Age of Empires Articles RSS Feed | Age of Empires RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Age of Empires 4 Release Date Announced Alongside New Gameplay Sun, 13 Jun 2021 21:15:42 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Age of Empires 4 has been a long time in the making, and perhaps longer anticipated by the AoE community. Age of Empires 3 released way back in 2005 after all. But the wait is finally almost over. Age of Empires 4 releases on October 28 for PC. It will be available through Steam and  Game Pass for PC. 

The release date and new gameplay trailer were revealed during the Xbox/Bethesda E3 2021 showcase. The in-game trailer showcases everything Age of Empires fans have come to expect from the series over the years: base building, resource gathering, relatively large-scale real-time battles on land and in the sea, and historical figures and civilizations. 

From previous showcases and trailers, we know that the game focuses on the medieval period, much like Age of Empires 2. The trailer above features knights, trebuchets, elephants, and castles. Though it's unclear which historical figures will ultimately round out the playable heroes in the game's campaigns, Joan of Arc will be one of them. Previously, developer Relic Entertainment unveiled the Norman Conquest campaign with King Harold and Duke William of Normandy. 

Previously, Relic unveiled four civilizations: the English, Mongols, Chinese, and Delhi Sultanate. The trailer above highlights two more civilizations in the French and Abbasid Dynasty, according to an AoE4 blog post following the reveal. 

The French were revealed alongside the 100 Years War campaign, allowing players to place themselves in the battles fought between the English and French in the 14th and 15th centuries. The French thrive in trade, with the Chamber of Commerce and Royal Institute landmarks helping strengthen a player’s late game. Royal Knights are one of the civilization’s special units with a fearsome charge ability.

Making a heroic appearance in the trailer is French heroine and icon Joan of Arc, who also has a starring role in the game’s key art. Teenage Joan rallied her country and led armies into battle against the occupying English. Age of Empires II fans fell in love with Joan in the title’s campaign and the development teams are excited to see her return.

Both the Age of Empires 4 standard edition and deluxe edition are up for pre order now on Steam for $59.99 and $79.99 respectively. The digital deluxe edition a coat of arms, a player profile portrait, a monument, a digital soundtrack, a unit counters chart, and a Craig Mullins art compilation, according to Relic and Microsoft. Stay tuned for more. 

Age of Empires 4 Fan Preview Gives In-Depth Look at Gameplay, More Details Mon, 12 Apr 2021 13:34:22 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Developer Relic Entertainment finally gave Age of Empires fans their first real look at the upcoming Age of Empires 4. The April 10 fan event provided glimpses at the strategy title's gameplay across four ages. It also provided info on how many civilizations will be included at launch and what's planned to come after. It also showed off parts of the Norman Conquest campaign, one of four in the final game. 

The almost 6-minute trailer, which can be seen above, is all gameplay and no filler, showing four of the game's eight civilizations in action across four ages. The Delhi Sultanate fights the English in both the Dark Age and the Castle Age, while the Mongols fight the Chinese across the Feudal Age and the Imperial Age. 

Along the way, the in-engine gameplay trailer provides shows AoE 4's breadth of combat scenarios, giving glimpses at everything from skirmishes and ambushes to larger confrontations and full-scale sieges. Of course, base-building, hunting and gathering, and commerce get their spots in the limelight as well. 

The Norman Conquest campaign is one of four campaigns that will be available when the game launches. It begins in 1066 and deals with King Harold and Duke William of Normandy's battles as they vie for control of the throne and "civil war erupts." Though Age of Empires campaigns have always played out against the backdrop of history, it's unclear if all of the major players of this particular campaign, including the French and the Vikings, will be separate civilizations. 

The entire showcase can be seen in the video above, which gives even more in-depth information on civilizations and gameplay elements, including the motion capture used to detail individual unit animations and the "modern documentary style" present in the game. 

Relic said they would share more about Age of Empires 4's other four civilizations sometime soon and that the game will get more after launch, though that's all we know at this point.

While this is the first real glimpse fans have gotten at the long-awaited sequel to Age of Empires 3, which launched more than a decade ago in 2005, Relic said they have been working with the AoE community throughout development to make a game that long-time fans want to play. 

Age of Empires 4 was announced in 2017, and its first gameplay trailer, albeit short, was revealed at XO 2019. It is scheduled to release in fall 2019 and does not have a firm release date for that window. It will launch for PC; no other platforms have been announced. There will also be a multiplayer component alongside the game's single-player modes. 

On top of all of that, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition and AoE 3: DE will be getting some attention this year as well

Age of Empires 4 Gameplay Trailer X02019 Reveal: Long Time, Mo' Siege Fri, 15 Nov 2019 14:47:06 -0500 Jonathan Moore

It's been two years since Age of Empires 4 was announced at Gamescom 2017. Earlier this year, we reported that Microsoft would show AoE 4's first gameplay trailer this November. Well, it's November, and Microsoft did just that at X02019 in London. 

The 4K gameplay trailer, which can be seen above, only clocks in at one minute, nine seconds, but it gives fans a decent look at what can be expected from the fourth mainline game in the RTS franchise. Considering we've waited this long for an official reveal, any footage is damn good footage. 

The trailer gives off a decidedly Age of Empires 3 vibe in its art direction and booming score. And though the game is definitively set in the Middle Ages, the X02019 footage showcases a world brimming with vibrant life. From the looks of the scenic forest map shown in the gameplay reveal, Age of Empires 4 won't be putting the "dark" in Dark Ages anytime soon. Instead, it will stick to the series' more bucolic palette seen in AoE, AoE 2, and AoE 3

Outside of that and the game's two confirmed civilizations — the Mongols and the English — not much else is known about Age of Empires 4 as of this writing. Currently, there is no release date for the game, and while we can safely assume it will be coming to PC, Microsoft has yet to announce any platforms. 

Age of Empires 4 is being developed by Relic Entertainment, the same studio behind other RTS series such as Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40K. This is the studio's first time working on the Age of Empires series, which was originally developed by Ensemble Studios. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on Age of Empires and Age of Empires 4. Look for our review of the recently-released Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition in the coming days. 

Age of Empires 4 Gameplay Reportedly Coming in November — Wololo! Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:29:47 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Praise the RTS gods and goddesses. Gameplay for the long-anticipated Age of Empires 4 is finally (we hope) coming in November. If a literal wink is to be believed, gameplay will be shown off at Microsoft's XO19 fan event in London, England, later this year. The event runs from November 14-16. 

The news comes from a GameStar interview with General Manager Marketing for Xbox Aaron Greenberg (via PC Gamer). 

At about 5:55:03 in the GameStar interview stream, which we've included below for quick reference, Greenberg says when asked when players will get to see gameplay of AoE 4

Listen, our next big beat is going to be XO19. I would suggest people watch that. That's also November 14. It's the day that Age [of Empires 2: Definitive Edition] launches. We will be celebrating ... I cannot confirm nor deny anything [winks at the camera]. But you'll definitely want to tune in ... that'll be our biggest Inside Xbox event of the year. 

Watch Jetzt: Rerun des ersten gamescom-Tages #gcTogether from MONSTERSANDEXPLOSIONS on

Another interesting tidbit of information that's been hinted at for some time is that all new Xbox titles will come to GamePass on PC. Greenberg said while speaking to GameStar about digital games distribution and subscription models like GamePass: 

We're going to bring all of our titles when they launch into GamePass on PC, included in the service. We've got a lot of great third-party support as well, and we know a lot of people both play on the PC and on console.

That's great, so we have options for them but even just as a dedicated PC gamer, we're working with a lot of the big PC publishers to bring their titles and them reach a broader audience as well ... so the key there is to overdeliver on value but consumers obviously still have choice if they want to subscribe or buy. 

Suffice it to say, that's a pretty clear indication that Age of Empires 4 will be included in GamePass at launch, whenever that may be. As of this writing, there is still no release window for the game. However, that may very well change at XO19 in a little less than three months.

Age of Empires 4 was announced at E3 2017. Since then, Microsoft has been incredibly tight-lipped about the next installment to the beloved real-time strategy franchise. However, that silence hasn't kept fans from dreaming of what additions the game might bring, or including it their most-anticipated RTS lists

November 14 is also an important date for Age fans because it's when Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition finally launches. That game will bring updated visuals to the decades-old strategy game, as well as brand-new content. It is an upgrade to 2013's Age of Empires 2: HD

Does Historical Accuracy Matter in the RTS Genre? Sun, 25 Feb 2018 15:27:37 -0500 Alberto C.

The simple and straightforward answer to the question, "Does historical accuracy matter in the RTS genre?" is “well yeah, duh.” If we’re going to be playing a game based around a certain time period in history, or if it is supposed to depict a historical event, perhaps because we generally tend to “know” what really happened and are aware of the facts surrounding them, we have a natural inclination to denounce everything we perceive as “false.” It only seems logical that if we witness something we think to be untrue, to call it out or at least notice it.

This problem on the question of historical authenticity is and has been especially problematic within the RTS genre. It is one of the few types of games where the player simultaneously controls various types of units at the same time and tests them against one another. This means that developers have to take into account how each and every unit will react when put against all the others. What’s more, the RTS genre is one heavily dominated by games that use history itself or a period of it as a base for the whole game. Games like Total War, Age of Empires or Company of Heroes are some of the heaviest weights you can find in the genre and, with the exception of recent Total War titles, rely heavily on history.

Age of Empires is famous for depiting ancient historical periods...while being able to Wololo that war elephant into joining your army.

The question is then not so much does historical accuracy matter, but how much does it matter, and up to what point. When playing an RTS game that is based on a historical period, chances are we would prefer to play a title that is historically accurate rather than one that isn’t. The exception to this would be if a game is explicitly marketed as one that doesn’t intend to be accurate and it is not what players should expect. Games like War Front: Turning Point or Age of Empires do not have the emphasis on being accurate, but rather on taking you through alternative timelines or various historical ages, respectively.

Though not an RTS, Civilization is a series guilty of historical inaccuracies.

The titles that do brand themselves as being historically factual have then to find a balance between that faithful representation of reality, and being overall fun. These are the titles where developers are inevitably forced to decide how much are they willing to bend the rules and how can they justify it. In the end, developers do and should put gameplay and enjoyment over being accurate. If they did the opposite, games wouldn’t be nearly as fun and it would result unavoidably (but historically accurate) imbalances that would be especially pronounced in the multiplayer arena. Games shouldn’t be imbalanced no matter how accurate it may be.

Most history buffs of World War 2 know that German tanks were overall better than their American counterparts, but that doesn’t mean it should be as so in a video game that doesn’t go beyond a computer monitor. RTS and video games overall are meant to be fun first and foremost. They are rarely, if ever, marketed as tools meant to depict how past events developed. The fact of the matter is a historically inaccurate game is infinitely better than a broken game, which was what they risk being by putting the former ahead of the latter.

German Tiger Tank I was notoriously superior to the M4 Sherman.

No matter the game and no matter the time period, some players out there are always willing and determined to point out the historical inaccuracies a game may suffer. They’ll voice their complaints about how their favorite unit should endure more damage or whatnot within the game. What these players often fail to realize is that games that take history as a basis do exactly that: as a basis. They merely use it as a foundation upon which to build their own fictional world. To expect anything other than that is misguided, ill-founded, and will only hamper the enjoyment of the game itself.

4 Things We Want from Age of Empires 4 Mon, 28 Aug 2017 16:25:51 -0400 Skrain

In case you missed it, Microsoft recently confirmed the existence of Age of Empires IV, and that Relic Entertainment will be developing this long-awaited next installment of AoE. Relic has a long history of developing real-time strategy games, having made the late 90's smash hit Homeworld franchise and Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War, followed by two sequels. The studio also has Company of Heroes and its sequels are under its belt as well.

Microsoft would have been hard-pressed to find a company that could rival Relic in the RTS genre, so fans are excited that the company is working on this new Age of Empires experience. We don't have much information on exact features, eras, or gameplay mechanics that we can expect, but AoE fans definitely have a few things on their wishlists that they'd like to see when this next installment in the beloved franchise hits shelves. 

A Risk Style Campaign

Anyone who played Rise of Nations you would remember the campaign that loosely resembled Risk. You would pick your faction, and battle for territory throughout the ages. Some form of a sandbox style campaign over world would be quite interesting I believe, and I would have faith that Relic Interactive could handle it well, and make it unique to AoE

Stone Walls Only Destructible by Siege Engines

I can't speak to what every AoE player thinks about bashing stone walls with a mace or stabbing them with a pike until they catch fire and fall down. But I think it's safe to assume that a fair portion of the playerbase would enjoy seeing the gameplay mechanics changed so that only siege equipment can destroy walls.

Such a change would open up many more possibilities in how you could besiege and opponent's territory. For example, forcing defenders to sally forth in an attempt to destroy the enemies' engines would certainly add some flavor to AoE IV's battles.

Manning Walls

I would absolutely love the ability to place ranged units, or any units for that matter, on walls. Having the option to place slingers, archers, crossbowmen -- any ranged unit, really -- on top of a wall would add many gameplay choices for both defenders and besiegers.

This could also add the ability to scale walls with siege towers, giving the battlefield yet another potential layer of depth.


Mercenaries were a thing in Age of Empires III, and I really enjoyed their use. They certainly helped in a pinch and gave you a pool of units you felt were more expendable than your regular forces. Hopefully they decide to keep mercenaries in the next installment.

Small Changes

There are a couple of other small changes that could really make AoE IV feel like a fresh experience. On the battlefield, there are a few tweaks that can definitely be made. For example, an increased population cap for larger battles and the ability to select more units in a group would be a big improvement. More unit variation in terms of appearance would also be nice, as would an increased level of zoom to allow for a greater view of the game terrain. 

It would also be nice to see some serious changes to how ship transport works. In AoE III, you can't fit 21 archers on a fully upgraded vessel, but you can fit 20 war elephants. This obviously doesn't make sense and has undoubtedly been frustrating for many players, so overhauling the mechanics in this regard would go a long way in making for a more enjoyable experience.


I have high hopes for Age of Empires IV, if only because Relic Entertainment is going to be working on it. I have spent many hours over the past 18 years playing their games, and I hope this title is as good as the others in their repertoire. Here's hoping they can take the 12-year hiatus for AoE and usher it into a brand new age with a modern touch-up.

Games For Windows Live Shuts Down Wed, 21 Aug 2013 09:01:16 -0400 Alexa Serrano

Games for Windows Live will shut down on July 1, 2014.  The news of this date has come from the Ages of Empires Online support page that states:

Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. Although it is available through Steam, Age of Empires Online requires features of the Games for Windows Live service. You can continue to enjoy all the features of Age of Empires Online as the service will remain 100% operational until July 1, 2014 when the server will shut down.

There is only news of a few games (eg., Bioshock 2, Batman:Arkham City) that will be migrating to Steam, while there are no announcements yet about  what will happen to the rest.

What won't be available?

  • Any game that has not had DRM (Digital Right Management) removed.
  • Any game that has not been updated with a current system because it will have features that cannot be accessible by anyone anymore. 
  • Single player games requiring login authentication to GFWL server.
  • Multiplayer games requiring login authentication to GFWL server.

There are several different reviews regarding GFWL shutting down. A few say it is a good thing and others say it is a bad thing they are shutting down. What are your thoughts and why?

Share your thoughts in the comments box below!