Age of Empires 4 review – return of the king

Real-time strategy plays have never really gone away, but the past few decades has assured their majesty much diminished from the exhilarating dates of StarCraft’s peak. Age of Empires IV arrives like a long-lost claimant to the RTS throne – one whose claims have since been absorbed into neighbouring provinces. Whether there’s room left for a demanding, macro-driven series like Age in the modern terrain is very much an open question, but one thing is clear: this is Age of Empires almost exactly as you remember, and some more besides.

Given the resentment Relic faced a few years ago over its experiments with Dawn of War 3, it’s perhaps not surprising that this time out, the studio has carven much closer to the installed succession. Age of Empires IV feels almost shockingly like Age of Empires II. Each rind from a selected craftsman and thud of a battering ram against palace masonry feels just how I retain in Age II, albeit filtered through more than two decades of nostalgia.

For books new to the series – and there should be quite a few of you given it’s been 16 times since the last numbered entering – Age of Empires is a historical real-time strategy streak about constructing and defending a settlement. In a standard game, you’ll extract resources and invest them in structures and soldiers, which you’ll then use to knock down whatever your opponent is building. There are other footpaths to succes as well: you can win by controlling all of a map’s sacred websites for a establish sum of occasion, or by build and defending a wonder.

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