Since the series debuted on PC way back in 1997, Age of Empires has built a loyal fanbase thanks to the smash-hit releases of sequel games Age of Empires II and III.
The last edition of the popular real-time strategy game was in 2005, and the fanbase continues to crave a new challenge to sink their teeth into – despite the more recent reworked Definitive Editions giving them something to keep interest high.
Then, on 10 April, the Age of Empires: Fan Preview event hit YouTube, proving to be the culmination of all of the teases for Age of Empires IV, which was announced long ago, at Gamescom 2017. Content creator Zack ‘ZeroEmpires’ Robinson hosted the Fan Preview, revealing all kinds of directions that the Age of Empires brand is heading down, including the AoE IV release window.
Age of Empire IV releases autumn 2021
It’s finally happening; Age of Empires IV will be coming to you in autumn 2021, arriving for Windows 10 PCs and available via Xbox Game Pass and Steam. It’s full to the brim with new civilisations, a fresh campaign, new game mechanics, added features, and tonnes more to explore.
During the Fan Preview, we were given an exclusive look into the fresh gameplay this new instalment brings to the table, including a first look at the new Delhi Sultanate, Mongol, Chinese, and English civilisations.
This first look featured some of the unique mechanics that each faction possesses, such as the Mongols staying true to their nomadic roots, enabling them to move their settlement at a moment’s notice, the Chinese’s mastery of gunpowder, and the Delhi Sultanate’s fearsome war elephants.
The reveal didn’t stop there, as we found out part of the new campaign to engross in, which will follow the historical events surrounding William the Conqueror and the Norman conquest of England in 1066.
Along with the release date and gameplay reveal, there was the news that a closed beta is coming soon. To be in with a chance of being among the first to rule the map in this beta, head to the Age of Empires website and become an Age Insider.
As a bonus, the Age of Empires brand has teamed up with Alienware to give Age Insiders a chance to win a one-of-a-kind, Age of Empires-branded liquid-cooled Aurora R11 desktop.
First major update for Age of Empires III Definitive Edition coming on 13 April
That’s right, Age of Empires III Definitive Edition will receive its first major update on 13 April 2021. This update will bring a brand new civilisation to the game in the form of the United States.
With this new faction comes a new unique explorer, a brand-new home city to customise, nine new units, a new age-up mechanic, and more.
The United States civilisation will be free for a limited time to players who complete the new 50 state challenge in-game, or you can purchase them right off the bat from the Steam or Windows stores.
They haven’t stopped there: later this year, African civilisations will debut in Age of Empires III Definitive Edition in a brand-new expansion – stay tuned as more information on this will be released soon.
Age of Empires II Definitive Edition gets a second expansion and co-op play
If Age of Empires II Definitive Edition is a favourite of yours, don’t worry, as the Age of Empires team hasn’t left this hit out of the fun. The second expansion, the ‘Dawn of Dukes’ is coming this summer with new campaigns.
Co-op play will be making its debut in AoE II Definitive Edition, too, with hand-picked campaign missions and historical battles to take on with friends; more information on this is coming in the next few months.
A bright future for the Age of Empires fans and franchise alike
It seems that the team behind the scenes is planning to take 2021 by horns and pack it full of content for long-time fans to enjoy.
The release of Age of Empires IV this autumn would’ve probably satisfied the appetite of even the most hardcore fans of this brilliant real-time strategy.
Still, Relic Studios and World’s Edge had other ideas and plan to serve up another few courses to dig into throughout the year. We can only hope that they continue to roll out more exciting fixtures to their classic titles.
For more information, you can make your way over to the AoE Virtual Village, which is crammed full of even more details about each of the new civilisations coming with Age of Empires IV.