Age of Empires III is being remastered. Here’s what you need to know.

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The Age of Empires series is beloved by fans of the real-time strategy (RTS) genre for its historically-accurate campaigns, fine artwork, gorgeous soundtracks, memorable units, and addictive competitive multiplayer gameplay. While the first two entries in the series — Age of Empires and Age of Empires II — have already been given the Definitive Edition treatment, we’re still waiting on the third installment. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming remake.

What is Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition?

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is a modern remake of the original Age of Empires III game that was released 2005. Whereas the first Age of Empires focused on the stone age through the iron age and Age of Empires II focused on the dark and medieval ages, Age of Empires III is set during colonization of the Americas and the industrial revolution. Tantalus Media, the crew that helped develop Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, is handling development of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. It’s all overseen by World’s Edge Studio, the team leading everything Age of Empires at Microsoft.

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It’s expected that the Definitive Edition version of Age of Empires III will include both expansions — The WarChiefs and The Asian Dynasties — released not long after the original game. Why? The first two remakes included the expansions, plus the second game had some new civilizations and campaigns. It remains to be seen exactly what all we’re getting, but anything less than the full base game and its expansions remade would be a letdown.

Going off of the first two remasters, the Definitive Edition rework should include updated 4K graphics, textures, and animations, a rework of the user interface (UI) to make it more user friendly, gameplay balance changes, and overall quality-of-life tweaks to make the game more enjoyable. What was already a beautiful game should be made even better and be much better suited for modern hardware and displays. How deep the developers are going with civilization changes (like units and technologies) remains to be seen.

Avid Age of Empires III players are likewise expecting an improved multiplayer experience that revives the competitive scene. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is still played by hundreds of thousands of people, competitively and casually, and ignoring one side of the fanbase in the third installment would no doubt be a huge letdown.

Will you need a powerful PC to run Age of Empires III: DE?

There’s no concrete PC requirements yet for Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, though we do know what was recommended for the closed betas. As long as you have a semi-modern processor (Core i5-650 or AMD A6-3620) 8GB of RAM, and 2GB of graphics card VRAM, you should be able to run the game. Of course, any extra specs should only serve to make the game look better. Be sure to check out our collection of the best pre-built PCs for playing Age of Empires Definitive Editions if you’re in need of an upgrade.

When is the Age of Empires III: DE release date?

Closed betas ran in mid February and early April 2020, both lasting for about a week. Since then, there hasn’t been much information to come out about the game. There’s still no concrete release date for Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, though there are some big hints. We first received the cryptic tweet above, which ended up spelling out “Gamescom” when associating the emblems with in-game hotkeys. We now know that Microsoft is expected to show off the game at Gamescom on August 27, 2020.

Judging by the placement of the Gamescom teaser banner, it seems as though the release date will be sometime between August 28 (Wasteland 3) and November 10 (Destiny 2: Beyond Light). Of course, the banners could just be arranged for aesthetic reasons.

It’s been confirmed that Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is coming to Xbox Game Pass for PC where it will sit alongside the first two remasters. It will also be available on Steam and the Microsoft Store.

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