After years of relative silence and little news about progress, Microsoft's Age of Empires IV
saw a fan event during which fans were treated to a wealth of information about the long-awaited real-time strategy game, including a demonstration in the form of a gameplay trailer.
Players will be able to choose one of eight factions to play. Though not all of them have been revealed, the trailer teases the English, Chinese, Delhi Sultanate and Mongol civilizations. Each one possesses unique abilities, making for asymmetrical gameplay. The nomadic Mongol civilization has the ability to pack up and move bases.
The fan event also revealed one of the four historical campaigns in the upcoming game, involving William the Conqueror and the Norman conquest. Developers acknowledged the smaller scale of the video game, but revealed that this allowed them to focus on presenting each civilization in greater detail. For example, it was revealed that languages will shift as players progress throughout the ages, meaning those playing the English will hear Old English from units at the beginning, then Middle and Modern English as they progress. Additionally, the music will also be period-accurate and evolve as players advance through the ages.
The developers emphasized the fact that they worked with historians in order to bring franchise fans an educational experience, as well as an entertaining one. It has been suggested that gameplay will resemble historical documentaries during battles.
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will also be seeing updates, such as the new Dawn of the Dukes expansion. The addition will bring Eastern European factions, new campaigns and more to the game. The Definitive Edition was developed by the Forgotten Empires team to be an Age of Kings remaster released in time for the game's 20th anniversary.
The collection includes the base game and integrated many of the factions and features created by fans over the years, such as the Italians, Indian, Slav, Magyar and the Incan civilizations. The pack also includes The African Kingdoms -- allowing players to experience the Berber, Malian, Ethopian and Portuguese civilizations -- and the Rise of the Rajas, which introduced the Burmese, Khmer, Malay and Vietnamese civilizations to the game.
Age of Empires IV was announced in 2017, but few details had been released until now since then. An initial trailer teased gameplay at the X019 event, with the English and Mongol civilizations at play. No release date has yet been announced for the game.