Saturday, 25 May 2024

Age of Empires IV: A Classic-Feeling RTS with Polish and Panache

Age of Empires IV offers players the opportunity to delve into eight unique civilizations in both single-player and multiplayer real-time strategy. While the game features a lengthy campaign that spans multiple civilizations, its true longevity lies in the multiplayer encounters. However, fear not if multiplayer isn’t your cup of tea, as there are always AI skirmishes available at a comfortable difficulty level.

The execution of Age of Empires IV is incredibly safe, drawing much of its inspiration from the beloved Age of Empires II. While some may find this adherence to the tried and tested formula a bit uninspiring, there is no denying the charm and familiarity it brings to the table.

The campaign, in particular, offers a meaty experience, with the initial segment serving as an extensive tutorial that even the most inexperienced RTS player can appreciate. Learning how to gather resources, form control groups, and dismantle fortifications becomes second nature as you progress through the campaign. But it’s not all business as usual – the campaign also incorporates historical figures with special abilities, injecting a sense of excitement and zest into the gameplay.

Personally, what I found most enjoyable about the campaigns were the History-channel-style videos and segments that played between missions. These snippets gave me a chance to dive back into history and learn more about events like the Magna Carta, all while enjoying the game. The blending of ancient battles with modern settings in these videos adds a unique touch and adds to the overall edutainment value of the game.

Each of the eight civilizations in Age of Empires IV offers a wealth of gameplay diversity, with unique units, buildings, and game mechanics to explore. Whether you prefer a relentless aggressive playstyle as the Mongols, a long-range assault strategy with English longbowmen, or the sheer force of the Delhi Sultanate’s giant elephants, there is something for everyone. Additionally, the game introduces fascinating elements like certain cultures not requiring resources for research, adding depth and complexity to each faction.

Even if you prefer to avoid competitive multiplayer, Age of Empires IV allows you to team up with other players and take on co-op battles against AI opponents. Every game you play grants experience points that can be used to unlock new cosmetics, such as portraits, coats-of-arms, and town monuments. These visual enhancements allow you to showcase your mastery of a faction without imposing a particular playstyle.

The real-time strategy genre continues to thrive, and Age of Empires IV is a noteworthy addition to its ranks. While it may not push the boundaries set by its predecessor, Age of Empires II, it offers a classic-feeling RTS experience with a level of polish and panache that is hard to resist.

FAQs

Can I play Age of Empires IV without engaging in multiplayer?

Absolutely! Age of Empires IV offers a robust single-player campaign that provides hours of gameplay and serves as an extensive tutorial for RTS newcomers. There are also AI skirmishes available at various difficulty levels to test your skills.

Are there any rewards for playing the game?

Yes, every game you play grants experience points that can be used to unlock new cosmetics, such as portraits, coats-of-arms, and town monuments. These cosmetics allow you to personalize your in-game profile and show off your achievements.

How many civilizations are there in Age of Empires IV?

There are eight different civilizations to explore in Age of Empires IV. Each civilization offers unique units, buildings, and game mechanics, allowing for diverse gameplay experiences.

Conclusion

Age of Empires IV may not reinvent the wheel, but it’s a well-executed and polished addition to the real-time strategy genre. With its extensive campaign, diverse civilizations, and the option for multiplayer and co-op battles, the game has something to offer for both newcomers and long-time fans of the series. Whether you’re looking to relive the nostalgia of past Age of Empires games or experience a classic-feeling RTS with a modern touch, Age of Empires IV is worth a try.