The Age of Empires Fan Preview was jam-packed with new information about Relic Entertainment's Age of Empires 4 and we have everything you need to know about the upcoming strategy game from this veteran studio.
AoE 4 Release Date
At the moment, we still don't have a specific release date for Age of Empires 4. What the Fan Preview showcase presentation did do though is confirm a release period.
Age of Empires 4 is coming to Xbox Game Pass for PC and Steam in "Fall 2021". This means it could release anytime between September and November, really. The industry is pretty lax on the seasons when it comes to releasing period announcements.
That being said, this is still more information than we had last week so it's been a good bit of news for Age of Empire fans!
Closed Beta Sign-Ups
If you can't wait to get your hands on Age of Empires 4, you can actually sign up for the Closed Beta for Age of Empires 4 here.
At the moment, though, we don't actually know when the Closed Beta will pop up. All we do know is that you'll need to sign up to be an Age of Empires Insider to get first dibs on it.
" For Age fans who are looking for a new way to contribute to their favourite games, the Age Insider Program offers the chance to write a new chapter in the long and seasoned history of the Age series. As an Insider, you’ll join one of the most passionate player communities as they work alongside the development teams behind your favourite Age games. You’ll unlock access to exclusive updates, feedback opportunities, and will have the chance to play and provide your thoughts about the latest preview builds—helping to shape the franchise and the future of the real-time strategy genre!"
You can sign up for the Insider Program here for the latest news on Age of Empires 4 and exclusive access to new content as and when it is shared.
At the moment, we know about four of the eight playable civilizations that are coming to Age of Empires 4 at launch.
The English, Delhi Sultanate, Chinese and Mongols have all been confirmed for this iteration of the series and we're expecting other AoE staples like the Greeks and the Franks to make an appearance. We are expecting this roster to be expanded through post-launch DLC content in any case.
Below, you can check out a "First Look" at the Delhi Sultanate Civilization in action:
We also got a better look at the Chinese Civilization in the recent Fan Preview, which you can see below:
Age of Empires 4 is bringing back Campaigns in a brilliant way and we got our first look at the English Civilization alongside the Campaign Reveal at the Age of Empires Fan Preview last week.
Xbox Wire described the footage below as "It’s very BBC documentary styled-inspired, and it looks great" and we're inclined to agree with them.
Each Campaign will tell an important story from history and put you in a role that oversees some of the most incredible events from each Civilization's history.
Each Civilization will have its own Campaign to play through and it looks like Age of Empires 4 is going to be as fun as it is going to be educational!
We're not sure which events will be depicted in the other Campaigns yet, or if there will be multiple campaigns for each Civilixation. After all, this is actually called the Norman Campaign at the moment...
Following this, Relic Entertainment offered us a better look at the actual gameplay of Age of Empires 4 and showcased a segment of gameplay from a "Dark Ages" game between the English and the Delhi Sultanate.
Then, as you can see in the video clip below, we get a look at the "Fuedal Age" conflicts between the Mongols and the Chinese.
Each Civilization has a unique architectural style that is instantly recognisable and different units that define the gameplay of each one.
For example, the Mongols may live in tents but their Civilization is built around mobile strength in Age of Empires 4. This is a stark contrast to the Chinese Civilization which opts for solid defence in the face of adversity.
This isn't news to Age of Empires fans though, but it's important to note that Relic Entertainment is striving to maintain the "feel" of the series through their new entry.
Age of Empires 4 has brought the iconic strategy game into the modern age in the best way. It features a refined look in comparison to the older titles that will undoubtedly impress when the full game is released.
Even in the first Age of Empires 4 trailer from 2019, the difference is huge. There's still a few months before release and we're excited to learn more about this fantastic-looking game in the coming months.
Annoyingly, we don't have anything too specific about the capabilities yet but we can imagine that it will have 4K resolution (at least upscaled) and 60FPS like almost every AAA title released today. Other than this though, we can't say for sure.
As a PC title primarily, it will most likely have a gradual scale of quality to suit people's differing hardware capabilities, though.
You can check out the official Age of Empires Fan Preview Recap here.