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What The Critics Are Saying About Age Of Empires 4

It's been four years since Microsoft first announced the long-awaited "Age of Empires 4," and at long last, fans can experience the strategy game they've been waiting for. It's been 15 years since "Age of Empires 3," and while plenty of updates have released since then, players have had plenty of time to build hype for the new title.

So, how does the latest "Age of Empires" entry stack up against the hopes and expectations of its players? Well, so far, the overall sentiment from reviewers is trending towards the positive, as evidenced by the game's solid score on Metacritic. Clearly, many critics agree that this game generally lived up to its big promises to blow gamers away

Of course, as with any game, "Age of Empires 4" has its fair share of pros and cons. Without further adieu, here's a handy roundup of what the critics think about "Age of Empires 4."

Age of Empires 4 is simplistic but successful

For the most part, critics found the game to be great at what it does, but also felt it stuck a bit too close to the series' established formula.

IGN's Leana Hafer summed up "Age of Empires 4" as "an overly safe but enjoyable RTS throwback" and gave the title an 8/10 rating. While the pace of combat and wide variety of maps kept things interesting overall, the lackluster graphics and "generally terrible unit pathfinding and targeting" left much to be desired. That being said, Hafer found the soundtrack to be exceptional, as well as the sound design, which features historically-accurate language tracks. On the other hand, Hafer felt the game's factions were disappointingly similar to those from past "Age of Empires" titles, though she noted "offbeat factions" like the Mongols and the Rus as notable exciting exceptions.

PC Gamer's Robert Zak gave "Age of Empires 4" a score of 77/100. Though he felt the basic gameplay elements that carried over from previous "Age of Empires" games made this new a success, Zak also posits that the game "works much as it ever did, but without the flair that could have made it a grand celebration of that timeless AoE formula." Zak also found that the use of a narrator made it feel like there was a bit of "distance" between the player and the characters. Zak argued that the game still sits in the shadow of previous games in the series. As Zak put it, "the only thing really standing in the way of Age of Empires 4's growth is the ongoing success of its predecessors."

A Mixed Bag

Screen Rant's Maria Meluso gave "Age of Empires 4" a more middling 3/5. Nonetheless, Meluso still found that the game "maintain[s] a lot of the charm and nostalgia of the original games while also delivering a smoother and more seamless appearance." Though Meluso praised the game's new accessibility features, including narrated UI and multiple subtitle options, the reviewer still felt disappointed when it came to repetitive gameplay.

On the flip side, Rachel Weber from GamesRadar awarded "Age of Empires 4" a glowing 5/5 review. Praising the game's "generous amount of missions, scenarios, and multiplayer options" as well as its rich and immersive attention to history, Weber found the game to be a triumph. Though Dexerto's Isaac McIntyre differed in rating, giving "Age of Empires 4" a 6.5/10 due to its relative simplicity and similarity to other titles in the series, the reviewer was agreed that the game's historical aspects were its strongest suit.

Clearly, the milage you get out of "Age of Empires 4" comes down to personal taste. While most agree it doesn't touch "Age of Empires 2" and that it feels very similar to past titles, this game still manages to bring plenty of new elements to the table. Though some fans may have wanted something drastically new and different, staying true to its roots seems to have been a strategic success for this RTS franchise.