The Age of Empires IV release is on the horizon. Relic’s take on this iconic RTS series has just had its technical stress test, and we hope it will premiere on October 28 as planned. It’s a great time to say why we love the Age of Empires series so much.
History teachers may complain about historical inaccuracies that they find in every Age of Empires game. However, the series has never aspired to teach history. It has tried to make young people interested in our civilization’s past instead. If you want to know facts about Joan of Arc, the military significance of particular units, or the course of the battle of Zama, you should read books or watch documentaries. Meanwhile, games can prove that actual history can be as exciting as superheroes’ adventures. One of the Age of Empires creators, Bruce Shelley, said that Ensemble Studios received many letters from parents whose children started reading history books because of the game.
More than base building
Turn-based strategy fans joke that RTSs have more to do with action games than with strategies. According to them, the key to win is clicking faster than your opponent. To be honest, the first real-time strategy games offer a rather simple strategy. Create workers -> gather resources -> build your base -> create an army -> destroy the enemy base -> celebrate your victory.
Age of Empires has never followed this shallow path as the games offered multiple ways to win. If you wish, you may defeat adversaries without attacking anyone because collecting artifacts or raising a Wonder is an equally efficient way to victory.
Also, campaigns missions are interesting. Sometimes you can’t even build a base – you must use a limited number of units. Moreover, the Age of Empires series featured powerful heroes long before Warcraft III did. We believe that Age of Empires IV will not be an exception here and provide us with fascinating challenges and missions that are not similar to one another. Our faith has solid grounds because Age of Empires IV is being developed by Relic Entertainment. The studio created Homeworld 1 and the Dawn of War series, proving that they can design engaging quests and tell a compelling story.
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We can’t talk about the Age of Empires franchise without mentioning its outstanding score. When it comes to the soundtrack, it’s Stephen Rippy, the music director, who deserves the greatest credit. Not only did he compose brilliant tunes but also created them using the sounds of actual ancient instruments. Intros are worth mentioning as well. Especially the first two games have magnificent opening cinematics showing an ancient battle (AoE 1) and a war intertwining with a chess match (AoE II). Unfortunately, those videos are missing from remastered versions of both games.
All timeless releases go beyond the world of video games. People who have never played any Age of Empires game or even heard this title know wololo memes. They’re a reference to a monk who’s chanting this meaningless mantra when he’s converting an enemy unit.