That was quick: Just a few hours after the start of the closed beta for Age of Empires 4, the first gameplay leaked on Youtube. The video is almost 45 minutes long and it was made by a person unknown to us who was obviously selected for the closed beta.
Microsoft has actually imposed an absolute embargo on the beta that prohibits the publication of any game scenes. Those who have access are not allowed to say or write anything about these impressions. Therefore, the video has meanwhile disappeared again. But we all know how well the internet forgets.
Of course, we also saw the material and discussed whether we should report on it. But at the end of the day, it’s our job to keep you updated on all the information available about Age of Empires 4.
So read on with the knowledge that this is information from a leak including potential spoilers and nothing that we have played ourselves. Of course, a lot can still happen before the release or the next official preview version. Experience has shown that campaign missions are relatively final three months before the release.
What can you see in the video?
The leaked video shows the full beta tutorial mission. This is not the first mission of any of the four campaigns, but an independent tutorial for the basics of the game. In the mission, we play on the side of the British and build a village. With the completion of the second age, the mission is over.
So far, Microsoft has never released a longer video that showed coherent gameplay for minutes. The leaked material first gives us an almost uncolored impression of Age of Empires 4. However, since the tutorial is very short, does not introduce all mechanics. there is only a little in-depth information about the gameplay.
A home for Age 2 fans
One thing becomes clear in this video, however: Age of Empires 4 feels extremely like Age of Empires 2 in it. The two games are really extremely close. Judging by these (very limited) game scenes, Age 4 could almost be mistaken for a 3D remake of Age 2. We already know from previous developer interviews that they treat Age 4 more like a spiritual successor to Age 2 and not to AoE 3.
At its core, there is a lot of what we know from Age 2 (or other offshoots of the series).
- The sounds: The first thing every Age 2 player will notice is the sound effects. It all sounds a lot like it used to be. When a new villager is being trained, a … uh, exhalation can be heard well again? This sound here . The voices of the units, speaking in their ancient language, immediately exude an age atmosphere.
- Grabbing food: The first thing to do is to collect food. To do this, the villagers run to a nearby berry bush and carry the harvest to the village center. Later the residents build a mill. Preferably near the bushes. The second source of food are small fields. Wild boars or other prey cannot be seen in the tutorial.
- Gathering resources: In addition to food, the three other resources are of great importance. For this purpose, villagers are assigned individually to cut trees or to set up a mining camp near gold veins. Stone seems rather unimportant in the first buildings. At least no stone can be dismantled in the tutorial and is also not required by any building.
- Population limit: After a while, the village needs more residents than can live there. The population limit is initially ten. Each new house increases the limit by an additional ten points.
- Train soldiers: The hustle and bustle does not stay peaceful. During the course of the tutorial, new units are always trained. Spearmen are built in barracks, light riders in stables and shooting ranges are built for archers. This is where known weaknesses and strengths come into play. Spear fights bring down horsemen, archers kill infantry, horsemen overrun archers.
- Age: The progression is a little different, but somehow also the same. Because in order to get into the next age, we still need food and gold. Only now, special buildings are also being built here. For the English, this is the White Tower for the age of knights. Although this is a castle, no stone is required for it either.
Of course, the tutorial only sheds light on the absolute basics. Basics We Probably Expect in Any Age of Empires. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see how closely Age 4 is oriented not only in theory but also in actual practice to Age 2.
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