Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is a real-time strategy where players guide one of 13 real-world civilizations (including the Franks, Japanese, Byzantines, Vikings, Mongols, and Celts) across four "Ages" encompassing 1,000 years of in-game time in a setting reminiscent of period between the 5th to 15th century AD.
The goal of the game is to construct buildings and raise units to defend against and launch attacks against rival civilizations. At the most basic level, players must task villagers with gathering the four types of resources necessary to accomplish these. Singleplayer modes include five campaigns featuring historic characters like Joan of Arc and Genghis Khan, with set civilizations and tasks to accomplish, as well as three other modes.
These modes can also be played as multiplayer games either local or online through the internet; the 2013 HD re-release even features support for Steam multiplayer long after the MSN Gaming Zone closed back in 2006.