Age of Empires 4: release date, trailer, gameplay, nations – all the latest details


April 10, 2021 New details on Age of Empires 4 have been revealed, and we’ll be updating this guide soon.

When is the Age of Empires 4 release date? With the latest Age of Empires game landing over a decade ago, anticipation for a new entry in the classic, empire-building RTS couldn’t be higher if you placed it atop a saddled war elephant and marched it towards a Barbarian outpost.

Someone at Microsoft must have heard the cumulative prayers of veteran empire-builders the world over, as Age of Empires 4 – not to mention remasters of all three of the original games – is officially on its way and it will return to the Medieval period of Age of Empires II.
We’ll allow plenty of time for dancing and jubilation, but for now let’s get onto all the salient info about AoE4, shall we?

We have rounded up all the Age of Empires 4 news and information to present you with everything we know about it. Join us as we run through the scarce few details about Age of Empires 4 that do exist and ruminate on the civilisations and nations we could be guiding from humble hunter-gatherers to fully-fledged empires. We’ll also muse over the studio working on it, and generally get overexcited about potential new features.

Age of Empires 4 release date

Age of Empires 4 was slated for a Fall 2021 release date as of the  Age of Empires fan preview event, which was broadcast on April 10, 2021. You can read a summary of what was revealed here.

Age of Empires 4 trailer

There is an announce trailer for Age of Empires 4 that you can watch above. It sets the tone nicely for the sequel with a rousing combination of concept art from the previous games in the series and voiceover, but do not expect to learn much about Age of Empires 4’s gameplay from it.

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Age of Empires 4 gameplay

Relic Entertainment and Microsoft Studios have revealed very little about the gameplay of Age of Empires 4. But Relic’s recent work and the foundations set in stone by the series’ previous entries give us a vague picture of what to expect.

If you are unfamiliar with Age of Empires then here are the basics. You start off by picking a nation or civilisation from history and then guide them to prosperity through one of four victory conditions: score, domination, building a world wonder, or uncovering relics from around the map and returning them to your base. All of this plays out in real-time as you manage your civ, gather resources, build new structures and units, research new technology, and battle the other nations that you share the map with.

Fear not, new players – Age of Empires 4 will have tutorials, which are able to guide serious newcomers through the campaign and react when a player is not doing something they should be, as Creative Director Adam Isgreen says “Because I’m so adamant about teaching”.

As much as fans will want the gameplay of Age of Empires 4 to stick to its roots, that would make for a very old-school RTS with limited appeal beyond hardcore fans of the series. We can, however, expect a number of fresh nations in Age of Empires 4, then, which will add new bonuses and units for you to weigh up before starting a map, and possibly introduce some innovative tactics as a byproduct.

It is also likely that Relic Entertainment could add new gameplay features like hero units and skill trees, especially considering the success that similar systems have had in the recent Total War: Warhammer series. One thing has been confirmed, though, Age of Empires 4 will have game modes, another way to include series newcomers and veterans of the series. Isgreen speaks about choice and not having to “commit to a two hour game, but you can if you want,” and being considerate of modern sensibilities.

age of empires 4 nations

Age of Empires 4 civs

We spoke to creative director Adam Isgreen and studio head Shannon Loftis at XO19 – see our meaty Age of Empires 4 interview for the full conversation. Isgreen tells us to expect fewer than the 13 civs of Age II, but that they’re aiming for uniqueness over quantity.

The two confirmed Age of Empires 4 civs are the English and the Mongols. Isgreen comments that there are a “wide spectrum of civilisations that go from very understandable if you’ve played a previous Age game, to ‘you need to learn a lot to really play these ones well’”.

Isgreen also speaks about the Age of Empires 4 time period – he says “So we start a little bit earlier than Age II’s time and we go a little bit further, kind of bumping up against the early Renaissance,” but sadly, couldn’t give further details, yet.

We do know that Age of Empires 4 civs have advanced from the previous games and will not be as similar as they were in previous games. Isgreen says in relation to the two confirmed civs so far that “The Mongols do not play anything like the English.” and that the studio has been exploring new areas of the game to make civilisations “stand on their own.” A big change to the familiarity of civs in previous Age games, that should open the game up to more diverse strategies. Isgreen even mentions “there are civilisations that don’t necessarily play by the four-age rule”.

If Age of Empires 4 starts earlier and finishes later than Age of Empires 2, the time period is the Middle Ages and should include the Dark, Feudal, Medieval, and Imperial Ages, but could also include events as far back as Rome’s decline and venture past the Renaissance era to the Age of Discovery. Although Age of Empires 2 Imperial Age includes elements of the early Renaissance such as gunpowder units and technologies, the trailer clearly looks to take place in the High Middle Ages.

We’ll be sure to update you on any other Age of Empires 4 news or confirmed features, including a release date of AoE4, gameplay, and the civilisations coming to the next Age of Empires game.

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