December 2, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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The game holiday is here, we played Age of Empires 4 - why the wait has paid off and why not

The game holiday is here, we played Age of Empires 4 – why the wait has paid off and why not

The Age of Empires brand is one of the legends of strategy, mainly because of the first two parts. It all began in 1997, when the developers at Ensemble Studios released the first series, bringing out the iconic sequel Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings in two years.

The games have maintained a stable player base for years, but over time, the graphics and some of the game mechanics are not enough. That is why another unsuccessful sequel to Age of Empires: III, set in the American colonial period, came in 2005, but the reworking of the first and second episodes in the form of specific versions has already revived the interest of the gaming community. .

So Microsoft decided to announce work on New Age of Empires IV as part of its plans, and leave development to Relic Entertainment. The teams of creators have tried to introduce a new game based on Age of Empires II foundations so that the revamp can be enjoyed by seasoned RTS veterans as well as novices.

You will also discover in the review:

  • How much do creators benefit from the success of Age of Empires 2
  • Who is targeting the game in the first place?
  • How do individual civilizations differ from each other?
  • Why Age of Empires IV Is Relatively Historically Accurate
  • How did story campaigns work?
  • What is the status of game improvement?

Once the game is started, a tutorial is presented that mainly focuses on new players. Seasoned fans of the series probably won’t say anything new, but simply and quickly to newcomers Explain all the basic mechanics of the game From collecting / extracting raw materials, passing through building an army, to the conditions for victory over maps.

So the tutorial begins with the gathering of food and the first extraction of wood, stone or gold and gradually proceeds to the first clashes of soldiers. The game tries to explain all the steps performed in as much detail as possible using the narrator and subtitles. There are also clear graphs in the upper left corner with the current status of the tasks.

Age of Empires IV is designed to return to the roots of Age of Empires II Thus the start of missions and matches is completely identical to the previous one, but mainly with the entire series. Around the town hall – the main building of the city – a few villagers are waiting for orders. They must embark on a quick search for raw materials and build new buildings that will speed up production, so that the production of the first soldiers can be started as quickly as possible. The rich possibilities of improvements for a more efficient operation of the city are a matter of course.

Unlike the third sequel, Age of Empires IV focuses on the Middle Ages, which is suitable for players who love close combat. Therefore, arches appear in the early ages of civilizations, but Gunpowder will only be available in the most advanced times.

A total of eight civilizations can be played, including the traditional English, French and Holy Roman Empire, as well as exotic China and Mongolia. Each civilization has its own advantages and disadvantages that bring diversity to the game. Relic Entertainment has put a lot of emphasis on the most faithful treatment of history and so they present a number of interesting facts about each one.

to play Fractions also differ in the development tree of buildings or units, as well as in difficulty. While English or French are easier to play with, China is one of the most demanding civilizations where it is good to know how to proceed. Fans of more complex items are sure to win in the mentioned development trees, where you can learn in advance what is worth exploring / building / recruiting, as well as tactics for spending hours of time.

For players looking to master any civilization is also available Separate educational videos. It is processed in detail and provides a valuable source of information, thanks to which it can be improved faster.

Microsoft / Xbox

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For example, the Russians will also get gold for the game of hunting, China has the advantage of building structures faster than other factions, and such a Sultanate has all the new technologies for free, but the research takes longer. Each civilization has many such advantages, which greatly facilitates them Choose according to your preferred playing style. Some people like to produce raw materials faster, while others may benefit from more aggressive military-focused tactics.

Emphasis on historical accuracy It is also nice to see the diversity of buildings and military units according to cultures. As buildings are being constructed, paths are automatically created between them and the city is beautifully connected to make it look more lively and believable. You will be pleased with the fact that each country speaks its own language. Age of Empires IV covers nearly 500 years of history It also presents a series of documentaries about the civilizations presented, as well as the sources from which the creators derive.

The distinction between civilizations is a welcome element, as it shows the gradual development from small villages to large cities capable of defeating enemies in various ways. In comparison, while the English represent a more traditional approach to civilizations as we know from earlier episodes, the Mughals had more interesting mechanics than moving buildings that they simply pack and move. The addition of elephants also plays a nostalgic note To play for the Delhi Sultanate.

The game is still there He also did not avoid general things, to follow the usual mechanisms of the chain. So basic units like spear fighters, long range units or basic riders are the same for everyone.

From a gameplay point of view, this is Age of Empires’ classic approach focused on individual characters. Soldiers are not formed into formations, but by individuals, and the same is true for villagers or other types of units. Here, too, the creators refer directly to the previous parts of the series, which may not suit everyone.

A certain form of tactics could, of course, be achieved through quick raids by troops on horseback and their subsequent retreat, or bombing with archers from the reserve or the deployment of elephants to demoralize the enemy. On the other side There is a fairly large and sufficient number of units available, which can win battles against the odds with ingenious hands.

Microsoft / Xbox

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It is still true that spears are effective against horses, shooters are vulnerable in the frontline and that heavy infantry will last longer than it might seem at first glance. But anyone looking for a similarity to the Total War series, for example, will be disappointed. It is possible for soldiers to choose the formation in which they will lead the attack or defend themselves, but The game aims at the arcade instead of tackling the realistic battle. So the controls are intuitive and at times quite simple. Therefore, it is convenient from the very beginning to learn keyboard shortcuts for more efficient management of the city and units. Because the little things are crucial.

But here it is necessary to add some Unit details are very interesting to include in the game. For example, the creators finally allowed horse riders to attack with a spear and, after the initial confrontation, draw a sword and shield for close combat. The whole novelty is the addition of foreclosures. Hidden units will not be well seen by the enemy, and a surprise attack can have a crushing effect on unsuspecting victims.

because The creators have remained faithful to the four basic raw materials – Food, wood, stone and gold – decides the speed of assigning tasks to the villagers from the beginning, as well as the smallest details in the construction. But some games can teach you the most effective way to get ahead of your enemies and gain an advantage on your side.

From the beginning, food and wood are still the most demanded, so in later times there will be an increasing demand for stone and especially gold in the construction of more advanced buildings, the exploration of new technologies and the recruitment of better soldiers.

small and welcome The system has moved into a new era. In order to advance to a higher level of progression, players must choose one of the benefits that will in turn affect the progress of civilization. The benefit is associated with the construction of a unique building that can increase the pace of production, focus on units or, for example, improve unit production.

Microsoft / Xbox

traditionally It is possible to play on small and large maps against AI or online multiplayer. Both options allow you to play up to four player alliances, so the eight available civilizations can meet on one map.

There are 4 difficulties to choose from in the game against AI From the easiest, where enemies develop very slowly and only attack sporadically, to the most difficult level intended only for the veterans of the series. Combat combat fills the description of the chosen difficulty practically to the fullest, so both novice and experienced players will get their money’s worth.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing the review, prior to the game’s official release, scheduled for October 28, it wasn’t possible to try out multiplayer. We also didn’t have the ability to turn on the “Spectate” feature, which can be used to watch battles online.

Microsoft / Xbox

It can be used by novice players as well as more advanced players, who can adopt new tactics, increase the efficiency of building places or units, or just relax and enjoy playing with friends. The creation of model patterns for Age of Empires II is also promised in the futureHowever, current information is that it will be launched sometime in early 2022.

Apart from the classic maps, it shouldn’t be missing either 4 campaigns with 35 missions. The first campaign focuses on the Normans, and in the beginning it is the only one that can be played freely. More campaigns will be unlocked after gaining some experience, Centenary War, Mongol campaign and Rise of Moscow will be available.

Relic Entertainment is prepared for every campaign A piece of history with a detailed explanation of history. Even the battles are constantly commented on so players get an overview of the units’ progress or the background of military engagements themselves.

It’s a little worse with the gameplay in the campaigns themselves, which is very simple. In essence, this is a story that is not so difficult to offer a variety of tasks at the expense of facilitating progress through the game. On the plus side, the campaign is not just combat, the focus is also on creating civilizations or producing raw materials.

In terms of optimization and graphics processing, also in the game against artificial intelligence The game went beautifully and smoothly, even with a larger number of units or massive clashes between individual factions. Age of Empires IV also lets you play in 4K. High Detail is a graphically pleasing title with plenty of details that stand out, for example, when you drop the camera. We should highlight landscape processing, which with its variety pleasantly diversifies the experience.

NS Worse, the game is processed in medium or low detailThe textures are noticeably coarse, sometimes unsightly, and the view is not at all pleasing to the eye. However, for weaker PCs, it’s probably the only way to immerse yourself in the game and get some extra FPS.

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Evaluation

Age of Empires IV has come a long way since beta testing, and Relic Entertainment brings nostalgia and new game mechanics. A total of eight civilizations differ greatly from each other in order to achieve the most faithful experience based on historical foundations.

New players without experience with the series will be guided through the basic principles of the game in a straightforward tutorial, and history fans will enjoy the videos focusing on individual civilizations. Rock fans will get their money on the charts, and it’s even worse with campaigns.

Microsoft / Xbox

These are mainly nutritious in their content, but very simplistic in terms of games. They don’t offer satisfying challenges and just allow players to survive historical campaigns in order to teach them something.

The city building and battles are displayed clearly and to a large extent also traditionally, the optimization was excellent and the game simply offers an experience for everyone. But it is up to you to what extent players who focus on more realistic strategies will appreciate it.

Creating patterns that aren’t currently available will certainly play a part in the buying decision, which should come early next year and bring in even more curious players.