can see a bit of gameplay in the video embedded below, but there’s also this explanation provided by Senior Program Manager at developer World’s Edge, Ian Stevens.
“…this fast-paced mode pits up to eight players against each other in five new custom maps for a free-for-all contest to see who can be the last combatant standing. Each player starts with two hero units and can then scout the map for both supply and military buildings. Resources are on a constant tick and will accelerate if you’re able to maintain control of those supply buildings, but be vigilant – any other player can take those away by eliminating your defenses and achieving proximity,” Stevens writes.
“Acquire multiple military buildings to spam units and bring massive armies into the battlefield – all as the map shrinks inward and eliminates both your play space and resources over time.”
It’s interesting here to see that the fog of war, which players usually push back by exploring the map, instead acts as the encroaching barrier which pushes players closer together – a real staple of the battle royale genre. It’s a rather clever reuse of an existing mechanic.
As for quick play it’s intended to make getting back into this classic game easier than ever. This is again a smart move on the part of the developer as this is exactly the kind of nostalgic game which would prompt people to install it on a whim and give it a few minutes of their time to relive the experience.
“Quick Play allows players to quickly set game type and map preferences, and effortlessly matchmake with others in Random Map, Empire Wars, and Battle Royale game modes. The queue for Quick Play is unranked and meant for convenient play with just a few clicks!” Stevens adds.
The final big part of the November Anniversary Update is an overhaul of the UI to make navigation easier. This UI update is also the start of other changes coming to the game in the next few months.