It is an icon. And a term even for many gamers who don’t use a computer. The Age of Empires series began its triumphant run nearly 25 years ago. 1997 The first part was published, and it was published two years later, “Age of Empires 2” is considered one of the most influential games of all time. It is still played all over the world today.
So the expectations burdening the new Age of Empires 4 are great. Can the title revive the sick kind of real-time strategy? Follow the global successes of its predecessors? In multiplayer mode, “Age of Empires 4” is truly an amazing title with long-term potential. But that can’t be said of the single player mode: it couldn’t be more volatile.
Age of Empires 4 comes on the heels of the third installment that was published in 2006. Although it was great and graphically fun, it wasn’t as successful as Age of Empires 2. The game’s fast paced action of the third part was not well received everywhere. In addition, the colonial era scenario may have tore fewer players than in the Middle Ages, when Age of Empires 2 was played.
That must change now. Age of Empires 4 is a sequel to the sequel, but it also takes elements from the predecessor. Objectively goes back to the Middle Ages. Archers, knights and castles dominate the scene. Later in the game, however, stone walls can also be taken down by powerful projectiles.
Start as in Part Two
The object of the game is to defeat the opponent or the opposing team. This can be done in several ways. The classic method: build an army and sweep the enemy. Alternatively, wonders of the world could be built or sacred sites conquered. Then you should hold these for a while.
But before that can happen, an economy must first be created. The player starts with scouts, villagers, village center, and a few sheep. From these humble beginnings, with a little skill and tactics, grow a mighty empire with castles, city walls, armies, and a thriving economy over the course of the game.
To do this, you must collect food raw materials, wood, gold, stone and allocate resources to build new units and buildings. Here the fourth part is very similar to “Age of Empires 2”: the villagers have to return the raw materials to the warehouse, and in the third this is not necessary. There are again wild boars, which provide plenty of food, and relics that can be created in a monastery and generate gold throughout.
From the third part, the option to choose between variants when advancing into a new era is adopted. For example, a castle can be built as a landmark that protects against enemy attacks early on – or a guild hall that brings economic advantages.
Veterans of the series will quickly feel at home and find their way in Part IV. But it will take a little longer to learn the intricacies of individual civilizations. The eight playable races – including the Chinese, English and French ones – are completely different.
The French could build up a strong cavalry while the English would lead their long archers into the field. This combination has worked – and so far no one has turned out to be a domination. This is exactly what is necessary for the multiplayer mode.
It worked: tacticians could unleash well-designed maps and capture strategic points before they joined the battles. The correct combination of units must be used: if you only get into a fight with knights, you will quickly end up in a barrier wall. In addition, there is a successful acoustic design. This is how a real time strategy should be. If developer Relic Entertainment and publisher Xbox Game Studios remove weaknesses such as the sometimes cumbersome search for units or artillery still under control, nothing stands in the way of the game becoming a popular cracker for years to come.
Draw a controversial point
You can argue about the “Age of Empires 4” graphics. Some veterans had previously criticized that this was a bit comical. The graphics won’t set new standards, some animations look too clumsy, and some textures are too squishy. In general, the comic look with its many details also has its charm.
There isn’t much left to save in the single player mode. While the stories were told from the perspective of individual soldiers with little effort, but their impact was greatest in Age of Empires 2 he became a single, monotonous narrator who leads all campaigns. The missions were underestimated in the form: “Occupy this village, destroy this camp, defend this castle.”
Before the expeditions, the initial situation was described in films, such as the invasion of England by the Normans. There’s no atmosphere in the sterile show, which looks like an elaborate but goofy documentary. This is how York appears today. However, the people walking around there does not evoke a medieval feel. Less castle ruins, which are expected to be much worse than proper units of the game.
Beginners can only guess: play through the tutorial quickly and get started right away with the multiplayer mode.
The test sample “Age of Empires 4” for “Wiener Zeitung” was provided by the manufacturer. The game was released for PC on October 28.
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