Cartoon graphics / cartoon and farewell game

I am creating this topic to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with AoE4 graphics. I really didn’t like the cartoon style and the developers didn’t (and won’t) make any mods to reverse these graphics.
I’m going to stop playing AoE4 after over 200 hours of gameplay where I tried to like what I saw, but every time I look at the game it makes me feel ashamed that I’m accepting to play a game made for kids, made to “meet to all audiences”.
Is it just because of the children’s graphics? Yea! the gameplay is good, the mechanics are nice, but in the end what is a game? It’s what you see on your monitor screen and what you hear in your headset. In this case, what I see on my monitor screen (cartoon graphics) I don’t like and I believe it doesn’t match the theme of the game.
If the next Age of Empires (Mytology or 5) is cartoon or cartoon and I won’t buy it, my friends won’t buy it and I will discourage everyone I know from buying it.
I have to give myself respect. As a consumer of a product, what I can do is what I am doing: demonstrating my dissatisfaction and not using this product.

This text was translated by google translator and below is the original version in my language (Portuguese Brazil)

Graficos Cartunescos / desenho animado e despedida do jogo.

Estou criando este tópico para demonstrar minha insatisfação com os gráficos do AoE4. Eu realmente não gostei do estilo cartoon desenho animado e os desenvolvedores não fizeram (e nem vão fazer) nenhum mod para reverter esses graficos.
Vou parar de jogar o AoE4 depois de mais de 200 horas de jogo em que tentei gostar do que eu via, mas cada vez que eu olho para o jogo me faz sentir envergonhado por estar aceitando jogar um jogo feito para crianças, feito para “atender a todos os públicos”.
É só por causa dos gráficos infantis? Sim! a jogabilidade é boa as mecanicas são agradaveis, mas no fim das contas o que é um jogo? É o que voce vê na tela do seu monitor e o que voce escuta no seu headset. Neste caso, o que eu vejo na tela do meu monitor (graficos cartoon desenho animado) eu não gosto e, acredito que não combina com a tematica do jogo.
Se os proximos Age of Empires (Mytology ou 5) forem cartoon ou desenho animado e não vou comprar, meus amigos não vão comprar e eu vou desencorarjar todas as pessoas que eu conheço a comprar.

Tenho que me dar ao respeito. Eu como consumidor de um produto, o que posso fazer é o que estou fazendo: demonstrando minha insatisfação e deixando de usar este produto.


The artistic style is debatable and subjective, it depends on each player. There are players who love this art style that is between realistic and cartoonish (a 100% cartoonish AoE is AoE Online), for example, ask players who play turn-based games like Civilization.

I wish a pack could be designed to make the game look even more realistic and satisfy those players, but I highly doubt it. They would have to rework it.


You can easily make it look less cartoonish using reshade. To me, the picture on the right here doesn’t look like any cartoon I’ve ever seen.

Note that the forum software has compressed the file I uploaded, so it does look more cartoonish now than my original picture.


A sharpness and de-saturation filter goes a long way. Stock, the game is too bright and colors are too exaggerated, probably to aid in unit visibility.

The sad thing is that there is actually a way to adjust tone/saturation/ambience in the content editor and you can see it in action when you choose the winter biome for example (everything gets more blueish), but there’s no easy way for us to tweak it, other than resorting to external apps.

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That is very selfish of you, to be honest. You will trash talk a good game because you dislike the art style.


Exactly, I don’t like this kind of cartoon graphics. If I were to speak well of something I don’t like, I would be lying or false, but if I speak badly because I don’t like the graphic style, then I’m selfish…
The game is getting good, but I can’t seem to like the cartoon style.


Personally, I could give my opinion of a game to my friends, but if it’s a question of graphic style, it wouldn’t be so flammer. I wouldn’t say that it’s a “■■■■■■ game”, but rather that its graphics “didn’t convince me” because of its style, but maybe a friend would like it. I would recommend it if he likes that style.


tbh the graphics of AoE4 has grown on me over time, I don’t mind it. I never let “graphics” dictate a game that I like or not like. Plenty of great pixel games and child friendly games out there that is just as enjoyable to adults as it is for the kids.
Now I don’t disagree the graphics COULD have been way better, or even if they just stuck to the original artstyle AoE4 started off with.

but I don’t blame them for choosing the path they did.
It’s an American company in the end, and the recent culture-war in America has completely messed it up artistic wise.
You have to be on the guard for everything in the US lately, the way you speak, your humor, and even your own culture you gotta be aware off. And this is starting to spread into many western countries as well.
I don’t mean to drag this debate into the political sphere about ideology.
But it is to help give a better understanding why MS/Relic did what they did.

They wanted foremost for this game to be a Learning Game.
A game that teaches you about history.
And nothing is greater than teaching young kids history through video games. we see this in the campaign clearly.
Encouraging parents who grew up with AoE 1 and 2, a new AoE game for the new generation today to grow up with.
Perhaps even show up at some school classes even!

So Even more important to keep this game as low PG as possible.
While I am no fan of low PG games, I think they hit a nice middle ground for this game that I can deal with.

While certainly I wish there were options to crank things up a notch.
But even if they were just Options, they would be forced to up the PG rating on the game regardless.

Sadly in the era we live in now. Children are coddled into the extreme. And it is the new norm.
Showing them how the harsh reality works is no longer an option.
You can see this on the children cartoons today.
Best example is the evolution of Tom and Jerry.
We see how the humor, and cartoon-violence turn ever so soft over each generation.
Now a days with the newest one, you barely see them use direct violence against each other, its mostly just accidents and traps now.
Compared to my favourite classic Xmas episode where they were bombing each other with fireworks and simulating ww2.

So yeah, we see where the evolution of “things made for kids” are heading towards.
and anything that were to deviate from this and not rate itself as PG18 (heck they started with PG21 now)
Would be condemned and sued into the abyss.


Yes I agree. That’s what I’m saying, they made a game that appealed to all audiences.
AoE2DE and AoE3DE are not like that and are good at what they set out to do.
If they don’t want to include in-game options to avoid lawsuits, they could make a mod and make it available to the community as a mod made by players and not by the developer.
What I mean is that if they really wanted to do it, they would find a way


Go play aoe3de it has all the realism you crave. Aoe4 is fine as it is. I hated it too initially because I came from aoe3de but it has grown on me and now I wouldn’t have it any other way. I tried the reshade filters too but removed it immediately. The graphics are really good. If only you could see it that way. I bought the Alienware qd-oled monitor earlier this year and man the graphics just pop on it. HDR makes gold and other metals look so real. The farms trees grass all look so real.


left - without glasses
right - with glasses


it is, and its poor planning by having only 1 graphic style shove down our throat. this game isn’t cheap, far from it and they should totally have more options, but they dont.


what are you even saying more options, no game gives you two different options for art style. you can skin it all you want, but the style will remain the same.

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i dont really care. it is evident the current graphic was subpar in the eyes of majority on release, coupled with horrid design flaws and bug that is why many players left.

one can argue all the want about subjective and what not, but if they wanted money and target lowest denominator then they should do what most player wanted with better graphics.

esport graphic clarity is poor choice and game is fked.

and heres another one

yep, we’ll do exactly just that. let the number of players keep going down and people who plays rank can take longer to queue up. less viewer ship = less money = less development incentive = dropped game soon!


look buddy every day people like you create 3+ threads bashing on the game/devs/company etc. it dosnt deter players. aoe4 was/is a huge success despite being what it is. just dont assume everyone/majority is like you and turn the forums into a cesspool of hate. good riddance. and good bye.


The way a company, through its top leaders, measures whether its product or service is working is whether it’s selling and whether it’s being used.
If a product or service is sold and used a lot, in the eyes of leaders, it is a success, regardless of how it was made or found. Even with a bad appearance, if it’s selling and if people are using it then it’s ok for them.
When I decide to play the game without my believing it could be better, I am saying, through my action, that I agree with and like the product.
Playing the game as it is is saying that the people who decided to do cartoon style were right. I have a degree in Business Administration, I know what I’m talking about.
People might get the wrong impression of me and think I’m just a gamer who is mumbling and complaining for no reason, but I’ll explain how a company should look at dissatisfied customers:
Type 1: That dissatisfied customer who complains, talks about product defects, complains again, argues, is not satisfied with explanations of how the product was made and wants improvements, follows up on product upgrades and updates.
Type 2: Dissatisfied customer who doesn’t say anything to anyone and simply stops using the product and leaves.
For other Age of Empires 4 players I’m just a player who keeps complaining, but for the company that makes the product I should be seen as an opportunity for improvement, to know what the customer thinks and expects. If I come here on the forum and produce arguments, I waste my time writing and reading about it, it’s because I care, otherwise I would be Type 2.
I’m not the only one who complained and still complains about the graphics, so much so that this subject has become routine.
I’m being careful not to be disrespectful to anyone, but at the same time I need to be incisive to be able to show the intensity of what I think. I don’t want to be a toxic gamer, but I like the Age of Empires franchise more to keep quiet.
The idea of ​​the post is not to come out “winner” of a discussion, but to show the company why I stopped playing AoE4 and show other players that if they keep playing even if they don’t like what they see, they, through this attitude, agree .

I ask everyone who is reading: do you have panache?

This text was translated by google translator and below is the original version in my language (Portuguese Brazil)
O modo em que uma empresa, por meio de seus principais líderes, medem se seu produto ou serviço está dando certo é se está vendendo e se está sendo utilizado.
Se um produto ou serviço é muito vendido e ou muito utilizado, aos olhos das lideranças, ele é um sucesso, idependentemente da forma como foi feito ou se encontra. Mesmo com uma aparencia ruim, se está vendendo e se as pessoas estão usando então para eles está tudo ok.
Quando eu decido jogar o jogo sem que eu acredite que ele poderia estar melhor, eu estou dizendo, por meio da minha ação, que eu concordo e gosto do produto.
Jogar o jogo como está é dizer que as pessoas que decidiram fazer estilo cartoon estavam certas. Sou formado em Administração de Empresas, sei do que estou falando.
As pessoas podem ter a impressão errado sobre mim e achar que eu sou só um jogador que está resmungando e reclamando sem motivo, mas vou explicar como uma empresa deveria ver os clientes insatisfeitos:
Tipo 1: Aquele cliente isatisfeito que reclama, fala os defeitos dos produtos, reeclama novamente, argumenta, não se contenta com explicações de como o produto foi feito e quer melhorias, acompanha os upgrades e atualizações do produto.
Tipo 2: Cliente insatisfeito que não fala nada pra ninguem e simplismenmte deixa de usar o produto e vai embora.
Para os outros jogadores de Age of Empires 4 eu sou apenas um jogador que fica reclamando, mas para a empresa que fabrica o produto eu deveria ser visto como uma oportunidade de melhoria, de saber o que o cliente pensa e espera. Se eu venho aqui no forum e produzo argumentos, perco meu tempo escrevendo e lendo sobre, é porque me importo, caso contrario eu seria o Tipo 2.
Não sou o unico que reclamou e ainda reclama dos gráficos, tanto que esse assunto se tornou rotineiro.
Estou tendo cuidado para não ser desrespeitoso com ninguem, mas ao mesmo tempo preciso ser incisivo para conseguir demonstrar a intensidade do que penso. Não quero ser um jogador tóxico, mas eu gosto de mais da franquia Age of Empires para ficar quieto.
A ideia do post não é sair “vencedor” de uma discução, mas sim mostrar para a empresa porque parei de jogar o AoE4 e mostrar aos outros jogadores que se eles continuam jogando mesmo sem gostar do que veem, eles por meio desta atitude, concordam.

Pergunto a todos que estão lendo: voce tem brio?

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so i created 0 threads and you just generalize all the people who complain? yep toxic community alright. how much more can you prove me right?


This will be a non-sense argoment. I don’t think developer will listening. Check all my threads about graphic.

thats why everybody who is dissatified should stop paying for gamepass/ refund from steam


It took me around 40 hours to stop playing, I dislike as well the art style focused on wider audiences and eSports but also the shallow game play mechanics.