Age of Empires II HD Rise of the Rajas Expansion Announced; 4 New Civilizations & Campaigns

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Dec 14, 2016
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Published by Microsoft Studios, the Age of Empires II HD Rise of the Rajas DLC will release next week.

Rise of the Rajas is set in Southeast Asia and introduces four new civilizations to the game, each with its own fully voiced campaign. Featured in the expansion are the Malay, Vietnamese, Khmer and Burmese. New generic units and environments are being added as well.

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Welcome to Age of Empires II HD: The Rise of the Rajas; the third new official expansion for the Age of Empires II universe in over 17 years. Challenge friends with four additional civilizations, new units, technologies, and build your empire on both water and land. Guide history’s greatest heroes in Southeast Asia through four additional campaigns and conquer your foes with mighty hordes of elephants under your command!

  • 4 New Civilizations
    • Burmese – Assemble the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia through a legion of Battle Elephants that can demolish the most powerful of defenses. The Burmese unique unit is the Arambai, a ranged cavalry unit with a deadly but low accuracy attack.
    • Khmer – Construct the largest religious monument in the world and amass an immortal army of devastating siege weapons. The Khmer unique unit is the Ballista Elephant, a mounted scorpion that can be upgraded to fire two bolts simultaneously.
    • Malay – Conquer Southeast Asia with the vast island empire of Malay and upgrade your docks to harbours which can shoot arrows. The Malay unique unit is the Karambit Warrior, an extremely cheap infantry unit that can quickly overwhelm its foes.
    • Vietnamese – Lead your people to independence and wage guerilla warfare with an extremely powerful arsenal of ranged units. The Vietnamese unique unit is the Rattan Archer, a heavily-armored ranged unit that is effectively impervious to enemy archer attacks.
  • 4 New, Fully Voiced Campaigns
    • Gajah Mada: On the island of Java, a new power is rising. Gajah Mada, prime minister of Majapahit, conspires to build an empire to rule the waves and islands of the Archipelago. Will he be able to balance his unquestioned loyalty to the king with his growing ambitions?
    • Suryavarman I: It is the early 11th century and the Khmer Empire is in turmoil, torn apart by competing factions and surrounded by hostile neighbors. Only one prince, Suryavarman, has the courage and cunning to defeat his rivals and restore the Khmer to their former glory. Seizing the throne, however, is just the first of many tasks. Will Suryavarman muster the strength to expand his domain, overcome adversity, and create a timeless legacy as the king who attained Nirvana?
    • Bayinnaung: A warrior king seeks to unite a divided land. But when he is betrayed, only his devoted servant can continue his legacy. Can a mere commoner ascend the Burmese throne and build the largest empire in Southeast Asian history?
    • Lê Lợi: When a civil war plunged Dai Viet into chaos, the Ming Emperor intervened and seized control. Now, the only hope for freedom from oppression lies with one man: a minor noble named Le Loi. Will he be able to unite feuding factions, defeat the Chinese, and regain Vietnamese independence?
  • New Generic Units
    • Battle Elephant: Created at the stable and available to each of the new civilizations, the Battle Elephant is a slow and powerful cavalry unit that is devastating in melee combat. Each new civilization has its own unique bonuses to set their Elephant regiments apart.
    • Imperial Skirmisher: The long-awaited upgrade to the iconic Elite Skirmisher unit, the upgrade is available to the Vietnamese and all of its teammates.
  • New Environments
    • Land meets the sea in The Rise of the Rajas! Alongside massive rainforests, treacherous beaches, the new mangrove forests and shallows provide a whole new playstyle. The new amphibious terrain can be built on and both land units and ships can pass through it. This new terrain type is featured on each of the five new random maps.
  • Improved AI
  • 5 New Random Maps
  • 5 New Special Maps
  • 5 New Real World Maps
  • 13 New Terrains
  • New Scenario Editor Objects
  • Spectator Mode

Not only will the expansion introduce new content, but a game update will also offer performance upgrades and balance fixes.

“This awesome expansion is set in southeast Asia, and brings tons of new content as well as some serious upgrades to the quality of life for our Age of Empires II HD”, writes community coordinator Joe Homes. “We’ve had an open beta over the past few months to identify and correct a few performance issues, and with your help we’ve managed to reduce desyncs by 90%! 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 is the third expansion for Age of Empires II HD. The new expansion will be available starting December 19 and while a price hasn’t been mentioned, its pricing probably won’t differ that much from the previous two expansions. An Age of Empires II HD bundle including all three expansions will also become available for roughly $33 USD.

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