Age of Empires is a name that sends shivers up the spine of a certain kind of gamer. A storied franchise with a legacy ranging all the way back to 1997, the next instalment, Age of Empires IV, is set to release in 2021.
The last mainline entry, Age of Empires III, released back in 2005, and the series has lain mostly dormant since (except for the recent string of remasters in the last several years).
With Age of Empires IV, developer Relic Entertainment is looking to recapture the magic of mid '00's real-time strategy games, which is a genre that has sadly fallen out of fashion in recent years.
It is fitting then, that one of the most seminal series of the genre should be the one to revitalise it for a new generation.
Age of Empires IV's developer has stated that they are seeking to emulate the most successful game in the series, Age of Empires II.
It will be set during the same historical era, the Middle Ages, and will see a return to gameplay features that were absent from Age of Empires III.
Priests will be able to convert units again, and resources will need to be delivered to drop sites, and stone as a building material will return to the game.
There will be eight civilisations playable at launch, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and unique units.
We know of five playable civilisations so far: China, England, France, the Mongols, and the Delhi Sultanate.
The game will feature a story-driven campaign, and the developers have expressed an interest in using history to teach, as well as entertain.
There will be a closed beta ahead of launch. You can find more information about the signup process here.
Release Date & Platforms
Age of Empires IV will release on October 28, 2021. It will be available on Steam, and also as a part of the Xbox Game Pass for PC.