As we wrote in our Age of Empires II Definitive Edition review, this remake is well worth it due to the improved 4K Ultra HD graphics, the remastered soundtrack, and the abundance of new content, especially if you’re a fan of the original title. The extension of The Lords of the West add two civilizations more at 35 who already had the game: the Burgundians and the Sicilians. In addition, they also include three new campaigns dubbed into different languages (Spanish is Latin American, as in Tell Me Why) to enjoy alone. I have to say that I’ve spent the last few weeks playing this expansion, that I love it that there is new content and, more importantly, that it’s high quality content that has one of the best strategy titles out there keep up to date.
One of the things I’ve always liked about Age of Empires is that we learn a little bit of history with every campaign we play. In this expansion, we first come across a new campaign dedicated to and about the English King of England Edward Longshanks and in which we will face a multitude of enemies, from our Scottish neighbors to the Mamluks in the Holy Land. However, the campaigns I liked best were those of Sicily and Burgundy because they tell parts of the story that is not talked about that often.
The Sicilian campaign of the Hauteville tells the story of some Norman adventurers who founded an empire in southern Italy, particularly in Sicily. These Normans also took part in the Crusades in 1100. However, contrary to the typical stories about the time of the Crusades, in this campaign we must form a coalition of Norman, Greek, Muslim and Latin American peoples. On the other hand, the Burgundy campaign of the Grand Dukes of the West gives a different view of the Hundred Years War between England and France. As you will learn from history, France was just as busy fighting itself as it was against the English invaders.
However, there is much more to these campaigns than stories dedicated to history buffs. All of them also have some game mechanics interesting enough to get us hooked. For example, at one point in the Sicilian campaign there are Byzantine armies whose health regenerates very quickly, making it completely impossible to defeat their soldiers at first. To face them we must first demolish the military buildings using attack and flight tactics. Another example is one of the Burgundian missions where there is an option to enlist the help of the English, although in my case, if they did not respond in time to their offer, they would be on my enemy’s side. However, there is no doubt that this new expansion specifically gives us hours of solo fun approx. 15 hours of additional gameplay.
As for the multiplayer mode, it should be noted that the new civilizations will be added to the long list of others that already existed and from which we can choose to conquer new lands and fight against enemies. The Burgundies seem to be pretty strong in the longer multiplayer games. This civilization has two great advantages, namely access to economic improvements an age earlier and its two unique entities. One of them is that Coustillier cavalry unitwho uses a unique shock attack when attacking into combat, allowing him to kill a weaker unit in one blow. Note, however, that you will need to charge for a while after this. To say that the technology of the Burgundians is unique and allows them to transform all the villagers Flemish militia
In general, it seemed to me that the new units and technologies can be very powerful if we use them separately, although their use depends on the situation and the player’s skills. For example, if you decide to invest in Flemish militia technology, you have to take into account that you only have one chance to move forward with your army and that it would have been a waste of resources if you had failed. After that, you need to focus back on micromanaging new villagers.
The same thing happens with the Sicilian civilization that has A unique building called Donjon. It’s kind of a little castle that can be built in the feudal age and allows you to recruit the sergeant unit, the only Sicilian unit that can build new donjons. This is pretty reminiscent of the Norse units in Age of Mythology, which can also build buildings. One rather strange thing is that the user interface continues to refer to the Kreposts (unique castle of the Bulgarians) instead of the donjons, which shows that these first constructions probably served as a template for the development of the donjons.
At first glance, the Sicilians seem like a pretty strong civilization as they have a powerful one rush of donjon’s towers, which allow them to recruit new units. In my case, I have to admit that I am not an expert at this game, which is why my attempts have almost always failed rush from donjons, but watch out, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t having fun. I understand that the new civilizations in this expansion with new play styles make multiplayer games a lot more attractive. In addition, they introduce new tactics, both for attack and counter-attack.
Both before and during the expansion start-up process, the gaming community feared that the new civilizations might be thrown out of whack. However, a month after the expansion started, the studio released a patch that included it Reduced the power of the Coustillier unit’s shock attack and unique technologies were balanced. For example, Sicilian First Crusade technology is now producing fewer Norman sergeants. This relatively quick correction is a sign that if there is another imbalance, it will not go away for long.
Overall, I am very happy with this new expansion for Lords of the West. I think 10 dollars is a good price for the 15 hours of quality content that the expansion alone gives us. Compared to the base game, which only costs 20 dollars, it may seem a bit expensive. Another reason I like this expansion is that I still like AoE 2 Multiplayer like a kid. Also, I have to admit that adding variety to an already great title is quite a challenge. To be honest, even though Age of Empires IV is just around the corner, I wouldn’t mind if they released more expansions for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition as experience shows there will be a New Age anyway of Empires doesn’t necessarily mean that things will get better.