Age of Empires IV

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Age of Empires IV
Age of Empires IV Cover Art.png
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)Xbox Game Studios
Director(s)
  • Adam Isgreen
  • Quinn Duffy
Producer(s)
  • Michael Mann
  • Greg Wilson
Designer(s)
  • Christopher M. Rubyor
  • Michael Conkin
  • James Agay
Programmer(s)
  • Joel Pritchett
  • Wilfried Schmidt
  • Lawrence Ward
Artist(s)
  • Han Randhawa
  • Zach Schläppi
  • Roland Longpre
  • Brent Breedveld
Writer(s)
  • Noble Smith
  • Philippe Boulle
Composer(s)
  • Tilman Sillescu
  • Alexander Röder
  • Henning Nugel
  • Armin Haas
  • Mikołaj Stroiński
SeriesAge of Empires
EngineEssence Engine 5.0
Platform(s)
Release
  • Windows
  • October 28, 2021
  • Xbox One, Series X/S
  • 2023
Genre(s)Real-time strategy
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Age of Empires IV is a real-time strategy video game developed by Relic Entertainment in partnership with World's Edge and published by Xbox Game Studios. It is the fourth installment of the Age of Empires series. The game was released October 28, 2021 for Windows. It is also scheduled to release for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S in 2023.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

The game is set during the Early Middle Ages to the early Renaissance.[2]

There are 8 civilizations available at the release date;[3] the English, the Chinese, the Mongols, the Delhi Sultanate, the French, the Abbasid Dynasty, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Rus.[4] In August 2022, it was announced that two civilizations, the Ottomans and Malians, would be added on 25 October later that year.[5]

The game had 4 single-player campaigns at launch:[6]

Development[edit]

On August 21, 2017, Microsoft announced Age of Empires IV, developed by Relic Entertainment.[7] Microsoft's Executive Vice-President of Gaming, Phil Spencer, confirmed on June 11, 2019, that Age of Empires IV was still in development, with more information coming later in 2019.[8] On November 14, 2019, gameplay footage of Age of Empires IV was shown at the X019 event.[9] It showed medieval warfare between English and Mongol forces.[10][11] On March 16, 2021, the fan preview was released, showing more detailed gameplay and also including the two other known civilizations, the Chinese and the Delhi Sultanate. Microsoft announced at E3 2021 that the game will be released on Game Pass for PC on October 28, 2021.[12] The game released on October 28, 2021 having been developed using the Essence Engine.

Soundtrack[edit]

The game's voiceovers were recorded using historical pronunciation of each language.[13] In-game music was written by Dynamedion composers Tilman Sillescu (main theme, menu music, trailers, Mongols, Holy Roman Empire), Alexander Röder (Chinese, English), Henning Nugel (Rus', Abbasid), Armin Haas (Delhi Sultanate), and also Mikolai Stroinski (French).[14][15] The soundtrack is also available as part of the additional content of the Digital Deluxe Edition on Steam.[16]

Reception[edit]

The game received "generally favorable reviews" according to review aggregator Metacritic.[17]

IGN summed up their review by saying "Age of Empires 4 is an enjoyable RTS throwback that often plays it too safe, but excels when it doesn't."[27] Rachel Weber of GamesRadar+ praised the variety of the civilizations, writing, "each has been meticulously designed to offer different gameplay experiences".[28] Game Informer liked the history videos between missions, but criticized how the game didn't seem to innovate on the formula of its predecessor, feeling that Age of Empires IV "lacks any ambition to even gently jostle the standards set by Age of Empires II decades earlier".[29] Hayes Madsen of CGMagazine summed up his 10/10 review by saying "Age of Empires IV is a bold and ambitious evolution of the series, and quite likely one of the best RTS games ever made."[30]

The Washington Post enjoyed the campaign balancing describing it as how "Every battle feels like it could tip any way at any moment" and that there was a "magic to this design".[31] VG247 felt that the game's commitment to historical accuracy set it apart from its strategy game peers "making Age of Empires 4 more than just another medieval combat simulator".[32] PCGamesN's Ian Boudreau praised the Art of War tutorials, saying they were "hugely helpful for new players who want to understand the nuts and bolts of successful economy management".[33]

Robert Zak of PC Gamer felt the distinct civilizations were the fourth entry's greatest triumph, calling "the visual and strategic" variety "one of the most significant evolutions in the series". He criticized how he felt the game whitewashed history, saying its "squeaky-clean presentation skirts around the ickier parts of history".[34] Polygon felt the simplifications from Age of Empire 2's mechanics benefited the game, saying that the changes led "its complications [to] come more from decision-making and strategy than from the minute details of mechanical plays".[35] Darryn Bonthuys of GameSpot called the game "satisfying", praising the historically educational campaign as well as the uniqueness of the factions. He criticized the dated visuals and the lack of innovativeness regarding the standard Age of Empires formula, saying that the game "rarely ventures out of its comfort zone".[20]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Age of Empires IV won the award for Best Sim/Strategy Game at The Game Awards 2021.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Romano, Sal (October 25, 2022). "Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition coming to Xbox Series and Xbox One on January 31, 2023; Age of Empires IV in 2023". Gematsu. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  2. ^ Scott-Jones, Richard (November 15, 2019). "Age of Empires 4 starts earlier and finishes later than Age of Empires 2". PCGamesN. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
  3. ^ Age of Empires 4's First Civilizations, Campaign, and Gameplay Details Revealed - IGN, April 10, 2021, retrieved April 11, 2021
  4. ^ Age of Empires IV — Age of Empires
  5. ^ Kat Bailey (August 23, 2022). "Age of Empires 4 Confirmed to be Getting Two New Civs at Gamescom Opening Night Live". ign.com.
  6. ^ "Age of Empires IV Achievements Revealed". Xbox News. October 11, 2021. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  7. ^ Matulef, Jeffery (August 21, 2017). "Age of Empires 4 revealed with Relic at the helm". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  8. ^ Roberts, Samuel (June 11, 2019). "Age of Empires 4 is 'making good progress', and Microsoft will talk about it later this year". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on June 12, 2019. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  9. ^ "Catch up on the biggest X019 news right here". Windows Central. November 14, 2019. Archived from the original on November 17, 2019. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  10. ^ "Age of Empires IV is set in the medieval era, gameplay trailer released". Neowin. Archived from the original on November 15, 2019. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  11. ^ Xbox Nails Age of Empires IV Setting With Medieval Era Warfare, November 15, 2019, archived from the original on November 17, 2019, retrieved November 17, 2019
  12. ^ "Age of Empires 4 releases this October". Eurogamer. June 13, 2021. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  13. ^ Language Log
  14. ^ "Age of Empires IV – DYNAMEDION".
  15. ^ Sillescu, Tilman. "Tilman Sillescu - Exciting times, now that the biggest..." Facebook.
  16. ^ "Buy Now - Age of Empires". www.ageofempires.com. May 4, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Age of Empires IV for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  18. ^ Tack, Daniel. "Age of Empires IV Review - The Once And Possibly Future King". Game Informer.
  19. ^ Faulkner, Jason (October 26, 2021). "Age of Empires 4 Review: 'Too old school for its own good'". GameRevolution. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  20. ^ a b Bonthuys, Darryn (November 8, 2021). "Age of Empires IV Review - Resistance is Feudal". GameSpot. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  21. ^ Zak, Robert (October 24, 2021). "Age of Empires 4 review: "History, carnage, and teeny weeny elephants - it has it all"". GamesRadar. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  22. ^ Wells, Cory (October 25, 2021). "Rewiew: Age of Empires IV". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  23. ^ Hafer, Leana (October 25, 2021). "Age of Empires 4 Review – An overly safe but enjoyable RTS throwback". IGN. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  24. ^ Zak, Robert (October 24, 2021). "Age of Empires 4 review". PC Gamer. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  25. ^ Boudreau, Ian (October 25, 2021). "Age of Empires 4 review – return of the king". PCGamesN. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  26. ^ Tapsell, Chris (December 17, 2021). "Age of Empires 4 review - the classic RTS rediscovered and restored". Eurogamer.
  27. ^ am, Leana HaferUpdated: 29 Oct 2021 7:50 pmPosted: 25 Oct 2021 7:01 (October 25, 2021), Age of Empires 4 Review - IGN, retrieved November 2, 2021
  28. ^ Weber, Rachel (October 25, 2021). "Age of Empires 4 review: "History, carnage, and teeny weeny elephants - it has it all"". gamesradar. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  29. ^ Tack, Daniel. "Age of Empires IV Review - The Once And Possibly Future King". Game Informer. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  30. ^ "Age of Empires IV (PC) Review - CGMagazine". Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  31. ^ "Review | 'Age of Empires IV' is the History Channel in game form. Just don't take it literally". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  32. ^ "Age of Empires 4 review — A learning experience". VG247. October 25, 2021. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  33. ^ "Age of Empires 4 review – return of the king". PCGamesN. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  34. ^ Zak, Robert (October 25, 2021). "Age of Empires 4 review". pcgamer. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  35. ^ Goslin, Austen (October 25, 2021). "Age of Empires 4 revives the series' brilliance". Polygon. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  36. ^ Bankhurst, Adam (December 10, 2021). "The Game Awards 2021 Winners: The Full List". IGN. Retrieved December 13, 2021.

External links[edit]