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Age Of Empires 4 Release Date, Trailer, And Gameplay

One of the crown jewels of the real-time strategy (RTS) genre is set to make a triumphant return after more than a decade, as "Age of Empires 4" is right around the corner.

While it's been over 15 years since the last official entry in the franchise was released, the overwhelmingly positive reception that the remade "Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition" has received from Steam users demonstrates just how relevant the series remain today. Well-balanced factions give "Age of Empires" titles the intensity of its RTS peers like "Warcraft 2," while the progression mechanics give individual matches the scope of epic strategy games like "Civilization."

Microsoft is looking to bring back the series with an all-new look while also revisiting some fan-favorite settings and nations. While there's still a lot to discover when the game arrives, the developers have shared plenty of hints about what players can expect. Here is everything gamers need to know about the release date, trailers, and gameplay of "Age of Empires 4."

When is the release date for Age of Empires 4?

Fans don't need to wonder about when they will be able to play "Age of Empires 4," because the official website lists a definitive launch date: October 28, 2021.

The game will arrive exclusively on PC and has been added to the list of major titles that will arrive on Xbox Game Pass on day one. This means that anyone who subscribes to the service can play "Age of Empires 4" at no additional cost on October 28. The lead-up to the game's official release has led to some excellent opportunities for community members to playtest the experience and give feedback, including a closed beta which ran from August 5 to August 16.

While October 28 will mark the official launch of "Age of Empires 4," fans can likely expect more content to arrive after the game becomes available. In an interview published on Xbox Wire, Relic Entertainment narrative lead Philippe Boulle noted, "We have four historical campaigns and eight civilizations at launch, each of those represents yet another story to tell. And that's just getting started." There hasn't been any sort of post-launch roadmap released yet, but hopefully fans will see new civilizations and campaigns added soon after the game goes live.

Is there a trailer for Age of Empires 4?

In the lead-up for the game's October launch, the developers of "Age of Empires 4" have been quite generous with giving fans a detailed look at the work in progress and have released several trailers for fans to check out.

One of the most significant was released as a part of the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase event at E3 2021. That clip mixed in-game footage with cinematics, giving fans an idea of how the game will play and some of the stories it can tell. In addition, that trailer revealed the game's official launch date.

However, gamers seeking a more in-depth look at "Age of Empires 4" have plenty to check out, as well. A behind the scenes clip discussed some of the ideas that modernized the series and the developer's deep passion for the project. Likewise, an Xbox Games Extended interview with two World's Edge developers gave insight into some of the game's deep connections to the community and how their feedback had been incorporated. This led to things like the game's implementation of naval combat.

Microsoft even took the time to feature an extended look at one of "Age of Empires" signature units, the trebuchet, which is regarded as one of the most devastating weapons of the medieval period. While a detailed understanding of the operations of a historic siege engine may not be critical to high tier "Age of Empires 4" play, it does demonstrate the developer's commitment to recreating in-game historical items accurately.

What is the gameplay like in Age of Empires 4?

Thanks to the many trailers provided by Microsoft, as well as the game's well-established formula of settlement building and combat, fans should have a decent idea of what to expect from "Age of Empires 4." However, as the game nears its release date, the developers have dropped hints about some specifics that will set the game apart from its predecessors.

"Age of Empires" 4 will ship with eight playable civilizations, with a greater degree of variance between one another than was seen in previous games in the series. PCGamesN hosted an interview with creative director Adam Isgreen, in which he explained, "We have this wide spectrum of civilizations that go from very understandable if you played a previous 'Age' game, to those you really need to learn a lot play them well."

Some of those civilizations will be explorable in the game's four distinct campaigns. Though the developers have kept some of those stories hidden in the lead-up to the game's release, all four are now listed on the game's official website. Those experiences range from the clash between the French and the English in the Hundred Years' War to the expansion of the Mongol Empire, promising a diverse range of encounters for gamers hoping to explore history while they enjoy "Age of Empires 4."