‘Age of Empires IV’ A Solid Strategy Game Stuck in the Past

Age of Empires IV is the first mainline Age of Empires game in 16 years, and the wait at that size creates expectations. That even it is partially due Age of Empires II enjoyed a great resurrection. Released in 1999, AoE2 now saw tournaments with 75,000 viewers and an $ 87,000 prize pool, thanks to a live Twitch and YouTube scene, and 2019’s release Definitive Edition. Fans have both called for a new entry and are worried that a new entry won’t do the series justice.

Age of Empires IV feels like an attempt to take advantage of AoE2 momentum while welcoming new fans to the series — and to a real-time strategy (RTS) genre that suffers from a lack of major releases — while eliminating 22 years of accumulated nuances and surprises ensued AoE2 both loved by fans and intimidating to newcomers. It is so expensive, in fact, that a small but vocal minority of its players demand AoE4 fail to not split the fan base. But Microsoft believes the games will work together with each other, filling two different needs of the RTS community.

AoE4 actually feels like a modern take on AoE2, despite the pinches of General War and the more asymmetrical factions of AoE3, which saw some civilizations manage their development in a different way. The series returns to a Medieval setting and launches eight relatively different civilizations, compared to the staggering 39 AoE2 gathered. The four major single-player campaigns cover the years between the Norman Invasion in 1066 and the 1552 culmination of the Russo-Kazan Wars, while five economic and military tutorials offer a multiplayer crash course. However, many are unexplained or easily covered up by tool tips — with the lack of a raid defense tutorial being a more obvious disadvantage.

Gone are the many AoE2the most byzantine features. Players will no longer be able to micromanage their units from arrow fire or trap raiders with instant walls, and archers will no longer be able to defeat siege machines supposedly designed to resist them by dancing around. with their projectiles. Gone are the medieval vibes of AoE2interface ni; AoE4‘s because it’s simplified to the point of blandness — but it’s easy to always tell what unit or upgrade you bought.

The result is a quick, punchy game. Your economy is easy to thrive and needs less child care than that AoE2, and your soldiers often have enough wisdom to behave on their own and make reasonably intelligent decisions. The new and returning victory conditions, including the elimination of key enemy buildings and the control of sacred areas on the map, encourage knockout explosions rather than long slogs. While it is possible for players to assemble strong defenses, you will also start trading explosions much faster than a standard should. AoE2 game to really roll.

Courtesy of Microsoft

AoE4 you want to have a bigger view on the battlefield, whether it’s planning the layout of your town to take advantage of special buildings, hiding your troops in the hidden forest to ambush your enemy, or firing on monsters. unit skills. Knights, for example, can hit harder by charging the enemy, while longbowmen can block charges by placing spikes. There are many areas for micromanagement, but, at least in theory, AoE4 emphasizes clever raw clicking tactics.

Most of AoE4The single-player’s offer comes from 35 campaign missions. They are presented like History Channel documentaries to play: Each mission is introduced with live-action footage of the weapons being prepared and the modern cities traversed by the ghosts of soldiers long lost.

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