Microsoft has released a list of achievements for Age of Empires 4 and there were a few titbits of information — namely an achievement called “Recorded History”.
The achievement simply asks players to “view a replay,” which is welcome news to those waiting for official confirmation on whether AOE 4 would have replays or not. Replays haven’t been part of the offiical beta or stress tests yet, but they’re an essential part of the RTS experience. They’re not just a prime way for players to improve: replays have been used to train AI as well, both in strategy games and other genres.
Youtube and Twitch are a big help with the learning curve these days, but replays are still a vital tool. And while World’s Edge and Relic haven’t officially confirmed replays yet, it’s clear they’re working on it. There will be Age of Empires 4 replays.
There’s also an achievement for Art of War challenges, which is another aspect of the game that hasn’t been confirmed. That’s great news, though – these challenges are one of the best parts of Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition.
These challenges are typically targeted at making you ready for online matches. They might ask you to perform the build order for a fast castle or a rush. Super important stuff if you’re wading into multiplayer, and it’s great to see AoE4 will have more of it.
Some of the other achievements reward the player for difficult tasks, sort of like a mid-match “challenge mode”, asking you to win a game using only fishing for food, or win a match with the French without producing any infantry. (Joke’s on you, Microsoft, I was building knights anyway!)
Then, of course, there’s the standard grindy achievements that ask you to kill 10,000 enemies with the Landsknechte or construct 1,000 walls as the Chinese. Those achievements are less exciting, as they simply come with time, but it’s nice to see there are a few that actually get you to play in an interesting way.
There are also several achievements that only have the description: “Play the game to find out!”
So it’s safe to say they wanted us to know replays were coming — and there’s still some secrets Relic and Microsoft are keeping close to their chests.