KEY POINTS

  • "Age Of Empires IV" is being developed by Relic Entertainment 
  • The game is heavily-inspired by "Age Of Empires 2"
  • It is set to release some time in 2021

After more than a decade of absence from the gaming scene, the classic historical RTS “Age Of Empires” is finally returning with a new game engine, modernized graphics, advanced mechanics and a new developer taking the helm.

The game will be published by Xbox Game Studios and developed by Relic Entertainment, a veteran of the PC real-time strategy game genre that’s best known for developing the “Company Of Heroes” series and “Dawn Of War 2.” A recent event was held where the first gameplay trailer for “Age Of Empires IV” was revealed, showcasing new factions, updated visuals and more of the classic medieval warfare found in the first two games.

Players will be able to pick between eight distinct factions at launch, each with asymmetrical designs in terms of both gameplay mechanics and visual aesthetic. Advancing through the ages will give each civilization access to better tech and a more refined representation of their culture, with even their language evolving as players climb up the tech tree.

The English, for example, can build solid stone castles of European design and train heavily armored knights and longbowmen. The Delhi Sultanate, on the other hand, will feature more inherently South Asian architecture with unique units like the War Elephant at their disposal. Some factions like the Mongols have more unique mechanics, like the ability to pack up their base and move somewhere else.

War Elephants and Siege Towers of the Delhi Sultanate in Age of Empires IV War Elephants and Siege Towers of the Delhi Sultanate in Age of Empires IV. Photo: Xbox Game Studios

“Age Of Empires IV” will include a pool of generic units as well as a few unique ones per faction, PC Gamer reported. The game will maintain the classic rock-paper-scissors style of gameplay balance to retain the feel of the older games. Tech and Age advancement will also remain relatively the same.

The developers also promise to bring more civilization-specific traits that boil down even unto the smallest details like trading, research, production and other bonuses.

An ambitious campaign mode is also in the works. “Age Of Empires IV” will have four different campaigns that will focus on multiple important historical figures. The Norman campaign, for instance, will feature the story of William the Conqueror and his descendants and will cover important parts of England’s history.

“Age Of Empires IV” is scheduled for a 2021 release, but no specific date has been provided yet.