- Today we took our first look at new gameplay material for the coming year Age of Empires IV.
- The final editions will receive new updates, including the Dawn of the Dukes Extension for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and the civilization of the United States for Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition.
- Visit the virtual village to explore the buildings, gain experience, learn more about them Age of Empires IVand enjoy exclusive video content.
A new age is here! Today we took our first look at new gameplay material for the coming year Age of Empires IV during the Age of Empires: Fan Preview Event that showcased the wonderful Age of Empires community and celebrated the many games that have made this franchise a cornerstone of strategy for two decades. Let’s dive in.
A closer look at Age of Empires IV
The preview event started with a detailed look at one of the new playable civilizations in Age of Empires IV, the Sultanate of Delhi, and showed one of their most iconic units in action: the war elephants. Mixed with the gameplay of archers shooting from above at castle walls, spearmen fighting, sultanate scholars conquering holy sites and supporting attacks by war elephants – it all looks like this very Age of Empires and we couldn’t be happier to see it in action.
The global show continued with a look at the Norman campaign which also gave us a first look at the new style of presentation for Age of Empires IV Campaigns. The “golden soldiers” are inspired by gilded manuscripts of the time and project historical events over today’s real places. They give us a realistic sense of how events developed hundreds of years ago. It’s very inspired by the BBC documentary and looks great. Get ready for more of this in the other three campaigns in Age of Empires IV.
The Norman campaign will tell the story of Duke William of Normandy as he wrestled King Harold control of England, beginning at the Battle of Hastings, and later followed his descendants Robert, William II and Henry I as they continue to fight for it what would modern England become. All of the classic medieval units have been shown in action here, from knights on horseback fighting pikemen across vast battlefields that were completed with a great looking castle siege.
It all looks very epic, with lots of units on the field and the game engine itself showing the detailed grass on the fields, intricate stone structures on the castle walls and detailed features of the units from their shields, spears and armor, showing the authentic appearance of this strategy game.
A look through the ages: Middle Ages, Feudal, Castle and Emperor
After this reveal, we were given an even deeper look into the gameplay Age of Empires IVWe started with the High Middle Ages and a battle between the English and the Delhi Sultanate as we allowed ourselves to be guided through the four ages of the game. It started with showcasing English villagers who were gathering resources to start building their town center. Boy scouts hunted deer and villagers gathered meat from sheep. Soon a lone scout will encounter an enemy fortress, and from there you can guess what’s next: war. It doesn’t take long for spearmen, archers, and more combat-oriented constructions to evolve as civilizations age and skirmishes escalate into war as everyone continues their struggle for control of the map.
On the other side of the world, the Mongols and the Chinese civilizations could be seen in the feudal age, a great contrast to the castles and knights shown earlier. The Chinese identity is instantly apparent, with unique architecture and costumes, contemporary language, and military units clad in traditional robes with intimidating weapons.
Contrasted with them were the Mongols and their heavy use of tent-like structures that fit their play style and allow them to pack their entire village together and drag them to different sections of the map in search of resources. With their focus on the stone resources and the ability to move their entire city around at will, many new tactics and strategies become possible.
Speaking of novel strategies, we checked out the new stealth forest mechanics, which are unique pieces of forest that units can hide in to set up ambushes. The view into and within these forest areas is severely restricted, which means that armies can go right past each other and can never see each other! You will know from the blue outlines around you and your units that your units are in stealth forests whispered Reply.
Next up was a preview of The Castle Age, which now featured an advanced battle in the Delhi Sultanate and English civilization – this was full of war elephants confronting huge castles, siege towers creeping forward, soldiers carrying swords the castle walls struck … everything was very epic.
Eventually, the gameplay video returned to the imperial era as the Chinese and Mongols, now with huge epic fortresses, multiple unit structures like barracks and stables, and refined architecture as they prepare for a Mongol invasion. Massive units went out onto the battlefield, full of trebuchets hurling stones against the castle walls, soldiers sprinting across the field on horseback, bee nests firing explosives, fireworks being shot in the air to boost morale, and much more.
Everything we’ve seen so far shows how well Relic Entertainment captured the look and feel of the classic Age of Empires gameplay (collect, create, grow up, and explore) that made the series so unique. I’m very interested to see how different each civilization will develop as we get closer to launch later this year.
A look behind the scenes at Relic Entertainment
After our first look at the gameplay, we went behind the scenes at Relic Entertainment. Adding a human face to the development of a game is always great, especially during a global pandemic. Despite the challenges of managing the pandemic, mostly from home, the team continued to be able to work together remotely to build Age of Empires IV.
One of the things we learned was how much the team relied on working with their Community Council, a group of dedicated Age of Empires community members to help test the game and provide valuable feedback on the design of the game. It’s great to see that recognition and trust to bring you into the fold.. After all, it is the community that will be playing this game long after it is released, and contributing early on will only help improve their potential in the strategy game community.
We also looked at some of the work that gauges the historical accuracy of the game, from consultants to attending reenactment events, all of which are designed to help make the game as authentic as possible – every sound and unit in the game is informed by history. Even from this quick glance it is clear that the team has not only captured the essence of the original games, but also the story perfectly.
Age of Empires Updates: Definitive Editions
The Definitive Editions are also getting some new updates starting with the Dawn of the Dukes Expansion this summer for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition That brings players to Eastern Europe with new campaigns and much more. Even later that year, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will launch Co-Op Historical Battles which will include handpicked campaign missions and historical battles to play with friends.
Then on April 13th Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition
Age of Empires IV Closed Beta and Alienware Sweepstakes
Rounding out all the news were the first details of the upcoming Age of Empires IV Closed beta open to Age Insider members who sign up AgeOfEmpires.com. Age Insiders can also enter a sweepstakes to win a one-of-a-kind Alienware Battle Station that includes a custom-made Age of Empires-Alienware Aurora R11 desktop setup, Alienware 7.1 gaming headset, Alienware 25 gaming monitor, and contains much more! The competition runs until April 24th. click Here for more details.
Visit the virtual village
Now the show has ended and your Age of Empires All Things celebration will continue Visit to the virtual village! Discover the buildings, experience, learn more about Age of Empires IV and enjoy exclusive video content. Get creative by making your own avatar medallion, village postcard, or even your own coat of arms. There is so much more to discover. So why not pay a visit?
We’ll have more to tell Age of Empires IV in the coming months as we get closer to start this fall. Make sure to stay here on Xbox Wire for the latest news and updates for your favorite games on Xbox and Windows 10 PC.