Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition plans to revisit the past in its upcoming DLC, but with an unconventional twist. The “completely new type of expansion pack,” Return of Rome, will integrate AOE 1 into AOE 2 when it releases on May 16. It will add all 16 civilisations from the original game and its Rise of Rome expansion pack to the roster of the second game.
This means you can soon play as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Choson, Egyptians, Greeks, Hittites, Macedonians, Minoans, Palmyrans, Persians, Phoenicians, Romans, Shang, Sumerians, and Yamato on the plains, steppes, and tundra of AOE 2. For even more human history, Return of Rome will also introduce a brand new civ—the Lac Viet—to its faction list. To get a hands-on preview, check out the full HD trailer below.
Watch Return Of Rome Expansion Teaser Trailer
The expansion doesn’t stop at factions. It will also debut three new campaigns featuring some of the new (old) civilisations. Sargon of Akkad (the Sumerians), Trajan (the Romans) and Pyrrhus of Epirus (the Macedonians) are all featured in the campaigns. The term ‘pyrrhic victory’ implies a ‘really good victory,’ so the second campaign should be quite enjoyable.
Return of Rome will introduce the D3 game mode as well, “inspired by a ruleset made popular in Vietnam.” Though not widely known, the AOE wiki explains that D3 is a mode that discourages rush tactics and prolongs games: players can only fight with a single unit until the Bronze Age, and walls and towers are prohibited.
In addition, the expansion will include various “visual improvements,” “UI improvements,” and enhanced CPU-opponent AI, though the details remain vague.
If this sparks your interest, Age of Empires 2’s Return of Rome DLC is available for pre-order on Steam and the Microsoft Store, currently at a 15% discount.