I know most won’t really be interessted in this, but I still want to post it here. Maybe some developer reads this.
I actually didn’t mind the graphics and in some cases quite enjoyed them. My main problem lies with the UI of the upgrade buttons. They lack character, creativity and the supposidly better readability is nowhere to be found. The blacksmith upgrades are all looking too similar and the dots to indicate which upgrade in the serie it is is just distasteful and feels kind off lazy.
Some smaller annoyances are gods smite everytime you set a point and the place where you move your units is a simple circle indistuingishable from a circle of targeting. Where is the iconic red arrows which has been in every AoE game?
Some buildings, even for a game, are way out of scale in my opinion. The tower is laughably short. I dont really mind the smaller stables and archery range, but the tower is not even taller than most other buildings.
For readability some units look quite similar with just the weapons looking different.
The minimap is really not easy to read, for some reason berry bushes, forrests etcetera are all seperate icons? In my opinion the forrests shouldnt be special icons, just like the huntables.
The gameplay really and I mean really feels like AoE II. The landmarks dont do enough in my opinion to change or impact the feeling of the gameplay.
Building rooster is if I am not mistaken an almost complete copy of AoE II, with maybe the walltower being different. AoE III introduced new buildings, AoE II did too.
Things like sacred sites and wonders feel like they are way to easy to defend on some maps like black forrest
Its really difficult to know if your units are attacking the enemy units and not just moving into their range. I have had numerous times when it looked like I was clearly on the enemy unit pressing the button to attack, for then my units to just walk to them die all and the ones who survived were only a handful.
The landmarks are not really new to the franchise, they are comparable to the Asian Dynasties wonders. Now I like them as they give more unique bonusses to the civilizations making them more specialized, but I dont think it changes the gameplay too much or is really revolutionary.
The sheep following the scouts is a welcome addition and I like it.
The unique civilizations I like too, although the Chinese Nest of Bees feels pretty OP when massed and all teamgames I played the Chinese player massed them.
The holy sites feel a bit too odd and easy to controll for only 10 minutes. They are similar I guess to the AoE I ruins, but I feel like they are a bit out of place.
Do I think its worth €60?
I am a AoE III player, and I like for late(r) games to not have to constantly attend eco, placing new mining camps and whatnot. I like to build big armies and fight with them, so I already kind off disliked AoE II. In my opinion AoE IV plays really similar and the new mechanics do too little to change the feeling that its a new game. It feels to me like its a mechanic update for AoE II.
If it was €20-25 I would probably buy, but for what new and interessting mechanics it has to offer I personally dont think the €60 is worth it. Now if you play AoE II I personally also dont really see if paying a whole €60 euros for a few mechanics changes is worth it, but I do think AoE II players would enjoy the game if ignoring the price. (Although I wonder if AoE II players will switch to AoE IV, seeing 30+ civs compared to 8, even though those 8 are more diverse).