Age of Empires IV

We didn’t get to try them in the betas, but there is a campaign mode.

Yes. To quote that Rob Zachny review above’s section on the campaign:

The plodding narrative campaigns of Age of Empires II , with over-wrought narrations desperately trying to provide some kind of narrative tissue to simplistic “go here and kill everything” mission designs, are mercifully gone. In their place are slickly-produced documentary-style campaigns that capture the undeniable pleasure of a pre-reality-TV History Channel marathon. Between missions you’ll be treated to charming cutscenes that place each chapter of a campaign in historical context, complete with modern-day footage of the key locations overlaid with augmented-reality animations of Age of Empires IV armies pouring across car parks and sightseeing trails. Over the course of the game you’ll also unlock mini-documentaries covering different topics of interest like, “How did they make all that chainmail?” and “What’s the difference between hunting with hawks versus falcons?” These asides are well-made and presented, like good extras on a top-shelf collector’s edition DVD.

Mission design doesn’t always keep pace. While I appreciate the fact that its campaigns are frequently loving paeans to medieval siege warfare, even my mighty appetite for defending or reducing ancient citadels was tested. Yet those battles were far, far more enjoyable than the “trail of breadcrumbs” missions that the campaigns love to throw at you. There were a lot of missions I overcame purely through repetition, learning both the map layouts and the exact timing of different threats. This is a less welcome throwback experience, even if the missions themselves are still much better designed and scripted than much of what you’ll find in the earlier games.

Cool Txs.

All the ads on Reddit today were for AoE IV, kinda nice.

Color me disappointed.

We have a gazillion times more processing power than Age 1 and Age 2, and yet this is what they chose to do with it? I’d have love to have seen some advancements to the genre, but this is for all intents and purposes just a fancy-looking Age 2.

And we already had the Definitive Edition for a “fancy” looking Age 2. Without that, I can see the sense in playing it very safe. With the DE being a thing, I wouldn’t mind seeing more risk taking.

That being said, I’m not sure I’d want Relic to be the ones taking the risks. Everything they’ve released since the original Company of Heroes has been a dud for me.

There are a few nice changes compared to Age of Empires 2. The nations are more distinct, and you have different Age Up mechanics. And you have a base building set up that is unique for each nation (also, Boars are different, which is nice).
History shows that large updates, like Age of Empires 3, are duds.
I’m very grateful they did not go full Age of Empires 3, which too me, was disappointing. Especially with how fun Age of Mythology was.

We can all claim we want something new and different and unique, but honestly, do we?

200 units max, That’s no war, it’s a battle in a bucket, gimme 5000

That’s what I’m saying. That’s like Age 1 level. When computers had 8MB of RAM.

AoE 1 was limited to 50 units. Age of Empires 2, 200 is standard but could be set to higher though.

I think most RTS games have a pretty low limit on units though partly because of processing, but partly because of the limits on human attention for the amount of Micro that the game creators think is reasonable.

In Age 1 (the only one in the series I played extensively), I liked the 50 unit limit. You could manually set it higher, and some multiplayer matches set it higher, but I always hated it. 50 units was just enough that I could divide my attention well.

For me, very much so. I don’t need a RTS retread because I already have the RTS classics for that. AOE2:DE is perfect for when I just want a classic with some modern niceties.

Can’t speak to AOE4 because I haven’t played it, but if it’s just AOE2 again and doesn’t have things that make it different and unique, that’d be disappointing for me personally.

I only got a peek at the beta, but I’ll try to play some AoE 4 this week (since X Box for PC was only 1 dollar), but there do seem to be a fair number of differences.

Age up is more like Age of Mythology, as you get two choices, each bringing a different benefit, and unique to each of the nations.

The mongols seem to be able to move their buildings around

You can station units on top of walls, and they get a benefit to their range because of it.

For one nation, research is free, but slow, and requirings placing buildings next to speed up the process.

The Chinese can build dynasties it seems and collect taxes from their buildings.

But, it does seem like we are back to using the 4 basic resources, and although the dark ages are much shorter, and no longer contain boar luring, you still have sheep (although they aren’t good at exploring anymore).

So… is it the same or different? I think it might lean to different enough.

Massive battle going on, people still harvesting wheat in the field.

Darn it. My skirmish match with the beta couldn’t have been more whelming, but I really want this game. The unexpectedly positive reviews are part of that. I think AoE4’s appeal is increased significantly because traditional RTSs never release anymore. The last one was the final Starcraft 2 expansion in 2015, right? The level of abstraction that leads to battles consisting of politely poking enemies while wheat harvesting is undeterred, that is novel in 2021. The thought of diving into a modern RTS and experiencing all the intricacies of the unit relationships and tech trees in 30 minute increments…man, it’s been too long.

Playing the full game. Looks gorgeous, but it has the same issue that Age 3 had, which is that everything seems pokey and slow at default speeds. Everything is so much faster in Age 2.

When Age 2 came out multiplayer was very briefly a default of 75 units. That went away thanks to feedback pretty quickly.

You know if it was faster people would b&m about rushing even more than they will now that it’s slower.