Something I haven’t seen being talked about is how great the game’s music was during the technical stress test! Every civ has different music for each age and even battles. I also think there is some clever mixing under the hood; the super smooth transitions between tracks, the vocals flaring up when you destroy landmarks with the Abassids, and even the fact that there is a transition specifically when you age up while in battle (look here at 12:00, massive kudos to Soundtrack Refinery for making the video and noticing). This kind of attention to detail is astonishing and it really kicks the experience up a notch for me.
The music works incredibly well in setting every civ apart from each other, but it also shows how similar they are in other aspects. Gameplay-wise I think the level of difference is okay and welcome. Heck, the civs to come like the Mongols will play even more differently than the ones we already saw. But visually, I find them too similar. The units specially, most of them look almost the same to me across all civilizations. I wish the devs had the same level of attention to detail with the visual presentation of the civs as they have had with the music and sound design.
Nevertheless, my experience with the game has been very positive and playing with friends was incredibly fun. I am really excited to jump back on it when release day comes!
Edit: Also UI differences across civs were nice to have in the previous age games. I understand they are trying to go for a very specific look and feel, and to be honest I dig the “golden stream/ribbon” theme a lot. But having the same UI also makes it feel less of an age game sadly.
Every unit, maybe except for HRE/English had a different design. The Abbasid MAA looked a lot different from the English and the HRE.
The light cavalry also looked different per civ. I am not sure about the Knights, since I didn’t go too heavy on cav since I was mostly playing HRE but so far, when I took a closer look, all units looked unique to their civ. (Except maybe siege)
The music is beautifully crafted! The instrumental choices for the different civilizations just go so well with the aesthetic. The sound design is great in general. Congrats so relic on that part of the game.
I love the sound design, they totally nailed it here. The music is .
Love the difference between HRE and England: While the English have fast paced music, the HRE has this heavy vibe to it, feeling like a slow but devasting force to deal with just like their civ playstyle.
Yeah, the whole sound aspect of this game is top notch. Excellent I would say. I wish the rest of it had the same polish.
One thing I must say is that during the stress test I couldn’t really enjoy the music as much because that damn TC bell. I was competing with my local church so I had to bring the volume almost all the way down.
Sound design (units yelling, metal clashing, etc.) is great in the game, but the voice lines/music for the Chinese sucks ■■■ at the moment. For the music they literally just slapped some random pattern on the pentatonic scale and called it “Chinese music” (huge ching-chong-ching vibes) and the voice lines are equivalent to saying stuff like “lit fam, sounds gucci” in middle English. Really hope the devs reach out to people who are actually competent in this department and fix these issues.
I’m not an expert on Chinese but isn’t the language they would have spoken in this time period extinct? Modern Chinese is derived from Mandarin. They may just not have the option of recruiting talent who is an expert on a dead language.
There are many dialects in modern Chinese. Putonghua comes from China’s Hebei Province and Henan Province, which is also a kind of local dialect. China’s capital Beijing is adjacent to Hebei Province, so Putonghua is promoted as China’s common language. There are hundreds of dialects in China, most of which belong to the Han language. Without a unified language, it will be difficult for people all over the country to communicate smoothly, because there are great differences in dialects. The ancient Chinese in aoe4 comes from dialects all over China, such as Cantonese, Minnan, Hakka, etc. The ancient Chinese in aoe4 can hardly be understood by modern Chinese…
Linguistics is a thing. There are lots of linguists who spend a lot of time reconstructing such “extinct languages”. This is why there are experts on Latin today, even though Latin is something you might call “extinct”.
Latin was preserved by the Christian church and Romaboos for the last 2,000 years. The Chinese government claims that Chinese history began in the 1950s however so they actively suppress important cultural elements.