Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is the sequel to the award-winning, best-selling real-time strategy game Age of Empires. Age of Empires II spans a thousand years, from the fall of Rome through the Middle Ages in which players lead one of 13 civilizations into greatness. The game keeps the epic scope of Age of Empires' game play while evolving the combat and economic features.
In addition to all the features found in the original Age of Empires, Age of Empires II enhances gameplay in the following areas:
New combat options: Players can use garrisoning and military formations that add interesting tactical choices. Units are also smarter, with new artificial intelligence (AI) options such as Guard, Patrol, and Follow, as well as multiple aggression levels.
Alternatives to combat: Players can improve the economy of their civilization through trade and diplomacy options. In addition to gathering resources, they can trade at their own market or use trading routes with their allies. A market-based economy gives new options for players to buy, sell, and speculate on resources.
Diverse cultures: Gamers command one of 13 mighty civilizations. These include the Franks, Japanese, Byzantine, Viking, Mongol, and Celt civilizations. Each civilization has unique attributes, buildings, and technologies, as well as a unique combat unit based on its historical counterpart.
Ease of use: The William Wallace learning campaign makes it easy for new users to get started. The new two-layer interface lets players select the level of command buttons displayed, based on their needs. Additionally, the game includes production queues, rally points, a customizable hot-key system, and expanded rollover help.