- The popular RTS franchise will soon be releasing its fourth main installment in October
- Civilizations will have a more unique gameplay
- Campaigns will focus on the development of a civilization, rather than one single historical figure
For over 20 years the AoE franchise has entertained generations of gamers with complex but fun historically-inspired battles and campaigns, with some of those games of the series, like Age of Empires 2, becoming leaders in the RTS esports scene. For some time now we’ve known of the development of the fourth main installment of the franchise, and this fall, we’re finally getting it.
What's Age of Empires 4 Release Date?
Age of Empires 4 is arguably the most anticipated RTS game of 2021 and we finally have a date of release – October 28. The game is being developed by Relic Entertainment, which is behind successful titles such as Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. For a long time, the date of the release was unknown but, on this year’s E3 we received a gameplay trailer and also got the current release date.
Available Civilizations in Age of Empires 4
The AoE franchise is famous for its variety in playable factions. You want to mass English longbowmen – blay as the Britons. You want to have a devastating army of horse archers – play as the Mongols. You want to rule the seas – choose the Vikings. Each of the dozens of currently playable AoE2 civilizations came with its unique quirks and units, making for varied game experiences.
Despite that most civilizations were actually quite similar to one another. You have generic spearmen and swordsmen, and your generic archers. You know you have to put out as many villagers as possible to keep up your economy. In a way that made it easy for players to switch up civilizations each game and have an easy time adjusting to the new gameplay.
AoE4 is planning to change this up a bit with there being just eight civilizations at the game’s launch. These are the following:
- Delhi Sultanate
- Holy Roman Empire
- Abbasid Dynasty
Every one of them, however, will be rather unique, both in gameplay as well as in design. For example, the Mongols will be able to move their bases quite early and will rely on very early cavalry and outflanking the enemy. On the other hand, the Holy Roman Empire will be a heavily infantry-based civilization with many early religious units. They have a plethora of unique buildings for defense and resource production, all of which being quite durable.
Relic’s hand can be seen well in the gameplay, as each civ will create a more unique gameplay experience for gamers, much like the different factions in Company of Heroes.
Age of Empires 4 Will Have Four Campaigns
Previous games such as AoE2 focused their campaigns on specific historical figures and events, like El Cid or Atilla the Hun, and AoE3 had a more narrative fictional story. AoE4’s campaigns will most likely follow a much longer period of time for each civ. Philippe Boulle, narrative lead, said that in the English story, one will be able to start as William the Conqueror and his conquest, but the story will continue much after his death. A player will be able to see the creation of the Magna Carta and laying the foundations of what England is today.
Other things we’ve seen on footage released from Microsoft hints of the Rus’ campaign. It seems a player will be following the rise of the Muscovite Princedom in which you'll be tasked with growing the city and defending it against attackers.
Creative director Adam Isgreen, said in an interview with GamesRadar, that Relic is doing something “really crazy-cool”, however still cannot share much. However, he did add that the studio is trying history in a fun and exciting way to people.
Some Other Miscellaneous Information We Know
With games becoming ever more taxing on systems, it is no wonder players are curious if their machines will be able to run AoE4 well. As it turns out, the game’s minimal system requirements are not that demanding:
- CPU Intel i5-6300U AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
- RAM 8GB
- GPU Intel HD 520 AMD Radeon RX Vega 11
- VRAM N/A
- Storage 50 GB
We also know that the game will have the same composer as Witcher 3 – Mikolai Stroinski. He announced he will be working on the game on his Facebook page way back in 2019.
Age of Empires 4 will not have microtransactions. Creative Director Adam Isgreen said in an interview for PCGamesN that the studio will not be adding anything like that in the game. He did, however, state that DLCs and expansions are things that Relic will be exploring in the future.
With over two decades of history Age of Empires 4 has quite the reputation to defend. The new game seems to try to implement newer RTS concepts, while also harking back to the origins of what made the AoE franchise so unique and popular for over twenty years. Of course, the final judgment is always for the player to make.