Friday, 29 January 2021
Excited fans have flocked to social media after spotting a version of the town hall of Brussels as well as other Belgian landmarks in a recent update to the massively popular Age of Empires II game.
Launched on 26 January, the new update 8 years in the making has seen European game makers return to their roots, according to Bert Beeckman, Project lead at Forgotten Empires on Twitter.
Later today we’ll be launching “Lords of the West” for @AgeOfEmpires II. For the past 8 years, the team has been going around the world adding new civilizations to #aoe2. Having so many Europeans work at @ForgottenEmp, it was great to “return to our roots” with this one. Enjoy! pic.twitter.com/M7iBdI0Lu0
— Bert Beeckman (@CysionBE) January 26, 2021
“It has been very exciting to put something of my home country in a video game, especially since Belgium is rarely seen or represented in a video game, let alone a big franchise like Age of Empires,” Beeckman told The Brussels Times.
“We specifically drew inspiration from the Brussels Town Hall (although it had to be adapted visually to fit the world of Age of Empires) and a Burgundian castle which drew heavy inspiration from the castle of Beersel.”
One of the main focuses of the update is the new civilization of the Burgundians, which allows players to “rise from a mere duchy to the marvel of Western Europe through economic might, cultural achievement, and the use of advanced military technology and tactics,” according to the launch release.
Belgian fans of the game have expressed delight at the inclusion of the country in the game.
😍 OMG, from now on @AgeOfEmpires integrates two buildings, (maybe) inspired by our Brussels architecture: Porte de Hal and the Brussels city town hall!
🗡 The game now includes the “Goedendag” weapon for the Flemish Militia, also😍 #AOE2DE pic.twitter.com/zBjKcdCbqr
— Dimitri Strobbe (@dimitristrobbe) January 26, 2021
“In these difficult times, virtual meet-ups with friends, battling each other in Age of Empires has always been great,” Belgian fan Dimitri Strobbe told The Brussels Times. “But now, giving the fact we can build, conquer and destroy buildings that are based on buildings in and around Brussels that look very familiar, gives us an extra dimension to the game.”
The game also includes a unique tech called the “Flemish Revolution” which “upgrades all existing villagers to Flemish Militia,” as well as many other nods to Belgian history currently being unearthed by fans.
The Brussels Times