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Age of Empires 4 starts earlier and finishes later than Age of Empires 2

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Age of Empires IV finally got a gameplay reveal trailer at XO19 last night, and it confirmed that we’ll return to the Medieval period – the same setting as the series’ most popular entry, Age of Empires II. But that doesn’t mean we’re getting exactly the same experience.

“Our time period is the Middle Ages, but it’s slightly bigger – on both ends – than the time period from Age II,” creative director Adam Isgreen tells us. “So we start a little bit earlier than Age II’s time and we go a little bit further, kind of bumping up against the early Renaissance. We’re not going to give you specific dates, because then people would be like ‘ohmygod the campaigns must be this if the dates are this’, and we’re not talking about campaigns. I’d love to, and I could, but I’m not allowed to.”

Age of Empires II’s four ‘ages’ were the Dark, Feudal, Medieval, and finally Imperial Ages. It’s tough to date the game more precisely than this – although its single-player campaigns feature figures as early as Alaric I of the Goths (370/375-410) and as late as Francisco de Orellana (1511-1546), with battles as late as Noryang Point (1598), there’s definitely a sense that these are outliers, and the game’s systems are reaching a little in depicting them.

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