Age of Empires is back in 2019 in a big way. Not only did Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition launch on PC today, but Xbox revealed the debut gameplay for Age of Empires 4 during the opening ceremony of X019. Age of Empires 4 was originally announced in August earlier this year, but fans at the time were given only a title and a logo. Today Xbox showed off exactly what Age of Empires in 2019 would look like, and to say improvements have been made would be a gross understatement.
The last time fans got to play a new Age of Empires title was in 2005, almost 15 years ago. Age of Empires 4 shows exactly what a modern, AAA Age of Empires title should look like. The gameplay reveal trailer for Age of Empires 4 offers just a glimpse at the title, showcasing a minute-long siege of what appears to be a Medieval keep and town. The town is filled with farms and structures impressively rendered for 4K resolution, only for it to begin being torn down by an advancing army and its trebuchets.
As exciting as having new Age of Empires 4 gameplay to consider, the trailer is rather scant. It offers just the briefest look at one of Age of Empire's civilizations, followed by another very brief look at an attacking civilization. For dedicated fans who will comb through the footage picking out individual units and structures, it's a delight. For potential new fans, it may not be enough to draw them in. Of course, Relic will have plenty of time between now and launch to showcase the game.
One aspect of Age of Empires 4 that's bound to draw attention, however, is the game's verticality. The map has rolling hills and cliffsides. The castle keep is high above the town itself, as well as its farms. It will be interesting to see how this new aspect of the game will affect gameplay.
Age of Empires fans have waited almost 15 years for a new sequel in one of gaming's best RTS franchises, but it appears they'll have to wait a little bit longer. While gameplay was debuted during X019, no release date or release window for Age of Empires 4 was hinted at in the slightest. It appears that the developers at Relic still need quite a bit more time to finish their work. As such, a 2019 or 2020 release for Age of Empires 4 certainly seems out of the question. Expect more news on that front over the next year.
Age of Empires 4 is coming to PC.