There are very few games that can claim to fame and even active fans over a span of decades. One of those is the Age of Empires franchise. First released in 1997, it was hailed as a mix of Sid Meier’s Civilization’s historic focus and Warcraft’s real-time strategy gameplay. It’s last major installment, however, was back in 2005 and fans have all but given up hope that Microsoft would ever revive this PC title, especially with its focus on consoles. At Gamescom, Microsoft proved them wrong and not only announced Age of Empires IV but also Definitive Editions of older titles to help fans bid their time for the game’s arrival.
Development of Age of Empires IV will be interesting to watch. Microsoft didn’t give the task to its own studios. Instead, it has enlisted Relic Entertainment, now owned by Sega to create this long overdue sequel. That said, Relic does have the war wounds to show, having made the Company of Heroes, Dawn of War, and Homeworld games, all of which have been received quite positively.
There is very little to be gleaned from the minute and a half trailer for the game. As with an AoE title, you get to play out the milestones in human history throughout the world. And as with the original AoE titles, it seems that the game is intended for PCs, specifically Windows 10. Whether it will be limited to that version, however, is still unanswered. By the time Age of Empires comes out, it might be the only Windows version anyway.
What will be exclusive to Windows 10 PCs is the Age of Empires: Definitive Edition. It will be launching October 19th to commemorate the 20th birthday of the first game. Like any new edition, it will be introducing new features to bring the game to the current age while still promising fidelity to the original experience. And if that weren’t enough, Microsoft also promised that a Definitive Edition for Age of Empires II and III will also be made.