Weekend Recommender: Age of Empires 4

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: Relic Entertainment

System requirements:
Minimum: Intel Core i5-6300U or AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (AVX support required), 8 GB RAM, Intel HD 520 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 11, 50 GB free space
Recommended: 3.6 GHz 6-core (Intel i5) or higher, AMD Ryzen 5 1600 or higher (AVX support required), 16 GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce 970 GPU or higher, AMD Radeon RX 570 or higher (4 GB VRAM or more ), 50 GB of free space
Similar Games: Cossacks 3, Iron Harvest, Command & Conquer™ Remastered Collection
Category: RTS

Many of their childhood big favorites are back. A lot of time has passed since the release of the third part (2005), and we could reasonably ask whether the franchise still has a raison d’être. Humankind, released earlier this year, was noticeably an improvement on its own genre, while AoE (a bit phlegmatic) deliberately works with the original formula. If we want to be very superficial, we could even say that this is just an improved AoE 2 and we would be right somewhere. Not much progress has been made compared to previous sections. On the other hand, for those who loved the classic parts, it can provide a wide range of additional content.

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There are four narrative campaigns in the game that are broken down into quests. These are linked by high-quality, live-action and animated videos that fit into documentaries. We can also think of it as a real interactive history book. It may not engage everyone, but it will definitely set the mood for a mission, and we can learn some knowledge from it. We have pretty clear goals on the tracks, and in addition to leading the story of the peoples, we get a pretty solid foundation for creating the initial economy.

During the game, we have to handle four raw materials: food, wood, gold and stone. In addition, the number of inhabitants we need to pay attention to, as we can produce new units up to a given ceiling. We can increase this limitation with construction. As the name of the game suggests, one of the main goals in the game is to progress between different ages. Newer ages open up new units, buildings and upgrades for players. This means quite different things for 8 different civilizations. For the English, for example, Council Hall not only takes us on to the second era, it also gives us the opportunity to make Longbowmen, and faster than the Archery Range.

Different civilizations also want different styles of play. This is mainly made possible by their people-specific units. An example is the previously mentioned Longbowmen, which has an extended range compared to other similar units. But there are also quite large differences in their operation. The English are very good at expanding and their buildings can be networked. The Chinese entertain the attackers with strong walls and units using gunpowder. But there are also civilizations, the Mongols, who can move their base instead of static construction, and, thanks to their early cavalry, are serious opponents of early slow-moving enemy units.

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Graphics: If we take it as a basis for how much the previous parts of the game want to play back, we can say that the visual world also reflects exactly this line. Maybe we can also say that these games existed in our heads that year. However, if a Total War: Attila or if we are really cruel, a Total War: Warhammer II is the more modern benchmark, then the age of the series is very obvious. The game doesn’t offer any extras at maximum graphics, but it does what it wants to show spectacularly. A lot of people scolded projectiles from ranged units during the first test. Although they have already been resized, if we look closely at the animation, we can still find strange things in it. The latter, however, I doubt would be taken into account by anyone during a fierce battle.

User interface, controllability: The interface does not require much practice to be transparent. All useful and important information is constantly available to us. Buildings and improvements also appear in a clear hierarchy. The status of the construction of the landmark landmark can be continuously monitored at the top of the screen. The controls can be redistributed, but fans are probably already pushing the right keys from the gut. The units can be divided into control groups, and the unit indicates the group to which the unit belongs above the unit. If you belong to more than one position, each number appears above it, separated by commas.

Playability: The game is mostly sharp for multiplayer, but single players aren’t left alone either. As I mentioned, there are 4 narratives with a total of 35 missions. In addition, we can play skirmish matches against AI, or we can test our skills in various challenges. We already have a fairly large repertoire in the field of multiplayer. We can jump for matches with a team of up to 8 people. We can choose the convenient Quick Match option, where the game quickly puts together a match for us that meets our conditions. If you want a slightly more personal battle, you can customize the battle by choosing Custom Match. Currently we only have Standard game mode and 17 map bases. These maps are randomized per match and possibly the seed of the map can be shared. Other modes and a map editor will come in the future.

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Intelligence, difficulty: Anyone who is new to the series will encounter a rather steep learning curve. Fortunately, unlike previous parts, the game already has a fairly extensive tutorial section. At first launch, after the introductory videos, we get a quick-start script where the game quickly explains the basic concepts and key elements of control. Then, when we start the campaign, the structure of the quests there also provides the player with a kind of good practice with the set goals.

Several commented on the Scout units ’path finding during beta testing as they move around forests. At such times, they usually headed for the impenetrable forest instead of getting out in an optimal direction. Fortunately, this has already been fixed in the release version. On the other hand, we still found something to be levied on the combat units. There was a case where the melee unit decided to run two warm-up laps instead of attacking the unit directly in front of him and patiently waited for them to kill him before he reached position.

Sounds, music: At the start of the game, a huge dose of nostalgia rushes upon us when the classic theme song of Age of Empires sounds modern in fact. Civilizations continue to use their own language. Everyone still has their own musical theme, and the sound varies from age to age. In addition, the urban sound floats pleasantly into the combat music. Destruction also has dynamics, and gunpowder and siege engines have audible power.

Summary: This part won’t rework the picture of the franchise, but anyone looking for even more Age of Empires has, I think, fully found its calculation. The well-structured training department provides new players with a solid starting point, so the existing fanbase is likely to swell to its multiples. When the Ranked Matchmaking option also arrives, you will really see how much of a series the series will have in 2021. Given what kind of promotional campaign Microsoft is currently running and how toweringly the Game Pass is performing (which included the game for free from day one!), The franchise is likely to remain in the public consciousness for a long time to come.

Source: SG.hu Hírmagazin – Játék by sg.hu.

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