Age of Empires IV is getting closer and closer. Unfortunately, during the last Gamescom 2021 many of us were wanting to know and see more about the strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment, so the opportunity to chat with the authors of Company of Heroes comes at a good time to solve some unknowns.
Information about Age of Empires IV continues to come in a trickle. It is true that a few months ago we were given some relevant details. However, they are many questions that continue to circulate around the title. At 3DJuegos we had a chat with Adam Isgreen, creative director of the franchise at World’s Edge and Quinn Duffy, director of the game at Relic Entertainment, who have responded to some questions, leaving new and interesting details for the lovers of this long-lived real-time strategy saga.
One of the issues that raised the most blisters among the followers of Age of Empires was the graphic sectionFar from betting on an ultra-detailed look, Relic chose a vivid color system to avoid cognitive overload, a phenomenon that occurs when there is too much detail on the screen, diverting the player’s attention from the really important elements. Asked about this question, Quin Duffy gave us more details about why this decision: “There is no perfect appearance, there is no perfect solution, we had the desire to build the game to fit as many PCs as possible.”
Relic is striving to deliver what they call a celebration of history: “We wanted to bring some of that color and life to the game, more in keeping with the true story of the time, which was much brighter and more colorful than it was. that popular culture tends to portray “, concluded Duffy without failing to mention that the development of a game” evolves by obligation sometimes “.
The passing of the years and the accumulation of deliveries, as well as the different changes, improvements and expansions that have been suffered over time, each one of them shows that the post-launch plans for Age of Empires IV they are very ambitious. In addition, of the eight civilizations already announced, new ones will arrive with time. However, in the short term the studio is going to focus fully on polishing all aspects of the game, ending possible exploits unforeseen, setting up multiple update tracks, one specifically for competitive players, another for those more casual or campaign-focused, and then others for editing tools. In this way, Adam Isgreen confirmed that as the launch approaches, we will have a full list announced of the things they will do and in what order. All this supported by all the comments of the beta version that has taken place in a closed way recently. The idea is to end up including over time everything that has worked and has become popular in Age of Empires 2 and 3, listening to the community from the very launch of the game.
The idea is to end up including over time everything that has worked and has become popular in Age of Empires 2 and 3Of course, we can enjoy Age of Empires IV no permanent connection to the Internet, although some minor functionalities will be lost such as social functions that are integrated into the game, mods or a browser that will be integrated into the title. However, the non-multiplayer modes can be fully enjoyed, even when we do not have access to the network, something that could be taken for granted but that is to be appreciated and is completely confirmed.
The Middle Ages still have many secrets
Something that has also divided the community since its announcement is Age of Empires IV’s decision to return to the Middle Ages. However Relic contemplated all the possibilities: “we think of all the times you can imagine, from back to front, from everything you know, such as prehistoric times to futuristic spaces. However, in that scenario the game can no longer be played. call Age of Empires. Once it reaches modern times, we would have to find a completely new name. Just because it would not be the same game … “Adam Isgreenn commented to us” (…) the current superpowers operate in a very different. It would be a completely different game“However, World’s Edge does not close the door,” (…) we can explore that in the future, we could make a game that deals with space colonization because that would be more of an Age of Empires although with a different approach “.
For Relic Entertainment there are still many stories to tell in the Middle AgesThe decision to retrace the steps of Age of Empires II is really compelling, because for Relic Entertainment there are still many stories to tell: “There were many cultures and diversity at that time in medieval history, so we went back to this instead of continuing. go ahead, because there was a great opportunity to talk about all these different civilizations that existed and we hadn’t touched yet. ” Knowing that we will have the possibility of managing the Chinese, English, Norman, Mongolian civilizations, the Delhi Sultanate, as well as the Abbasid Caliphate, French and Russians, I wondered which of all of them has been the most complicated to carry forward.
As already announced, these empires are going to be semi-asymmetricalAlthough there will be a number of units common to all armies, each of them will have its own characteristics. Along these lines, Quinn Duffy acknowledged to 3DJuegos that the Mongols have been the greatest challenge they have encountered when it comes to giving them life and their own entity due to their nomadic nature: “During development we found an error in the mobile buildings that left trapped your troops inside by dismantling the camp and causing you to lose even the reference point, it was something new and we had to add a lot of new rules to make sure they work properly. However, we needed to be able to do that kind of thing, because it allows us to do crazy fun things in the future as we explore what else we could add to the game. “
Age of Empires IV will feature as usual in the saga with four stages different development for each empire. It is curious that this was not completely assured with the Mongols since, due to their historical structure spread over about 100 years and a subsequent disintegration and division of their forces, from Relic they considered making only three ages for them. Something more in line in historical terms, but that unbalanced the game by making them very powerful too soon, “we had to rethink everything and take certain licenses in favor of balance”, Duffy commented to us between a laugh that perfectly reflected the arduousness of the development.
In the water, less quantity and more quality
Each of the empires will have their own navies, including two unique shipsThis variety between civilizations is not only going to be reflected in different units, each empire will have unique buildings. Either in the form of milestones of their development or adapted to progress within each of them that in turn unlock particular branches of progress. It is precisely in this line that work has also been done in the naval units. We know that the game will give importance to the fighting in water and for this, each of the empires will have their own full-fledged armies. With a couple of unique ship types. “The Russians have a unique navy that fits their history a bit more, they have many rivers in Russia and they were heavily influenced by Viking long ships, etc. So they have a unique class of ships,” Duffy commented. To make naval battles feel much heavier, the number of ships has been reduced to make each of them feel more important. These ships will not only serve to attack other ships: “They are great not only for naval battles, but even for bomb the coast, they can sweep the edge of defense, armies and villagers. They are so much fun to wear and quite spectacular. “
Recently Relic Entertainment announced the development of Company of Heroes 3, one of its biggest innovations was the presence of a campaign map. Will we have any of this in Age of Empires IV? Quinn Duffy responded this way: “It’s a really interesting innovation for Company of Heroes 3 and it opens up a lot to the emerging narrative. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to play. However, it’s not something that adapts so easily to Age of Empires. IV. Obviously sticks with his formula, as long as you get to the point where you establish the story as it was and let people explore what it might have been. Imagine a world with the Mongols invading London (smile). No, I don’t think so. That we see it in AoE IV in the short term, but it’s a cool and interesting idea. I definitely want to see someone do that campaign. “
For now, we will have to settle for one more campaign to use in which they have invested up to three hours of cinematic work for each of them. In addition, it should be remembered that languages will be variable and will mutate naturally and with historical rigor as empires advance ages. Precisely, one of the things that remains for us to know exactly is how many units we can handle in the campaign, since it was revealed that in multiplayer we can make use of up to 1600 at a time. Taking into account a maximum population limit of 200, Adam Isgreen did not dare to give me an exact figure: “It is quite a lot, I think you can imagine it, you can get great battles in the campaign.”
Age of Empires IV map editor will have to wait
I think Age of Empires is a different kind of franchiseQuinn DuffyAlthough in Relic games it is common to find a progression system and improvements for the troops under your command, in the case of the new Age of Empires, a more continuous style has been chosen with the legendary Ensemble Studios saga. “I think Age of Empires is a different kind of franchise, titles like Company of Heroes are very tactical and individual squad upgrades can have a huge impact on the battlefield right away. Age of Empires armies are big divisions. and everything is more focused on the economy, construction, the tech tree and the city. We wanted to balance all these aspects and not put too much emphasis on one type of tactical play and the skills of individual units as that would detract from other fundamental aspects of the game. “
Despite them we know that this new Age of Empires will bring with it New strategies such as ambushes or urban battles, something that gives us an idea of the enormous size that their cities will reach. Precisely one of the strengths of this installment will be the construction and creation of its cities.
One of the tools most appreciated by the community is the campaign and scenario editor which, sadly, will not be available at the time of the game’s launch. However, Adam Isgreen is very optimistic about this editor: “You will be able to do whatever you want with the editing tools, new skins, sounds, new animations, new maps, campaigns, even new videos for campaigns, if you want. We really want to keep open play so people can do whatever they want. We’ll probably see a lot of wacky things come up in the form of mods. “
At 3DJuegos we have a crazy desire to get our hands on Age of Empires IV. We still have to wait for the October 28. I hope that all these new details will help you to get a more accurate idea of what is to come. From the study they confirmed to us that there will be more information available as the moment of its arrival on the market approaches, so we will remain vigilant. Meanwhile, what would you like to see in this new Age of Empires? We read you in the comments.