The Age of Empires franchise has done a lot of ransacking in its time. And in an announcement early Friday morning, Relic and World’s Edge revealed the Russians will have one of the few playable campaigns for the launch of Age of Empires 4.
The Mongols were already announced as a playable civilisation earlier this year, but World’s Edge didn’t confirm at the time whether they would have a campaign to go with it. Age of Empires 4 only has 4 campaigns at launch — with 35 missions total — so not every launch civilisation was being featured with its own campaign.
Alongside the Mongols and Norman campaigns, World’s Edge added that the French would have a playable campaign focusing on the Hundred Years’ War. The war was a string of battles over the right to rule France, and so it’s natural that players will get to control Joan of Arc throughout the process as you push back the houses of Lancaster and Valois.
On the civilisation side, more details were revealed about the Abbasid Dynasty. This race revolves around a landmark called the House of Wisdom which can be perpetually upgraded with different abilities to buff your army.
There’s extra buffs in combat, too. Camels have been a part of Age of Empires for aeons, but for the Abbasid, camels will also provide aura-like effects to nearby units. “These camels have amazing abilities to buff the other units in their armies, so you have these wonderful diverse mixes; you always want to throwing different units together but always including camels for the different kinds of buffs and advantages you can give,” Microsoft’s Adam Isgreen said.
The French will naturally be a playable civilisation as well. From the details provided it sounds like they’re geared more towards the late-game:
The French were revealed alongside the 100 Years War campaign, allowing players to place themselves in the battles fought between the English and French in the 14th and 15th centuries. The French thrive in trade, with the Chamber of Commerce and Royal Institute landmarks helping strengthen a player’s late game. Royal Knights are one of the civilization’s special units with a fearsome charge ability.
The Rus (Russians, presumably) and the Holy Roman Empire were then revealed as the final launch civilisations for AOE 4. Microsoft and World’s Edge didn’t reveal any footage, details or still imagery — details on those will be provided closer to launch. Existing Age players are still getting more content though: Dawn of the Dukes will add two new civilisations (Poles, Bohemians) and three new campaigns (Jan Zizka, Jadwiga, Algirdas and Kestutis) to Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition.
Dawn of the Dukes is due out sometime in August, although it’s being made available for free as a pre-order bonus for Age of Empires 4. As for Age 4, that’ll launch on PC, the Microsoft Store and Xbox Game Pass for PC on October 28.