Softonic review

Joe Wainer
Joe WainerUpdated 2 years ago

Go back to the basics with this RTS classic

Age of Empires IV is a historical strategy video game that lets you take part at the heart of every glorious conflict that made it to the history books. Developed by Relic Entertainment and World's Edge, this 3D real-time strategy game is the fourth main installment in the popular Age of Empires game series.

While it is the title released after Age of Empires III, Age of Empires IV actually takes more gameplay mechanics directly from the successful Age of Empires II. It also gets mechanics that were scrapped for the third game and offers all-new campaigns.

Age of Empires is a series of historical real-time strategy video games, originally developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Xbox Game Studios. The first game was Age of Empires, which was released in 1997. Succeeding games were a mixture of main titles, remastered editions with some expansion packs bundled alongside them, and interesting spin-offs. They all met with varying success but the series had an overall popular standing with fans of the RTS subgenre. 

However, it can be pretty easy to assume that the franchise is dead due to the lack of a whole new game after Age of Empires III’s release way back in 2005. Thus, Age of Empires IV aims to bring back the epic battles the series is known for—all in stunning 4K graphics. In this game, you go back to the Middle Ages and will progress through the usual four eras: the Dark Age, Feudal Age, Castle Age, and Imperial Age. 

There are 8 diverse civilizations to choose from as your playable faction: the English, the Chinese, the Mongols, the Delhi Sultanate, the French, the Abbasid Caliphate, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Rus. However, there are only 4 distinct historical campaigns you can follow, with 35 missions to complete: the Norman conquest of England, the conflict between England and France, the rise of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, and the expansion of one of the Mongol empires. 

Similar to the other games in this series, Age of Empires IV lets you become certain historical characters in these campaigns, such as Joan of Arc from France and Genghis Khan from Mongolia. You also get to change the outcome of history by making important decisions to help your faction win. In case you’re new to this game subgenre, the tutorial and Campaign Story Mode are designed to be both easy enough to understand—yet still challenging enough for veteran players. 

This is thanks to its new gameplay mechanics, evolved strategies, and combat techniques—although, truthfully, there’s actually nothing overtly new and groundbreaking about this installment. If you’d like to test your skills further, you can try out the online multiplayer mode wherein you can either compete or co-op with up to 7 players in PvP and PvE matches. Lastly, just like its predecessors, this game is highly customizable and compatible with mods and allows players access to content tools for custom games.

All in all, Age of Empires IV is a pretty great addition to the classic RTS game series despite its rather tame features. While it doesn’t really offer any major new mechanics to distinguish it from the previous games, it has enough of what the fans loved about the series to make it an enjoyable endeavor regardless of your experience with this genre of the strategy genre. Moreover, it is also Windows 11 compatible.


  • 8 playable civilizations involved in 4 historical campaigns
  • Classic gameplay mechanics with some new minor additions
  • An online multiplayer mode with both PvP and PvE
  • Encourages players to create custom mods


  • Nothing really new compared to the previous games

Program available in other languages

Age of Empires IV for PC

  • Paid

  • In English
  • V 1.0
  • 4


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