Age of Empires IV Reveals New Campaigns and Civilizations in Fan-Event Stream

Relic Previewed a Full-Length Norman Conquest Campaign on the Stream

It’s been 15 years since the last numbered Age of Empires game, and Relic Entertainment has put that time to good use. The upcoming Age of Empires IV will contain four full-length campaigns and a staggering eight playable civilizations at launch, and the numbers will only grow from there. The fan-stream hosted this Saturday gave us a sneak peek at one of these campaigns–specifically, one based on the Norman Conquest in the 11th century. This campaign promises to plunge players deep into some of the most legendary battles of European history, including the Battle of Hastings, as they follow the conflict between Harold Godwinson, king of the Anglo-Saxons, and William the Conqueror.

The game’s first four playable factions will be the English, the Indian Delhi Sultanate, Imperial China, and the Mongols. Each faction is intended to play very differently from each other: for example, the nomadic Mongols can pack up their bases and won’t build walls, the Delhi Sultanate uses massive war elephants, and Chinese soldiers have access to both crossbows and rockets. Regarding the campaigns, Relic promises to go a step beyond and include live-action drone footage of some of the battlefields they’re portraying. We can definitely see how that would add to the realism. It might also bring a somber edge to the virtual war, a subtle reminder that these battles really happened and people really did die in them.

If that’s just not enough realism for you, then get this: as you progress through the Norman Conquest campaign, not only will the visuals change over the years–so will the language units speak when you click on them. They’ll begin speaking Beowulf-era Old English and gradually switch to more Shakespearian English to reflect the passing of time. Now that’s a neat trick.

Age of Empires IV will be available on PC sometime in 2021. The game will also launch on Xbox Game Pass PC and Ultimate.

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