With the release of Age of Empires 4 at the latest, a new era of real-time strategy games will be heralded. Recently, the genre has been neglected, and if there was real-time strategy, it was often so innovative that it was fun to play. Microsoft and developer Relic have understood: Back to the roots. Age of Empires 4 is exactly that, a new game, but actually an old one. 

Gameplay like from the late nineties, that's exactly what you want when you think of real-time strategy games as a genre fan. And Microsoft and Relic seem to want to deliver just that. Yes, everything is a bit nicer and more detailed than it was back then, but still this wonderfully old-fashioned gameplay with a focus on basic building and mass recruitment. Hundreds of war elephants - they're back! - If you then throw at the opponent, you simply run over him instead of tacting him down. That was Age of Empires back then - or: that was Age of Empires too, because whoever wanted could of course proceed strategically and quickly.

Age of Empires 4: Modern Nostalgia

Microsoft had not revealed much about Age of Empires 4 for a long time and suddenly an all-round informational hit with gameplay videos and even a website specially launched for the game, the virtual village. More modern: the Virtual Village. As long as the developers and Microsoft only follow their mania for modernization in marketing, that's fine with you. The main thing is that the good old real-time strategic banter remains largely untouched. At the moment it looks like we're actually going back to the strengths of the video game series and simply foregoing innovations.

There are still improvements, but the basic structure is based on Age of Empires 2. Above all, the basic structure is recognizable, as indicated by the gameplay scenes shown. You place the first huts, collect raw materials and let your village grow, which then serves as a command base for further expansion on the map and is the headquarters of warfare. It is even possible to bunker comfortably behind waves of palisades or thick castle walls - only to do some beautiful building in its protected biotope.

Nevertheless, the makers lend a hand with the gameplay and balancing: Instead of recruiting hordes of workers, Age of Empires 4 should be able to get by with fewer craftsmen and instead be able to use the population limit militarily. The course of the game will benefit from this, after all, there is also an opportunity to refine your strategic actions, to mix up your army more - or simply to run with a superior force of soldiers to win or lose everything. By the way, especially cool for bunker builders: There is also fighting on the castle walls.

Over four epochs you will develop your people from the dark Middle Ages through the feudal and castle period to the imperial age, in which cannons and gunpowder drastically change the conduct of war. Instead of always pre-timed strategies, Age of Empires 4 should offer more tactical variety. That is also quite desirable, because if the process in Age of Empires 2 was one, then it was comparatively static. You follow the optimal construction and recruiting process of a given plan and in the end you win who was able to click faster and more error-free. Professionals can prove their skills for this, but on the other hand there is also potential for frustration. The fact that Age of Empires 4 could iron out this weak point, of all things, makes you want to play the real-time strategy game - and it gives hope for the perfect real-time strategy game.

It is not known who can be sent via the card in this way. Microsoft had already betrayed only four peoples: the Delhi Sultanate - war elephants !; the British, the Mongols and the Chinese. This means that half of the races are known who should be included in the game for the release of Age of Empires 4. So that means: there will be eight peoples at the start.

That each parliamentary group has its individual strengths and weaknesses should remain that way. The developers do not want to overturn the basic countermeasure with the rock-paper-scissors trick: And so you cheerfully mix melee and long-range combat units, arm yourself with mounted soldiers and counter everything that your opponent throws at you. There are also siege weapons in case the Schön-Bauer huddle in their walls too much.

In addition to a campaign mode - including Normandy, William the Conquerer and the Battle of Hastings greetings - there are skirmishes and multiplayer matches on the program. Relic will present all of this in an optical compromise between realism and functionality. Age of Empires 4 is more colorful than expected, and also more sober. This is due to the overview, because the developers clearly put gameplay aspects in front of a bombast graphic overloaded with effects. And to be honest: Nobody wants them who likes real-time strategy games - and who hopes for Age of Empires 4 for nothing less than the revival of a genre.

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Last updated on 25.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API