Age of Empires 4? Say what?! With the latest Age of Empires game landing over a decade ago, anticipation for a new entry in the classic, empire-building RTS couldn’t be higher if you placed it atop a saddled war elephant and marched it towards a Barbarian outpost.
Someone at Microsoft must have heard the cumulative prayers of veteran empire-builders the world over, as Age of Empires 4 – not to mention remasters of all three of the original games – is officially on its way. We’ll allow plenty of time for dancing and jubilation, but for now let’s get onto all the salient info about AoE4, shall we?
We have rounded up all the Age of Empires 4 news and information to present you with everything we know about it. Join us as we run through the scarce few details about Age of Empires 4 that do exist and ruminate on the civilisations and nations we could be guiding from humble hunter-gatherers to fully-fledged empires. We’ll also muse over the studio working on it, and generally get overexcited about potential new features.
Age of Empires 4 release date
Sadly, there is no news on a Age of Empires 4 release date, which suggests that the RTS is still a long way from being complete. The fact that the announce trailer comprises nothing but concept art from older games hints that development on Age of Empires 4 is still in its early stages. At least we have the remastered Age of Empires: Definitive Edition to play in the meantime.
As Relic Entertainment is heading up work on the game, it is likely it has only been able to devote less than a year of full-scale development on the project having only released Dawn of War III in April 2017. Hopefully, we will get a rough Age of Empires 4 release date when Microsoft next shows off the forthcoming strategy game.
Age of Empires 4 trailer
There is an announce trailer for Age of Empires 4 that you can watch above. It sets the tone nicely for the sequel with a rousing combination of concept art from the previous games in the series and voiceover, but do not expect to learn much about Age of Empires 4’s gameplay from it.
Age of Empires 4 gameplay
Relic Entertainment and Microsoft Studios have revealed very little about the gameplay of Age of Empires 4. But Relic’s recent work and the foundations set in stone by the series’ previous entries give us a vague picture of what to expect.
If you are unfamiliar with Age of Empires then here are the basics. You start of by picking a nation or civilisation from history and then guide them to prosperity through one of four victory conditions: score, domination, building a world wonder, or uncovering relics from around the map and returning them to your base. All of this plays out in real-time as you manage your civ, gather resources, build new structures and units, research new technology, and battle the other nations that you share the map with.
How will Relic Entertainment change that? As much as fans will want the gameplay of Age of Empires 4 to stick to its roots, that would make for a very old-school RTS with limited appeal beyond hardcore fans of the series. We can expect a number of fresh nations in Age of Empires 4, then, which will add new bonuses and units for you to weigh up before starting a map, and possibly introduce some innovative tactics as a byproduct.
It is also likely that Relic Entertainment could add new gameplay features like hero units and skill trees, especially considering the success that similar systems have had in the recent Total War: Warhammer series. This is just speculation for now as we will have to wait and see how many changes Relic Entertainment has in mind for the gameplay of Age of Empires 4.
Age of Empires 4 nations
The announcement trailer reveals a number of potential Age of Empires 4 nations from a range of historical eras. Featured in the trailer are Roman legionaries, Spanish conquistadors, Native Americans, British redcoats, Japanese samurai, and indigenous peoples of South America. This follows the timeline and featured nations of the previous Age of Empires games, but could also be a clue as to what civilisations we will see in Age of Empires 4.
So far the series has visited Ancient Rome, the Age of Discovery, British America, and the Kamakura and Muromachi periods in Japan. Age of Empires 4 could head in a new direction or instead include a broad range of nations from different eras in a similar fashion to the Civilization series. If the latter is the case, which other nations can we expect to see if those are the Age of Empires 4 eras, then?
Japan could be joined by the Mongol Empire, or you could take control of various belligerents from the Warring States period. The Age of discovery will likely include Spain, Portugal, Inca, and Aztec. Expect Carthage, Persia, Goths, and Gauls to accompany Ancient Rome. Finally, British America would probably feature a variety of Native American tribal nations, Britain, and the United States of America.
If Age of Empires 4 sets its sights on a new era the chronological ordering of the trailer suggests the era would be a relatively modern one, something after the European colonisation of the Americas. The Victorian era, World War One, or the interwar period would all be fascinating new settings for Age of Empires 4.