Real time strategy fans have been left out in the cold recent years. The genre had a slow death after Age of Empires 3 since every developer out there believed they could make a better game than Microsoft, and even Microsoft bastardized the franchise to death by slapping the name on a League of Legends clone and then calling it a day with Age of Empires Online. But all is not lost. In May last year there was a job posting that stipulated that Microsoft is looking for an experienced AAA developer that will work on a well loved franchise. This could mean two things since Microsoft owns two franchises that falls in the AAA Strategy genre, or they want to make another Halo Wars (sigh).
Microsoft have put a lot of emphasis on PC gaming recently when they announced that Xbox will come to PC, and that the latest Rise of the Tomb Raider trailer showed Xbox instead of Xbox One as the exclusive platform. What better way to push millions of new Windows 10 customers to the Xbox platform than to offer the most beloved PC games of all times as an exclusive on their Xbox app besides forcing people off their beloved DRM nightmare called Steam by offering AAA third party exclusives on their app alone?
Well E3 2015 is only a few days away and we might see Phil Spencer up on stage wowing us with a new Age of Empires game (or Rise of Nations). If they want to win the PC crowd they better bring out the big guns and Fable won’t cut it.
What will the new Age of Empires be about?
Well the last Age of Empires circled around the time of the American Revolution. It’s only fitting that we will now go towards the First or Second world war. Almost like a Real time strategy version of a good Call of Duty game. We might see some DirectX 12 implementation that will make the dreaded 200 unit count per player a distant memory. I would also like a world map that will take days to traverse, which will make the campaign to conquer an enemy so much more fun, than them knocking on your doorstep with a market next to your farms.
Gameplay features I’m looking forward to is 4K support, higher unit counts, More integrated World economy, Skill based match making, Real world maps (Like Rise of Nations World Domination Mode), The death of the cards system introduced with Age of Empires 3.
Age of Empires will be a perfect fit for Xbox Live as well, with dedicated servers for online gameplay. And who doesn’t love a 12 year old humiliating you on Age of Empires, like the good old days?
The Microsoft E3 keynote will be on the 15th of June, where they will announce the Best Lineup in Xbox history. Games such as Halo, Forza, Quantum Break, Scalebound, Crackdown, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Gears of War and many more AAA exclusive games will make their appearance at this years event so it should be an action packed event.
It’s a great time to be an Xbox gamer, and soon we will welcome out PC brethren to the team. Watch the Xbox event unfold on The Inner Circle on the day for up to date news and analyses.
What are you looking forward to at E3, and what would you like to see in the next Age Of Empires?