First time making a post of my own here, but I wanted to share my thoughts.
I have played many RTS games over the years including all the AOE games, AOM, Warcraft 2-3, Starcraft 1-2 and have enjoyed all of them. Each one was different, yet someway similar to the other. Overtime, I even got into developing my own games and the first one I finished back in highschool was an RTS game.
I know there are alot of people who are interested in this game, and many who are not. But I would like to play devils advocate for a bit and share some of the things that I am excited about.
I am excited about how different this game is than the previous titles in the IP. I remember playing AOE 1 and making photon men to destroy the AI with my dad. I remember when AOE 2 came out and I could heard sheep back to my town, and how I had a guy on a horse to scout out the map early on. How my villagers could walk over farms and how I could have a king and protect him in a castle. I remember when AOE 3 came out and how I could use a cannon to curb stomp enemy villagers and boats. How the card system was worked to give me a choice in how I would run my little colony. When the native civs were introduced, I was excited because I could charge in with a bunch of horses instead of just a cannon. When the asian civs came in, I was excited to use samurai, and elephants to destroy my enemies. When AOE O was being worked on, I was excited because of the different quests I could go one that had some significance to the civ I was playing. Each civ was vastly different from one another with some units still being the same. The cartoony style caught my eye as something different and bright.
All four of these games have the same formula, but introduced something different in each one. I never got into playing competitively until SC2, and even then, I never really got far.
As to AOE 4, when I saw the sheep running after the scout, I was hyped! No more getting my sheep stolen enroute to my town. When I saw the different civs, and that their buildings actually looked different from age 1, I was excited, especially with the roads being built between them. When I saw the stylized textures on units, buildings, and terrain, I thought it was very refreshing from the more realistic approach in 2-3, and the cartoony-nes of AOE O. When I played in the Stress Test, I played as the Chinese, the civ I am the most excited about. The Nest of Bees was awesome to watch as tiny rockets shot out and decimated armies. I was excited when I saw the Mongols, and although they did not get the chance to use their cavaly, I was excited because I could get more sheep, and have cavalry archers that shot while moving. I saw the landmark objective and was excited because I had a more clear goal. Instead of having to hunt down my enemy, I could just destroy those buildings. When I saw that I could stealth my units in a forest and ambush enemy armies, I thought it was super cool! I even used it once in a multiplayer game, and even though I lost, It was exhilarating to try something sneaky like that and bait my opponent into the open to rush them from where they were hidden.
Of course, Im not saying the game is perfect, and honestly, I don’t want the game to be perfect. I really feel that having this game be different from the previous titles is a good thing and I am excited to play. If I wanted to play any of the other AOE games, I could download them and play them. But to me, AOE 4 being different and having its own set of mechanics like archers on the walls, arrows that never miss, and an armor system that invited me to add units I would almost never use into my armies is something I will enjoy exploring more on the 28th.
I know its a long post, so I apologize for having so much to read. But I hope that this game does well, even with the differences it has from previous titles. I even plan to try playing 1v1’s since it excites me to see what others will come up with, which for me, washes the fear of being a horrible player away.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I wish you all a happy day!