Continuing on with the pattern of seeing my childhood coming back to life some twenty years on…
Me? I was a big fan of Age of Empires II back in the day. Honestly, I don’t really remember how I got hooked on it. I recall downloading the demo for AoE 2. I also recall being intimidated by my first RTS game. You see, I wasn’t into Warcraft, Command & Conquer, or Starcraft. Oh, I knew their names but none intrigued me like AoE 2. Only Age of Empires II had that direct link to accurate* history that made me so interested in it. I fondly remember hours wasted on the MSN Gaming Zone on the weekends back in middle school.
When Age of Empires III came out in 2005, I was thrilled. AoE was going into the 18th century with real gunfights; none of that arquebus nonsense. But, like most people, I found AoE 3 rather disappointing. It was not nearly as engaging as its predecessor and I found it just a little off-putting that content was clearly cut, leading to stuff remaining in the manuals that never saw the light of day in the game itself. That’s normal, but AoE 3 failed to engage, despite two expansion packs. When Microsoft decided to back its infinitely more popular predecessor with an HD re-release and several expansion packs from 2013 up until last year (!) you could be forgiven for thinking Microsoft wasn’t going forward with the franchise anymore.
Until now! Yesterday, Microsoft released a trailer for Age of Empires IV. It’s big! It’s huge! It’s…unremarkable!
Yeah, sorry to rain on anyone’s parade, but let’s be real: we don’t know one thing about this game. The trailer is 90 seconds of epic-sounding narration over modestly-animated artwork depicting all of the ages of Age of Empires, Age of Empires II, and Age of Empires III. We don’t see one nanosecond of new content. It’s difficult to get hyped for more than the mere promise of something nostalgic (Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was sold on nostalgia and that sucked). I’m going to watch with cautious hope. I didn’t care much for AoE 1 or AoE 3. Perhaps the even numbered ones are the winners?
What do you think about the announcement? Watch the trailer below and tell us what you think.