Age of Empires is a long-running videogame series that has been around for decades now, and it has been attracting more and more gamers towards the war and base-building genres. Age of Empires 4 got released on the 28th of October, 2021, and it is the latest addition to the series. While the game has been receiving pretty positive reviews from most reviewers, I’d still call it somewhat of a disappointment compared to the older Age of Empire games. In this Age of Empires 4 review, we’ll be taking a closer look at why this game is not being liked as much as the previous entries of the series.
Let’s start off this Age of Empires 4 review by talking about the one thing that has disappointed us the most, the visuals. Graphically speaking, Age of Empires 4 lacks any kind of attention to detail. The game looks more like something from 2013. Even when you zoom in on the map, you can’t really see any kind of fine or beautiful details.
While the gameplay mechanics did not really disappoint, I was still not very happy as, despite the long time gap between Age of Empires 3 and 4, we don’t really see any kind of major upgrades. The game doesn’t really have anything new to offer. The game just follows the classic Age of Empires formula, which can be fun for some newcomers, but for long-term fans of the series, the game doesn’t really bring much to the table and gets boring pretty quickly.
There are eight different factions in the game that are supposed to let you experience the gameplay from a whole new perspective, but most of these factions seem relatively similar to each other. Overall, I’d say that the gameplay mechanics are not really bad, but they can be drastically improved.
As is the case with all the other Age of Empires games, you will need to strategize quite a bit in order to get through a lot of the battles. You cannot just mindlessly make a bunch of troops and send them off to attack, you will first have to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your enemy and then make a proper army that would be able to take them on. Talking about the troops, I would’ve really appreciated this addition to the series if the developers had made the soldiers more self-aware. As is the case with older Age of Empires games, you have to babysit every single move of your army and always be there so that they don’t end up doing something damaging.
No Editing Feature!
Surprisingly, one thing that Age of Empires 4 lacks is the map editing feature. Being such an expansive game about armies, wars and civilizations, the developers should have included a map editing feature that let us design our own levels and play through them.
Online Multiplayer Mode:
Where the gameplay mechanics of Age of Empires 4 really shine is the multiplayer mode. There are many different and super exciting single-player scenarios that you can play through as well. However, the multiplayer mode presents a true challenge as you have to come up with the best and most unique strategies to ensure your win in battle. Sometimes it’s best to slowly chip away at your enemy’s defences and stay safe from an attack yourself, while sometimes it’s better to just attack head-on while your enemy is still weak and doesn’t have a proper army.
Despite its flaws, Age of Empires 4 is still an awesome game. If you are just trying to relive your past memories and enjoy the classic Age of Empires formula, then you will fall completely in love with this game. I’d just say that this game could’ve been way better in terms of both gameplay and visuals. Age of Empires 4 doesn’t really try to explore any new ideas and just gives us the same old things once again, making the game feel like a remaster rather than a complete sequel.
Even if the developers wanted to stick to the same old Age of Empires formula and not take any risks, they could’ve still given us better visuals considering how good most games look in 2021. At the end of my Age of Empires 4 review, I don’t really know whether you should play the game or not. The game will be super exciting and entertaining for the people who are new to the war-strategy genre, but it will feel a little bland to the gamers who’ve already seen it all many times before and wanted to see something new and revolutionary.