Everything we learned about Age of Empires IV’s new civilizations, campaigns, and wololos

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We haven’t heard much about it Age of Empires IV since its announcement in 2017, but we’ve finally gotten a look at the game, which features the Mongols and the Delhi Sultanate as playable civilizations. Microsoft and developer Relic Entertainment showed off a healthy amount of gameplay footage as well as new features and civilizations that came to the series in a “Fan Preview” eventThe game also has a release window: Fall 2021.

The final main item in the long-running historical strategy series was released in 2005, and the new game appears to build on the formula created by previous entries, while adding features made possible by 15 years of technological advancements. That includes the obvious stuff – like 4K and HDR – to more strategic game-centric upgrades, like new pathfinding that can accommodate tons of units.

According to the team behind the game, there will be eight civilizations in the first release of the game. So far, we know of four: the Mongols and the Delhi Sultanate first appear in Age of Empires, and the Chinese and English will return. Until now, there is not much information about the unique abilities and properties of each civilization. However, we have seen that the Delhi Sultanate will include elephant units and the Mongols will have the ability to pack and relocate their buildings and cities (which is amazing to see in action).

A very portable Mongolian camp.
Image: Microsoft

During a Q&A, Relic talked a lot about adding asymmetry to civilizations; the team wanted to make sure they all played differently, with the randomly generated cards playing on the strengths and weaknesses of different civilizations. For example, a wide-open map could benefit the Mongols with their highly mobile units and cities, while a map with many bottlenecks could benefit the defensive English. There will still be similar classes of units, but the developers wanted to make sure that players could change the gameplay style if they wanted to and even lead a particular civilization if they really liked its mechanics.

The game’s creators also talked about the evolution of campaigns, which act as a kind of story mode in Age of EmpiresThey revealed that there would be four campaigns in play, but only shared details about one: the Norman Conquest. I’m not a history buff enough to know about that, but it looks like the game will try to teach me. The team spoke at length about the fact that campaigns would include documentary footage narrating the historical real-life events you will be playing along.

I bet this campaign screenshot is really cool if you know the historical context.
Image: Microsoft

The game will also feature some new mechanics. The studio showed off a very interesting feature called stealth force, which allows players to create ambushes where enemies cannot see their units hiding and waiting. It’s a feature that its creators hope will not only add excitement and excitement to the game, but will also give you a reason to keep reconnaissance units close by, as you need to make sure there isn’t an entire army passing by you. route clogged.

The event also featured wall battles, where units could fight both in front of and on castle walls, and siege mechanics, where a base could be surrounded by units and – as the name implies – siege weapons. These two mechanisms should help make raid and defense of castles more strategic. We also got a brief glimpse of an area-of-effect wololo, something that’s very intriguing to fans of Age of Empires and memes alike.


Wololo.
GIF: Microsoft

Fans of older entries in the series also have things to look forward to. The developers were talking about it Age of Empires IV be a spiritual successor to AoE II, while still some elements out III, such as the addition of choice in aging mechanics. The definitive edition of Age of Empires II and III also get updates.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is getting its second expansion pack, titled Dawn of Dukes, which will focus on Eastern Europe. Co-op will also come to the game at some point this year, allowing you to play certain campaigns and battles with friends.

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition the United States will be added as a civilization in an update. Cleverly, the update is free if you’re playing a challenge, but players who don’t want to go through the trouble can purchase it from Steam or the Microsoft Store. It was also revealed that the former AoE III: Definitive Edition expansion is underway and African civilizations will participate.

Like someone who played for hundreds of hours Age of Empires II, I am excited about the advancement of the technology boom Age of Empires IVOf course I would also like more details, especially after waiting so long since the announcement. What other civilizations will we play? What are the plans for future expansions? Will there be any fun cheat codes? These questions remain unanswered for now, but it seems like it won’t be all age before we find out. I’m looking forward to finding out that I’ve forgotten all about playing the game and will be instantly crushed by a simple AI when it finally releases.

Age of Empires IV will be available on Windows 10 PCs through Steam, the Microsoft Store, and Xbox Game Pass for PC in Fall 2021.