Please reconsider the campaigns in AOE4

Hello everyone :slight_smile:

The campaigns in AOE4 are met with divided opinions in the Age of Empires community and beyond. The history documentary style is not gripping enough and rather boring for many players. On the other hand, the style of the campaigns from AOE2 is considered very positive by most.

The current campaign style also slows down the creation of campaigns, because elaborate documentation always has to be created. It would be better to make the campaigns like in AOE2 and create campaigns faster for the existing civilizations that don’t have campaigns yet and for future civilizations.

The money for the film crew would be better invested in more developer resources.

If the campaigns are more gripping like in AOE2, more players will stay loyal to the game longer and be active in multiplayer. This has a positive effect on the community. By the way, this was also a point from the Gamestar article “Is AOE4 dying?”.

It is not too late to change the way of campaigns. The previous campaigns can stay as they are. But I think AOE4 would benefit from making campaigns more like in AOE2 in the future.

Kind regards


I agree. Coming from AOE II and III, I found the campaigns of IV to be very stale. Both in the story telling and level design. There were no levels that allowed you to be creative in building a city and army from scratch; you were always handed them to begin with. The reason for this I assume being to tie in with the realistic documentary approach.

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I personally don’t want to go back to AoE II’s rather straightforward campaigns (especially compared to the RTS space as a whole). Campaigns are where RTS games can really innovate (compared to MP), and even then I thin Age IV played it pretty safe.

Even in the earliest version (aok) the campaigns, with only 50 pops, very historically inaccurate, and usually considered as less interesting than later ones, you have several scenarios where you face 6-7 different factions and you can choose several different paths of winning, like allying with some of them by completing some distinct missions.
So I’m not sure what you mean by “straightforward”.


I’m on the oposite side on this.

I got into the Aoe4 following a generalist streamer playing the campaign and the documentaries sealed the deal.

Plus i have a preety good hunch that the “very positive” rank on steam is mostly for the single player campaign and documentaries rather that multyplayer. I might be wrong but comentaries there seem to go in this direction.

Considering that everybody has a different threshold for these kinds of things, it should be clear that it’s my opinion. AoE II campaign design is rooted in RTS design decisions of decades past. This doesn’t make it bad, just not what I’m looking for anymore.

Whether you like it or not is personal.
Whether it is “straightforward” is directly comparable because it is not a personal preference but a direct statement.

straightforward: uncomplicated and easy to do or understand

I wonder which part of aoe2 campaign you find uncomplicated or easier to do or understand compared to aoe4.
Even if your threshold is 2 and my threshold is 4 that does not change the fact that 3>1.

It’s straightforward in my opinion. I guess you have a problem with me expressing criticism of the holy AoE II, but I don’t really care, so you do you.

You mistyped “fact” when it should be “opinion”. You trying to guess what thresholds people have for considering an RTS campaign “straightforward” is a subjective measure, not objective fact. Peace :slight_smile:

3>1 is a personal opinion —-@GorbMort, 2022

Okay you consider your “straightforward” as a criticism. So where is your criticism on aoe2 campaigns being more “ uncomplicated and easy to do or understand” compared to aoe4?

BTW I did not say “straightforward” is a criticism because whether you like being “straightforward” is a pErSoNaL oPiNioN. But it seems you think so. So would you mind expanding on that a little more?

Fun fact: as an aoe3 player I confront more “holy aoe2” players than you do in your entire life XD. Stop pretending there is only one malicious group that dislikes some aspect of your holy aoe4.
The reason I cannot agree aoe2 campaign is more straightforward than aoe4 is because it is not. It’s not because I am an evil aoe2 fan that tries to undermine your holy game.
Here are my reasons:

  • AOE2 campaigns typically have more factions and more choices. AOE4 campaigns are mostly linear.
  • There are some more creative campaign designs in other games but none of them exist in aoe2 or aoe4.

In that sense I cannot see which part of aoe2 campign is more straightforward than aoe4.
Disclaimer #2 in case you went berserk again: whether you like being “straightforward” is a pErSoNaL oPiNioN. I’m not talking about which one is worse but which is more “uncomplicated and easier to understand”.

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AOE4’s campaign tries to make the player play as what really happened historically. Therefore, it locks the player and freedom of play and would cause more accurate events.

AOE2’s campaign gave players almost full freedom to do anything he wants and that caused inappropriate events that never happened, therefore players would not learn anything about history.

I don’t think any of these approaches are bad, they both offer advantages and disadvantages.
If you play, FPS campaigns, it is scripted mostly, and that results in better storytelling.

AOE2’s campaign was very similar to custom games, but AOE4’s campaign is a proper campaign that tried to deliver historical battles.

Extra: Some parts of the AOE4 campaign like the Great Wall are completely wrong and historically inaccurate.

To me, this is even worse than fanciful stories like the ones featured in AOE2, because the narrator is telling you like it did actually happen, as she has already established a sense of factual authority on the topic.

We know when someone tells a story, they might embellish, forget about, or even lie about some aspects of the story. However, a documentary narrator is expected to get it all completely right, or else they violate the audience’s own trust.

I do agree that future campaigns should not be impeded by lengthy documentary content. (though I do like the current campaign content)
Just giving us new civs and scenarios with maybe a hint of voice acting should be fine.