Age of Empires 4 Review: A glorious revival of the RTS series

If real-time strategy games can be played safely in 2021, then Age of Empires 4 Playing safely.The new game from Relic Studios succeeds the previous franchise developer Ensemble and is more like a right Age of Empires 2 Not a sequel to the third game of the series. But it turns out that updating a 20-year-old classic is actually a very good idea.

exist Range 4, The player chooses a civilization from the eight civilizations in the game to play. Age of Empires 3 Transition the series to the colonial era, but Range 4 Back to the Middle Ages-just like the second game. Each civilization has its own special rewards and some unique buildings and units for players to build.They all started with a town center and six villagers (from three Age of Empires 2), the goal is to build a prosperous city, with its own economy, and of course its own army. The main attraction of the game is its competitive mode, including duels, team games or melee with other civilizations, all of which can be played against AI offline or online with other players.

In order to build their cities and armies, players must collect resources, build buildings and create each individual combat unit while trying to fight against enemy soldiers. Players can also advance their city and army technology by building special landmarks, bringing them into a new historical era, with a total of four to advance. Building your cities and their technology is important, but the bread and butter of the Empire era have always been armies and battles.

Image: Relic Entertainment/Xbox Game Studio

Every civilization can use basic units, and these units form a good triad of counterattack: spearman anti-cavalry, cavalry anti-archer, and archer anti-spearman.This basic premise is torn off Age of Empires 2 (And real life, technically), but fighting, like most things, is in Range 4. For example, the archer is Age of Empires 4 Always hit their target.Although this is an upgraded archer can finally enter Range 2, Most skirmishes in the old game involved moving units to avoid arrows, which is Range 4 Completely eliminated.

This simplification applies not only to combat.Many small problems in the chaotic city management in the past Range 2 Has disappeared from newer games. Players no longer need to reseed their farms while the villagers are taking care of their farms, and the villagers rarely hinder each other, usually just walking through each other, which makes them far less troublesome to manage.although Age of Empires 4 It is still a complicated game, and its complexity comes more from decision-making and strategy, rather than from the minute details of mechanical games.

Civilization is more different here than there Age of Empires 2 -Although the latest game is not that far Range 3, This gives each civilization completely different units and different economic game styles, mainly by choosing the landmarks you build in each era.

An army marching in the wilderness

Image: Relic Entertainment/Xbox Game Studio

Range 4 It also introduced some major changes to the infrastructure formula to enable more creativity. Range 2 Players are secretly encouraged to design specific cities, because buildings can form temporary walls around the base.exist Range 4, Units can move around the building no matter how close they are, thus providing more design freedom. The game also introduces structural production gains based on other nearby buildings; these rewards tend to vary from faction to faction, helping to make each faction’s urban design unique.This allows players to fine-tune their base and somehow identify where they built Range 2 Just scratched the surface of and Age of Empires 3 Mostly abandoned.

The defense in this game is far stronger than at any time in the series, which makes your city more durable in every game. Although the city wall has always existed in the empire, Range 4The stone wall is a bit taller than their predecessors. The new stone wall can only be destroyed by siege weapons, not by ordinary soldiers. Infantry units can make their own basic siege hammer-once you have studied its upgrades-but this still means that siege requires more planning and resource investment than before. Most importantly, archers can now stand on top of the stone wall to get a small gain.

In addition to the main multiplayer mode of the game, Age of Empires 4 It also has an excellent single-player game mode, which contains four different historical battles. These put the player in the roles of historical generals and armies from four different civilizations in four specific historical periods: the British in the anarchy period, the Mongols invading Russia and China, the Russians rising in Moscow, and the French in the Hundred Years War China confronted the British.

Build bases for production troops, cavalry, and artillery

Image: Relic Entertainment/Xbox Game Studio

Each battle has multiple missions, and each mission begins with a beautifully filmed and occasionally repeated historical narrative, setting the political and tactical stage for your upcoming battle. These scenes are a kind of catnip for history buffs, and although they won’t make you an expert in the British Civil War, they still make each new mission feel like an important part of a larger narrative.

The tasks themselves are quite diverse, putting you in a situation where the standard age of empires will never match humans or artificial intelligence. You will face specific challenges, such as the need to use a specific set of units to destroy the enemy, or lead a small force to defend a huge castle from the enemy’s advancing army. Each scene ends up with you killing all the remaining enemies, which may cause some missions to feel a bit the same in the end, but everything that leads to all of this is exciting and very different from standard multiplayer games.

In the 16 years since the last “new” Age of Empires game, video games have changed a lot. Age of Empires 4, Relic manages to cater to modern players without losing the soul of the series. The game is not through fundamental changes, but through clever adjustments to the old system, revitalizing and innovating the “Age of Empires” fantastic multiplayer game.These small updates may last a long time Age of Empires 2 Fans, but they are a popular and important addition to the series, making Range 4 It feels like the first big budget Hyundai RTS since then Starcraft 2.

Age of Empires 4 Will be released on Steam and Xbox Game Pass for PC on October 28. The game was reviewed using the pre-release download code provided by Microsoft. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These will not affect editorial content, but Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links.You can find View additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.