After greater than 12 years in hibernation, the Age of Empires collection is again for its fourth outing. In August, writer Microsoft Studios introduced that Age of Empires four was alive and kicking, and that it was being developed by Relic Leisure, the crew behind Homeworld and Firm of Heroes (which is a hell of quite a lot of pedigree).
[Replace: Although we have no extra info on Age of Empires four’s launch date simply but, we do now know that the 4K definitive edition of the original will be released on February 20, following a 4 month delay.]
This text will let you know all the pieces you could find out about Age of Empires four, and we’ll replace it when new info involves gentle, so be sure to verify again often.
Reduce to the chase
- What’s it? The newest installment to the historic real-time technique collection Age of Empires.
- When can I play it? There is no launch window simply but but it surely’ll be late 2018 on the earliest
- What can I play it on? Home windows 10 PC is the one confirmed platform
What’s Age of Empires four?
Age of Empires four is the most recent installment to the historic real-time technique collection Age of Empires, which started life method again in 1997.
Observe-ups to the unique have been launched in 1999 and 2005, and there’s been a few spin-offs throughout that interval, together with two Nintendo DS titles and the favored Age of Mythology, which took inspiration from myths and legends quite than historical past. Except for these DS video games, the collection is simply on PC.
Age of Empires four is the primary sport within the collection developed by Relic Leisure – all the opposite Age of Empires video games have been made by Ensemble Studios, which folded in 2009. Relic says it needs to “fuse historic context with deep strategic gameplay, and to carry this franchise again to the forefront of gaming and into the arms of its beloved neighborhood”.
Age of Empires four: launch date
Sadly, no launch date has been introduced for Age of Empires four – not even a tough one. It could possibly be a method off although, as a result of all we’ve seen of the sport is a trailer full of idea artwork, which suggests improvement is in its early phases. If we have been betting on it, we’d say it gained’t be till late subsequent yr on the earliest.
What platforms will Age of Empires four launch on?
Up to now, all we all know is that it’s coming to Home windows 10 PC – so dangerous luck in case you’re operating an older model (though this could possibly be a very good excuse to improve). Nevertheless, with Microsoft Studios because the writer the door is open for a launch on Xbox One, too, though there’s been no phrase on that entrance. For a similar cause, it’s unlikely to return to different consoles, such because the PS4 or the Nintendo Swap.
Age of Empires four: trailers
The announcement of the sport was marked with a trailer – and it’s nonetheless the one one we’ve seen so far. It’s completely idea artwork for the sport, depicting giant scale battles between varied teams. Test it out beneath:
Age of Empires four: gameplay options
Earlier Age of Empires video games have targeted on one interval of historical past: Age of Empires three chronicled the European colonization of the Americas, for instance.
Nevertheless, judging by the trailer above, Age of Empires four may paint with a broader historic image, with a lot of empires from throughout time coming back from earlier video games within the collection.
Within the trailer, you’ll be able to glimpse Native People, British Redcoats, Romans and Japanese samurai. It’s attainable that this might simply be demonstrative of the artwork fashion and themes, however we’d be stunned in the event that they didn’t find yourself that includes within the remaining sport in some capability.
That mentioned, it’s unlikely to interrupt historical past by pitting armies from two eras in opposition to one another within the marketing campaign, so count on a narrative that performs out over an prolonged timeline. After which maybe the Romans may conflict with the Redcoats in on-line multiplayer.
When it comes to precise gameplay, we wouldn’t count on it to deviate too removed from the components that followers of the collection know and love – it will be odd for the developer to not mine that ore of help. So, there would be the regular 4X fare (discover, broaden, exploit and exterminate). Nevertheless, the final Age of Empires sport was greater than 10 years in the past, so we’re anticipating some modifications when it comes to UI and mechanics.
Age of Empires four: what we need to see
A sleeker UI
The Age of Empires video games have all the time had respectable UIs – a lot of the stuff you want is 2 or at most three clicks away and, usually, in case you hover over a button you’ll find out what it does. However going again to it now, it appears a bit quaint, with a big field overlaying a lot of the backside part of the display screen, and could be overwhelming at first look.
If the collection goes to draw new gamers (and the extra the merrier) then the UI must be modern and alluring. Age of Empires On-line, one other spin-off, may maybe be a very good information: that sport had a lot much less on display screen at anybody time, permitting you to see extra of the battlefield. Smaller, contextual menus that solely seem while you click on on sure parts would work properly.
Revamped unit techniques
The Age of Empires video games do boast army techniques, and the positioning and stances of your items can flip a battle. However largely, fights are gained by the most important military, and they’re over shortly. We’d prefer to see techniques play an even bigger function in battles, and for it to be simpler to make small changes to teams of items in order that they do precisely what you need.
There’s hope right here: Relic has quite a lot of pedigree on this subject. Think about Age of Empires with Firm of Heroes-style unit motion while you received near an enemy’s base. That’s not what Relic will probably be capturing for (that is about clashes of huge armies quite than small strike forces, in spite of everything), however we’re assured will probably be extra finessed than anything we’ve seen from the collection up to now.
A number of cities
Age of Empires revels in its smaller scale. You begin with a city corridor and construct out from there, by no means actually increasing past a single settlement. Rise of Nations, additionally printed by Microsoft, could possibly be a very good yard stick for a way the sport ought to broaden; in that sport you might construct a number of cities and mix them into giant territories.
In the event you apply that to Age of Empires then you definitely get a number of hubs of manufacturing: one city may give attention to meals manufacturing, and transport the completed product to a different close by city, which is itself churning out army items. Planning out the construction of your empire, quite than only a single metropolis, would add one other layer to the sport.