What was ancient is now new again.
Love it or hate it, the original Age of Empires is a juggernaut. Setting off a series and popularizing history-based RTSes, it has unfortunately aged poorly. The recent Definitive Edition is pretty decent, although it comes with its own share of issues. If you’ve not bought it or you simply long for the original, fret not. You can finally dust off your old CD-ROMs and reinstall the game on Windows 10 thanks to UPatch HD.
This is an unofficial patch developed by fans in order to polish and tweak the original game. Besides better support for modern operating systems, a slew of bugs are fixed. Fans probably remember the save game bug, as well as the colors going all weird. These are now a thing of the past. The civilizations are better balanced, based on feedback from fans over the course of a number of years. The AIs have been adjusted and fixed accordingly, too. Overall, it looks, sounds, and runs better. It’s also slightly more challenging.
There are also numerous additions. Now the game supports higher resolutions and allows you to play in a window. New map types have been added along with new game modes. And now there is much better mod support that doesn’t require you to alter your game’s files irreversibly. It’s all complimented by a spiffy new launcher, modeled closely on the old one to remain familiar to veterans.
To install it, you’ll need a copy of Age of Empires with The Rise of Rome expansion, or the Gold edition. Then get Upatch HD here. Check out the YouTube playlist below to see someone tackle all of the campaigns with UPatch HD on hard difficulty (as expected, it’s quite long). Share your favorite memories of Age of Empires with us in the comments section!