It’s been 14 long years since the release of Age of Empires III (12 if you’re counting from the release of the last expansion pack), which has undoubtedly felt like, well, ages, for lovers of the iconic real-time strategy game holding out for the next installment. But the waiting may soon be over, because new gameplay footage for Age of Empires IV has just been released, and it is on a whole new level. Check out the brief teaser video for a mix of excitement and nostalgia that can only be delivered by pixelated trebuchets flinging boulders at a walled city.
As far as breaking down the gameplay, it’s impossible to say exactly what it will consist of at this point because there are no player controls, menus, or other such interfaces to speak of in the clip. Despite that, it appears that core gameplay elements of the previous games will remain, at least when it comes to warfare. That’s evidenced by the familiar way the battling armies and siege engines appear to be controlled, as well as the way destruction of structures occurs—watch the way that one stone watchtower blows up in a segmented fashion at :51, for example.
In a behind-the-scenes video posted to the Age of Empires YouTube channel, developers from Relic Entertainment, the company tasked with designing the new game, do give a couple of insights into how the new game will differ from the previous ones, though. Age of Empires IV game developer Quinn Duffy says, for example, that military units in this game will be new and improved because “they’re actually people with voices and character and personality.”
Another big question about the new Age of Empires game has also been answered with this gameplay footage, and that is: what age will this new game take place in exactly? Clearly it looks like players will be visiting a medieval world once again, although who knows how many other ages these teams had to make it through to get where they are.
Unfortunately no details have been given regarding a release date for the game, although PC Gamer says that it’s likely to be some time in 2020 or later. Until then, prospective players will have to make do with with the Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, which is a remastered version of the original game, with 4K Ultra HD graphics. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is already available via Xbox Game Pass for PC, Windows 10 or Steam.