After more than a decade, we finally have a new Age of Empires game.
Age of Empires 4 is set in the Middle Ages, and comes with eight playable civilisations – including the Mongols, the Holy Roman Empire and the Delhi Sultanate.
It was launched on 28 October and it doesn’t stray from its AOE roots – there are still two main options: campaign and multiplayer. Campaign has four different plots, allowing you to relive the Norman conquest of Britain or the rise of Moscow.
Like AOE3, AOE4 lets you start immediately in a battle. Specifically, the Battle of Hastings. It’s where William the Conqueror’s Norman-French army faced off against the Anglo-Saxon army of King Harold in 1066.
For multiplayer, competitive RTS players have highlighted some flaws – including bugs and underpowered civilizations.
One thing that hasn’t changed from the previous AOE games though – the AI still isn’t…the best. Calvary gets stuck fighting one soldier when ten other archers are shooting at them, scouts get stuck going through a forest rather than around it…you get the idea.
Unlike the other AOE cutscenes though, Age of Empires 4’s cutscenes are basically a mini documentary. One can see a lot of thought went into the scripting and filming of it. What’s more, some of them include technology and tactics used during the era (and even in-game). This is truly one for the history buffs.
Overall, Age of Empires 4 is exactly how you would expect Age of Empires 4 to look and feel like. Others may say AOE4 is too traditional but I say its Real Time Strategy format still works, and works really well. Plus, I’m a big fan of those cutscenes.
And I suppose if AOE can get another installment 16 years after the last, it’s not altogether impossible to hope that Age of Mythology gets another run eventually.
By Samantha Chan / November 10, 2021