Following over a decade of waiting, Age of Empires 4 marks the return of the acclaimed real-time strategy franchise in a massive and beautiful way.
While celebrating “all things Xbox” last night at the X019 fan event, Microsoft released — as anticipated — the first-ever gameplay trailer of the much-awaited installment to showcase just how the modern world will be shaped through historical battles and hard-worked diplomacy.
Age of Empires 4 is being developed by Relic Entertainment, best known for the well-respected Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War franchises. Based on the released gameplay footage, the developer has been pursuing much more detailing compared to past installments.
The buildings, for example, look more authentic in Age of Empires 4 with little details that make all of the difference. The number of combat units on the ground have been increased. Animation sequences feel more fluid and natural. The environments are more beautiful than ever with different topographies. The art style, as well, has been overhauled in a number of ways.
In terms of gameplay elements, two factions were confirmed: the Mongols and the English. In addition, large-scale siege battles are now in the mix as well as advanced base-building mechanics.
There are likely more features as well that were missed. Relic Entertainment and Microsoft are expected to go wild from hereon, revealing everything about Age of Empires 4 in the months to come. The new entry was officially announced at Gamescom 2017 but a prolonged silence afterwards ended up raising concerns.
Hopefully, the gameplay debut carries assurance that Relic Entertainment is nearly done with Age of Empires 4, which is important because the sequel remains without a release date. There’s a strong speculation that a release may perhaps be slated to coincide with the next-generation Project Scarlett. If Age of Empires 4 was releasing in the coming months, Microsoft would have already announced a release date.
Age of Empires 4 remains in development for PC. The last time the real-time strategy franchise received an installment was back in 2005 with Age of Empires 3, making this a fairly special moment for long-time fans. In the meantime, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition has released today. That should suffice until the new installment is out.