Skip to main content

Next 'Age of Empires II HD' expansion — 'Rise of the Rajas' — is due this month

17 years after launch age of empires 2 gets a new expansion aoe2hdexpansion
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Microsoft’s 1999 real-time strategy game Age of Empires II gets a new lease on life later this month with Rise of the Rajas, an all-new expansion developed in collaboration with studios Forgotten Empires and Skybox Labs.

The upcoming expansion will be available exclusively within the game’s 2013 remake, Age of Empires II: HD Edition, and will add a collection of new units, technologies, and civilizations across four new campaigns.

Age of Empires II remains a favorite among RTS buffs for its unique gameplay that challenges players to balance resource-gathering, town-raising, and military strategy throughout a series of included campaigns. The original game later saw a single expansion release, The Conquerors, before creator Ensemble Studios moved on to its next project, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds.

Nearly 15 years after Age of Empires II was originally released, Hidden Path Entertainment resurrected the experience with the 2013 launch of Age of Empires II: HD Edition. Boasting remastered graphics and Steam Workshop support, it has enjoyed newfound popularity in recent years, leading its porting studio to pursue new expansions.

Following up on a pair of expansions — Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten and 2015’s Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms — the upcoming Rise of the Rajas expansion will take place in southeast Asia, and give players control over new units including Battle Elephants and Imperial Skirmishers. RTS fans can also expect to see a new map type, along with improved AI and a spectator mode.

Developers SkyBox Labs and Forgotten Empires have also rolled out improvements to Age of Empires II HD‘s core multiplayer mode in preparation for the next expansion release.

“We’ve had an open beta over the past few months to identify and correct a few performance issues,” Joe Homes, community coordinator, said.

“With today’s announcement of Rise of the Rajas, we’re also pushing these performance upgrades live to all of our players for free. Among other things, this makes multiplayer matches much more stable, and we’ve added multiplayer restore back in, so if you ever do lose a match in progress to a desync, you can get it back and pick up where you left off!”

Rise of the Rajas launches digitally on December 19.

Danny Cowan
Danny’s passion for video games was ignited upon his first encounter with Nintendo’s Duck Hunt, and years later, he still…
PS5 Pro: news, rumored release date, price, and specs
A PS5 standing on a table, with purple lights around it.

Rumors are running rampant about a supposed PlayStation 5 Pro, or PS5 Pro for short. Just like we got a mid-generation upgrade with the PS4 Pro  during the last console cycle, many people are expecting PlayStation to release an incrementally more powerful machine to bridge the gap between the launch unit and an eventual PlayStation 6. Leaks have been coming out from some fairly credible sources, with a lot of juicy and very specific details about what a hypothetical PS5 Pro could look like. As credible as these sources may be, we do still need to take everything we see with some skepticism until Sony officially confirms that this system even exists. Until then, here are all the rumors out there regarding the PS5 Pro.
Rumored release window

A constant release window that all leaks have pointed to is sometime in Fall of 2024. That's right around the corner, probably in the September through November range, meaning we should be getting an official announcement on the console if that is indeed the plan. It appears that PS5 Pro dev kits are now in the hands of more developers, who have been asked that PS5 Pro-enhanced games be submitted for certification in August. These developments point toward a 2024 release.

Read more
A Nintendo cult classic is getting a surprising spiritual successor
A robot waters a flower in koRobo.

GameCube cult classic Chibi-Robo! is getting a revival. Ex-staff from Chibi-Robo! developer Skip announced a new studio on Friday to make a spiritual successor called koROBO that looks very much like its predecessor -- down to its premise. But there are some big promised changes.

In a Nintendo Everything exclusive, the new company, Tiny Wonder Studio, announced upcoming Kickstarter and Campfire campaigns to raise money for the development. It's set to launch on July 22, and will run for around a month. You can sign up for notifications on the Kickstarter page for when it goes live.

Read more