Aside from absolute fun, the Age of Empires franchise is built on the sole foundation of history, and this time, Microsoft and Relic Entertainment want to take things further with Age of Empire IV.
The upcoming release will feature time period accurate language, art, and game design inspired from both world and the franchise’s history as well as narrated documentaries throughout the campaign. The focal point of the game will be in the Middle Ages where players will start from small agrarian villages and progress into castles and kings.
What’s fresh from the entire franchise is the historical context and documentaries that will be added to the campaigns of the game. While players can play campaigns that go through real-life stories, each of them will also be accompanied by documentary footage that’s shot on location. This concept was in celebration of history and also give players an idea of what’s actually happening around the stories and battles that took place.
The documentary footage we saw from the Fan Preview event looked like actual documentary shots from History Channel that features massive sets, real-life props, and actors in costume. Even director of customer’s voice for Age of Empires, Emma Bridle mentioned in an interview with The Verge, that she had learned British history from the campaign documentaries despite growing up in England.
In addition to the visual, the team would like to bring history to life through audio as well. Civilizations in the game at the beginning will speak ancient versions of their language unrecognizable to modern players as first and progress into the ones we speak today.
Age of Empires IV will continue its legacy in creating a visual and audio masterpiece built not just around fun but also on real-life history. While the art style and gameplay will be familiar to old-timers, new mechanics, design and plenty of visual narratives will be featured for players to have fun and learn at the same time.
Age of Empires IV is slated to release Fall 2021.