The last time we had a Age of Empires original was in 2005 with the third installment of the series. Critics received it quite well, and it was generally a well-accepted game. From there on out, expansions, remasters, definitive versions and others came out until the arrival of Age of Empires IV.
It is curious that 15 years later we receive Age of Empires IV when it is clear that people wanted the game and were willing to pay for it, however, Microsoft did not want it and we were left with the desire to see a new game in the series.
As we mentioned, there were remasters, definitive versions and so on, but nothing extraordinary that made us feel like new on the battlefield. Is it not because there really is nothing more to exploit from a franchise? Isn’t the fourth installment more of a forced object?
We already had the chance to venture into a game to which we dedicated many hours and in which we found a common denominator: The soul of Age of Empires He is still alive, only that it is difficult to keep the fire burning when it seems that all the ideas have already been applied.
Something more in keeping with our times
If you start playing any of the previous installments of this series, surely you will find a very entertaining game, but perhaps already very old. We even bet that your memories are going to betray you because it is certain that you will say: Did it look like this?
Now, if you start playing the definitive versions that are the remastered ones with all the DLC that had come out, you will find those same entertaining games, with many life improvements that will make the experience much more passable, which is fine, but not It’s enough.
Age of Empires IV It is that game that, if you took it out of its box, would smell new and, at the same time, would be full of familiar details with which you feel at home. Technically it is like riding a bicycle, you will move the mouse as usual, you will move on the map and enjoy the game as if you were in the high school computer lab.
Where do we want to go? Age of Empires It will offer you what any other modern game does: a campaign with a very fair duration, multiplayer elements with variables for all tastes, added sections that make the product a complete object that is worth every penny.
How do you play Age of Empires IV?
Age of Empires IV is a real-time strategy game where you not only take control of an army, you must also control basic resources such as gathering wood, stone, food and gold. From there you develop a small town which is the engine for the area that you must defend.
Your population is usually located at the end of a map that is gradually being discovered. Your duty is to defeat the opposing army by conquering points, burning houses and, in some way, making history, since everything takes place during historical moments of humanity.
The game formula is winning and it works perfectly. At first you feel that you have to learn many things, for example, that your population needs houses and that each citizen must be doing something. Also that the war section is defined in defending and attacking and that, if you run out of resources, you are completely lost.
The best way to learn to play Age of Empires IV It is in the campaign, since in it you learn about all the basic details. You even understand the importance of producing in order to reach ‘eras’ and learn to make stronger castles, to have stronger knights and other elements that return to the really deep experience.
Civilizations and additional sections
The core of the game Age of Empires IV, beyond the entertaining campaign, is that it has a good variety of civilizations to play. Everything focuses on the medieval, so you will have English and French. You can also play with Mongols, Chinese, Sultans, the Abbasid Caliphate, the Roman Empire, and the Russians.
Although not all of them manage to fit into the medieval section, most receive adjustments so that the competition is even and some kind of metagame is not created where one civilization is more broken than the other. They all have a base and hence some adjustments, such as construction or vehicle development.
Now, among some outstanding adjustments that we have are: a tool to tear down walls and, also, a new visual presentation with the user interface. The first part makes you worry about attacking certain pieces that can knock down buildings faster. The second makes controlling the game much easier and more agile.
For all this and much more, is that Age of Empires IV it feels like a really robust game that you are going to enjoy thanks to all the content it has. Sure, it is not perfect, but that happens in the most aesthetic sections of which we will be talking later.
We also recommend: Hands-On: Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition – There are many reasons to play again
Playing campaign and online
Age of Empires IV It has four campaigns, the English civilization (the conquest of Normandy), the 100 years war, the Mongols and the growth of Moscow with the Russians. The duration is really variable, because the one who already knows how to play will feel that the experience is easy, while the novice will suffer at the beginning.
Now, with the campaign comes the opportunity to learn a lot about history through videos that talk about all the events that happened during the Middle Ages, with everything and their respective epic narrative. Microsoft Studios He did not skimp on resources to show beautiful landscapes, historical sites and other details that will cause emotion in those who like medieval.
On the other hand, the online section has very valuable things, but it was not possible to appreciate all that it gives because the game is going through an early stage of departure. What we can tell you is that units are capped at 200 per player. In an 8-player game you could have 1600 units at the same time fighting for a space.
The variety of online games is there and given the nature of the game, it is almost a given that you are going to spend a lot of time on Age of Empires IV because it is a demanding game, but every minute of play is worth it.
Yes, Age of Empires IV It has its presentation in 4K, 3D models, accessibility features for you to enjoy, but, it also has many details that perhaps make the gaming experience a bit annoying.
The first of them falls on the physics of the characters, many times your ‘villagers’ will get stuck on roads or the archers will leave animations stuck on the screen. Also, there is a certain clumsiness in how your troops move from one side to another and how everything ends in a kind of combat between ants.
The quality of the scenarios and the same effects of all the action that happens on the screen are not in question, but you also want a round object that not only looks pretty, but also controls the game. be as efficient as possible.
With all this, we must start with the question that you must already be asking yourself because you know that a game is an investment in your entertainment and you do not want to fail in the final decision …
Should you buy Age of Empires IV?
Age of Empires IV It is a solid proposal, of that there is no doubt. It will entertain you with its game mechanics, its visual presentation, the epic videos that tell you about the Middle Ages, but it seems that it needs to innovate or bet on something different. It is very easy to claim, but it is more difficult to propose something fresh in a franchise that perhaps has already given everything.
Somehow, Age of Empires IV complies, it has a lot of content, game modes and that addictive element that keeps you playing non-stop. Perhaps this game does not offer so many innovations, but it is because it does not need them, rather we required a new, fresh, modern presentation to have that pretext to enjoy this franchise once again.
Should you buy yourself Age of Empires IV? Of that there is no doubt! You will not regret it and the options are everywhere: Xbox Game Pass PC, Steam, Windows 10/11, there are no excuses not to enjoy it. Even the launch price is quite cheap and if you are a fan, you should play it.
We play Age of Empires IV with a code provided by a Microsoft representative in the region.