After greater than 13 years in hibernation, the Age of Empires collection is coming again for its fourth outing. In August 2017, writer Microsoft Studios introduced that Age of Empires Four was alive and kicking, and that it was being developed by Relic Leisure, the staff behind Homeworld and Firm of Heroes (which is a hell of a number of pedigree).

It's not been till the tail finish of 2019 that we've lastly realized extra in regards to the recreation (and even then we'd nonetheless like to know extra) however we really feel like we are able to lastly get excited in regards to the subsequent instalment within the Age of Empires collection. Learn on to seek out out the whole lot we all know to date!

[Replace: After a real dearth of Age of Empires information we lastly have a brand new trailer and some extra particulars. Learn on to seek out out extra!]

Reduce to the chase

  • What’s it? The newest installment to the historic real-time technique collection Age of Empires.
  • When can I play it? There's no launch window simply but but it surely'll be late 2019 on the earliest
  • What can I play it on? Home windows 10 PC is the one confirmed platform

What’s Age of Empires 4?

Age of Empires Four is the newest instalment to the historic real-time technique collection Age of Empires, which started life method again in 1997. 

Comply with-ups to the unique have been launched in 1999 and 2005, and there’s been a few spin-offs throughout that interval, together with two Nintendo DS titles and the favored Age of Mythology, which took inspiration from myths and legends quite than historical past. Apart from these DS video games, the collection is barely on PC. 

Age of Empires Four is the primary recreation within the collection developed by Relic Leisure – all the opposite Age of Empires video games have been made by Ensemble Studios, which folded in 2009. Relic says it needs to “fuse historic context with deep strategic gameplay, and to deliver this franchise again to the forefront of gaming and into the palms of its beloved group”. 

Age of Empires 4: launch date 

Sadly, no launch date has been introduced for Age of Empires 4 – not even a tough one. It may very well be a method off although, as a result of all we’ve seen of the sport is a trailer stuffed with idea artwork in 2017, which means that at that time improvement was in its early levels. Even in 2019 the sport nonetheless isn't far sufficient into improvement to offer a tough launch window—we're 2020 earlier than some form of announcement. 

What platforms will Age of Empires Four launch on? 

To date, all we all know is that it’s coming to Home windows 10 PC – so unhealthy luck in case you’re operating an older model (though this may very well be a superb excuse to improve). Nonetheless, with Microsoft Studios because the writer the door is open for a launch on Xbox One, too, though there’s been no phrase on that entrance. For a similar purpose, it’s unlikely to return to different consoles, such because the PS4 or the Nintendo Change.

Age of Empires 4: trailers 

XO19 lastly introduced us a gameplay trailer for Age of Empires Four which showcased a ravishing and colourful Medieval world. 

The announcement of the sport was marked with a trailer – and it’s nonetheless the one one we’ve seen thus far. It’s completely idea artwork for the sport, depicting giant scale battles between numerous teams. Test it out under:

Age of Empires 4: information and rumors

No to microtransactions, sure to DLC

In an interview with PCGamesN, Age of Empires 4's Inventive Director, Adam Isgreen, has mentioned that the sport received't characteristic microtransactions. “The thought of microtransactions in a real-time technique recreation isn't a factor,” he says, “DLC, expansions – all of that’s issues that we're going to be exploring for Age 4.” Any expansions will probably be labored on by World's Edge studio. 

It’s going to result in some modernization

Age of Empires Four could also be set in Medieval instances however in an interview with GamesRadar, Inventive Director, Adam Isgreen, mentioned that he and his staff are trying on the recreation as "a recent begin" which can permit them to "modernize the collection" and "do issues otherwise". 

That mentioned, it received't be so totally different that it received't be instantly recognizable as an Age of Empires recreation—Isgreen made it clear that they need to "do proper by the gamers" and actually preserve the spirit of the collection. However given its been 13 years because the final new recreation within the collection just a few issues have needed to be finished to deliver it into the age of contemporary gaming. In keeping with Isgreen, they're "doing issues that no different RTS recreation has finished earlier than".

Nothing has been revealed in regards to the civilisations that may characteristic however there may be some intense historic analysis occurring to make these concerned within the recreation extra genuine. 

Set in Medieval instances

After lacking E3 2019, Age of Empires Four lastly made an look at XO19 in November with a model new gameplay trailer. This trailer confirmed that the sport is to be set within the Medieval interval and it seems set to be a extra detailed and colourful recreation world than we've ever seen from the technique collection. We don't know which civilisations will seem within the recreation simply but, although the trailer does at the very least reveal the Mongols and the English. It may very well be value intense research to glimpse hints for extra. 

Information is coming

After Age of Empires Four was introduced at Gamescom in 2017, the whole lot went considerably quiet. Those that have been hoping to see some form of replace throughout Microsoft's E3 press conferences for 2018 and 2019 have been left disenchanted too. Nonetheless, shortly after E3 2019 in an interview with PC Gamer Phil Spencer confirmed that the sport continues to be making progress and that extra information will probably be revealed in 2019. 

Spencer didn't give a lot away however he did say that Relic is making "good progress" on Age of Empires Four and that they'll be able to "discuss it extra this 12 months" when it's in "the proper context". 

When precisely in 2019 we'll hear extra in regards to the recreation isn't but recognized however there's one other Gamescom convention nonetheless to return, which might be the best place for Microsoft to make an replace given the sport was first introduced there. We'll simply have to attend and see. 

Age of Empires 4: gameplay options

Earlier Age of Empires video games have targeted on one interval of historical past: Age of Empires three chronicled the European colonization of the Americas, for instance. 

Nonetheless, judging by the trailer above, Age of Empires Four might paint with a broader historic image, with numerous empires from throughout time getting back from earlier video games within the collection. 

Within the trailer, you’ll be able to glimpse Native People, British Redcoats, Romans and Japanese samurai. It’s potential that this might simply be demonstrative of the artwork model and themes, however we’d be stunned in the event that they didn’t find yourself that includes within the remaining recreation in some capability.

That mentioned, it’s unlikely to interrupt historical past by pitting armies from two eras in opposition to one another within the marketing campaign, so count on a narrative that performs out over an prolonged timeline. After which maybe the Romans might conflict with the Redcoats in on-line multiplayer.

When it comes to precise gameplay, we wouldn’t count on it to deviate too removed from the system that followers of the collection know and love – it might be odd for the developer to not mine that ore of help. So, there would be the traditional 4X fare (discover, increase, exploit and exterminate). Nonetheless, the final Age of Empires recreation was greater than 10 years in the past, so we’re anticipating some modifications when it comes to UI and mechanics. 

Age of Empires 4: what we need to see 

A sleeker UI

The Age of Empires video games have all the time had respectable UIs – a lot of the stuff you want is 2 or at most three clicks away and, usually, in case you hover over a button you’ll find out what it does. However going again to it now, it seems a bit quaint, with a big field overlaying a lot of the backside part of the display, and could be overwhelming at first look.

If the collection goes to draw new gamers (and the extra the merrier) then the UI must be modern and welcoming. Age of Empires On-line, one other spin-off, may maybe be a superb information: that recreation had a lot much less on display at anybody time, permitting you to see extra of the battlefield. Smaller, contextual menus that solely seem whenever you click on on sure components would work nicely.

Revamped unit ways

The Age of Empires video games do boast navy ways, and the positioning and stances of your models can flip a battle. However largely, fights are received by the most important military, and they’re over shortly. We’d prefer to see ways play an even bigger position in battles, and for it to be simpler to make small changes to teams of models in order that they do precisely what you need.

There’s hope right here: Relic has a number of pedigree on this subject. Think about Age of Empires with Firm of Heroes-style unit motion whenever you bought near an enemy’s base. That’s not what Relic will probably be capturing for (that is about clashes of enormous armies quite than small strike forces, in spite of everything), however we’re assured it will likely be extra finessed than the rest we’ve seen from the collection to date.

A number of cities

Age of Empires revels in its smaller scale. You begin with a city corridor and construct out from there, by no means actually increasing past a single settlement. Rise of Nations, additionally revealed by Microsoft, may very well be a superb yard stick for a way the sport ought to increase; in that recreation you might construct a number of cities and mix them into giant territories.

In the event you apply that to Age of Empires then you definately get a number of hubs of manufacturing: one city might give attention to meals manufacturing, and transport the completed product to a different close by city, which is itself churning out navy models. Planning out the construction of your empire, quite than only a single metropolis, would add one other layer to the sport.

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