With several new short teasers released over the last week, the Age of Empires IV media machine appears to be picking up speed. The latest teaser demonstrated the game’s naval battles.
It’s fair to say that the naval side of things have attracted some critical comment from series fans. The water’s ‘flatness’ and slight shadow detail is being compared with Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. Yet the sharpest-looking scene in the trailer, of fishing boats in the sunshine, is one that hasn’t featured in previous footage. This may indicate it’s from a newer version of the game.
Age of Empires IV’s choppy waters
While players have noted the lack of splash on oars and the minimal reflections, the art style appears consistent with the game’s blend of AoE 2 and AoE 3 visuals.
They may be a tad Sea of Thieves for some players, but the boldly drawn ships complement the rest of the game’s apparent aim to simplify management by making its units easier to read. It’s hard to assess the visuals of Age of Empires IV at this stage. There is little official detail about design decisions and we are yet to see gameplay.
The trailer features what looks like demolition ships, galleys with oars, fishing boats and the presence of cannon-equipped caravels. In addition, Relic appear to have embellished the sense of spectacle in Age of Empires’ naval battles. Note the sinking ship, inclined at an angle as it slowly takes on water.
Age of Empires IV will cover the medieval period and, given some of the sailing vessels in the trailer, take players up to the early modern era.
The other target of commentary has been the presence of Persian dialogue in a video showcasing the Arabic-speaking Abbasids. Given the official website states the Delhi Sultanate in the game speaks Persian, it’s possible they fixed the wrong audio to the teaser.
The Hundred Years War
We’ve also seen French and English soldiers face against each other in a trailer revisiting previous footage, interspersed with new shots of Joan of Arc and her opponents.
With the release of multiple trailers recently, the carefully cultivated quiet from Relic on the topic of Age of Empires IV may soon break. Age of Empires IV will be released on 28 October 2021.