Real-time strategy fans were treated to a spectacular demonstration of upcoming content on April 10 at the Age of Empires Fan Preview event. New Age of Empires 2 and 3 Definitive Edition content was revealed, as was a whole bunch of Age of Empires 4 information.
The standout news? Age of Empires 4 is expected to launch later this year. And while it certainly has a bevy of new tricks to show off, it’s still most certainly an Age of Empires game both in style and play.
A few days after an advance preview I was able to sit down with World’s Edge Senior Executive Producer Michael Mann, Relic Entertainment Game Director Quinn Duffy, and Relic Entertainment Art Director Zach Schläppi for a more direct conversation about what we can expect from Age of Empires 4.
A true successor to Age of Empires 2
One of the overarching themes pulled from the preview event and following Q&A session is that Age of Empires 4 isn’t attempting to reinvent the RTS genre. More specifically, the new game was referred to as “a spiritual successor to Age 2” by Game Director Quinn Duffy. Resources, including wood, food, gold, and stone look the same, and the ages begin with Dark and end with Imperial. Going deeper, core gameplay should also seem familiar to those who have played Age 2.
Duffy: You mentioned resources, you mentioned ages, those are obviously core parts of the experience. Managing your villagers, tech tree, how to get through the tech tree to unlock upgrades and build units; all those things will be familiar to longtime franchise devotees.
There are also things around the core balance, the core rock, paper, scissors of archers and ranged units, spearmen, pikemen, and horse units. We wanted to maintain that core. In every civilization there are those understandable and recognizable units. Players can appreciate how they work. They all have little wrinkles here and there with, say, the ability to charge and do extra damage. Spearmen and pikemen can kind of brace against cavalry so it gives them some little microplay opportunities there and the ability to maneuver your units and utilize a bit of skill for some of our more hardcore players and fans. A little bit more micro — we wanted to maintain some of that.
Core and surface gameplay mechanics aren’t the only thing that will be familiar to series veterans. Art direction has also been heavily influenced by the older games. Even though Age 4 is using a brand new version of Relic’s engine, players are going to immediately recognize that this is an Age of Empires game. And that feat falls on Art Director Zach Schläppi. He emphasized that the art team consists of many Age fans, so pulling traditional colors and landscapes made sense for the new game.
Schläppi: We did direct color pulls from Age of Empires 2…
Read More:Source link