The Graphic Will be a very divisive argument for this game

This Is a preview from beta wrote by the main italian PC gaming magazine:

"However, where Age of Empires IV suffers compared to the second chapter, and in particular compared to the Definitive Edition released in 2019, is in the aesthetic sector. If the glance is not too bad (but also, it must be said, not at the level of what we have come to expect from Relic) the comparison with the high definition sprites of the predecessor is definitely merciless.


Among other things, this has implications that go beyond simple aesthetic taste: in terms of visual clarity Age of Empires IV does not shine particularly, some animations are not convincing and it is not always easy to understand when our units are giving themselves. to do; particularly bad the thing with regard to most of the siege weapons, whose bullets are often difficult to see, much better infantry instead. The interface is also characterized by ups and downs: it is not particularly striking in terms of design, but it integrates some very useful elements such as the indicator of how many resources per minute we are accumulating or the accurate representation of the damage bonuses of each unit (the spearmen , for example, they have a very rich +16 against cavalry units).

“One thing, on the other hand, has remained unchanged in all these years, and it is the absolute mediocrity of the battles on the seas, although here too Relic Entertainment and World’s Edge have tried to slightly renew the formula.”

Personally i pretty agree with this guy and i have read many comments about that on every community.

I like terrains but i have to Admit that i found the game not good readable also with a mediocre graphic.

Units, Buildings, and the water have low textures but this game Is not readable for me in the same way of AOE3de or AOE2de done.

I’m sure Aoe4 Will have its fans and It Will be well reviewed by media but i think the graphic aspects Will divide the community.


I am on the other side of the fence.
The single player community was never really part of the community anyways in terms of interacting, they play the game, got fun and that’s it.
The multiplayer community cares mostly about many other things but not graphics.
And I am not sure if everyone else played a different game, since I actually like the graphics.


Unfortunately it’s the most important parte of whole AOE base. Most of people play campaigns, Co-op and skirmish


Another One

"When these units meet on the battlefield, it’s time to party like it’s 1999. You’re still limited to 200 population, split as you like between civilians and soldiers. Units are trained one at a time, with the exception of one late-game building for the HRE that can build five. This scale felt epic and compelling when I was a kid playing on a Pentium, but after decades of Total War, these battles often feel more like skirmishes…The graphics are definitely nice, but they’re not going to drop any jaws in this day and age – especially the unit models, which are just plainly underwhelming

And about PC Gamer, this articles shows how Company of Heroes 3 replaced Aoe4 as the most awaited RTS. So, something gone wrong.

“Company of Heroes 3 is coming to wake up the RTS genre | PC Gamer” Company of Heroes 3 is coming to wake up the RTS genre | PC Gamer

Probably part of community had have too much expectations in term of evolutions, graphic upgrade and more.

We’ll see.


Until graphics start influencing balance, and in the case of aoe4, this is the case.

It has already been said, the AoE4 returns in search of growing as a multiplayer and becoming an Esports. Everything will be more focused on playability and “ease” so that it seduces the largest number of players.


And this choice Will probably sign its destiny, in my opinion. The most of players (casual players) Will probably Lost their interest due the lack of immersion, graphic and more.

I’m waiting to buy. I wanna know the Road Map of future DLC


The future will clear all our doubts, I will always focus optimism and I hope everything turns out well for the good future of a great game like this. All opinions are valuable, I hope that the roadmap you hope will be fruitful.

Absolutely yes. Agree with you.

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This article lost me with this sentence.

Total War’s goal is to portray epic and cinematographic battles between vast armies. AoE doesn’t want to do that.

The graphics need to be in line with the gameplay.

Imagine playing Total War or company of heroes without the banners/icons that identify the units. It would be impossible to know what’s happening. The pace is different in those games, the controls (squad-based vs each unit controlled individually) as well, just to mention some examples of how those games are different.

Art style, population cap etc. are not things that you choose in a vacuum. These aspects need to be in harmony with the rest of the game.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better, more realistic isn’t necessarily better.

I strongly believe that if AoE4 had the exact graphics of Total War and a higher population cap, while maintaining the quirks the define the AoE series, it would be a terrible game.

It’s ok to dislike the art style, and/or to think it’s poorly executed, but saying “total war has realistic graphics, AoE must do the same” is an oversimplification that shows one doesn’t really understand what those games are trying to achieve.

Take Zelda Breath of the Wild for example. It’s considered by many people (including myself, and I’m not really a fan of Zelda) the best open world game ever made. Its graphics are not cutting-edge, nor realistic. They can be called “cartoony”, just like AoE4’s, but they suit the game and are beautiful in their own way (subjective opinion, of course).

I don’t see many people saying “GTA 5 is so much better because it’s more realistic”, or “Skyrim had better graphics in 2011, how can breath of the wild have these ugly Disney graphics in 2017”.


We are not asking for a Total War graphic but After played this beta people seen with their eyes what many people were saying about graphic: a mediocre graphic for the next RTS of the most famous RTS Saga.

And the lack of details didn’t help with readability for many players (including me): too much colours on units, Horrible UI and Plastic weapons and Horrible textures.

And this Is the fact: when developers block the “zoom in” (during the closed beta you were able to zoom very close, in similar way to AOE3de and Coh) It means they wanna prevent other graphic criticisms and meme.


Sure, but the impression I get in this forum is that the majority of the people that dislike the graphics wanted something more realistic. Total War, Company of Heroes, Ancestors Legacy are all examples of “how AoE4 should look like” that are frequently invoked here (all squad based games, by the way).

I believe this is not related to the lack of detail in general, but rather to the bad design of some unit models. Yes, there is too much player colour. The Rus cavalry archer, for example, is atrocious, it’s almost completely covered in player colour. However, most units are fine, imo.

While I don’t believe that was the reason, I do agree it was very weird. It didn’t prevent anyone from looking closely to the models, though. It was easy to see a unit/building up close by putting them on top of a hill.


Also, I have seen many people (Jimmy included) talk about how readable Company of Heroes 3 looks(promotional pictures without the banners) If you can read CoH3 and not AoE4, somethings not adding up.


I Always compared AOE4 to other Spellforce3 and AOE3de: no flags on units.

I Know i have to play in this mode to see some battles more close.

About readability:

This Is my video (4k, maximum setting on rtx 3080: minutes 2:44. I really don’t understand what units i’m moving on. To much confusion for me due the lack of details.

Spellforce3 and AOE3de are much more readable for me with superior textures and details

All videos made by me. See on 4k resolution.


I think It’s very subjective aspect.

Actualy, players do want total war realist art, but befor that, players want a basic working game, even it is only cubes. XD

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Um, where do you get that assumption from?

Easy, i will ask you one easy question:

If it was possible, would you play aoe 4 whit Pixel units or Ultra realistic units.

  • Pixel units
  • Ultra realistic units

0 voters


I would play aoe4 with any kind of unit as long as it feels like an aoe game and the units fit the atmosphere of that aoe game. With aoe4 it does fit into the game’s atmosphere and used graphical style. I don’t see any problems there.

In regard to critics, most I have read about (still) not enough zoom and not so much about the graphics quality. I don’t think more zoom out would make it better btw. Yes, a few guys here post a lot about graphics, but that’s a rather small but persistent audience. And they are entitled to do so.

I really had my issues with zoom too on 4K 17" which made me wish it’s zoom level and so viewpoint would be a bit variable floating and at least following the elevation on the map to keep the perspective. But I also understand it could be too much on low end systems and also cause tearing if frame rate drops and would made units in distance from that perspective even smaller and harder to fine control and select without moving and zooming over there again.

I think in this case with this engine the developers had to made some tough decisions. So probably they decided to apply isometric 3D flat centered zoom principle on a orthographic 3D environment, although you can pan and tilt the camera viewpoint, in order to keep performance on par with expectations (and for e-Sports of course).

Normally you would expect that in orthographic 3D the zoom and map movement the camera position and viewpoint would move round about the elevation in the orthographic 3D environment between a floating maximum and minimum level.

And they said they have tried something new with this engine.

Although like Adam said you can play like this and I did get used to it after a while, I still have certain doubts about that flat ‘punch that hill or elevation in your face’ isometric 3D zoom. And it’s not even smart like in the default Windows image viewer. A really good and smart zoom and bit floating camera movement functionality does contribute to less graphics rendering, if you have to zoom in and out a lot all the time at different places on the map that does suffer the graphics quality and playability in general too.

To float or not to float, re-render or not to re-render, that the question here in regard to performance.

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Relic ignored its player base in regards to the graphics with Dawn of War 3 and that was a huge failure. The graphics in AOE 4 look similar to Dawn of War 3 (not very good). A cartoony looking art style can look good if done right so its not just the art style here. The Animations, the clarity of everything is just not there. This made AOE 4 go from instant buy for me to wait and see.

I would honestly rather play Age of Empires 2 DE over this. The only saving grace personally is that the UI is actually quite good in AOE 4 with lots of quality of life things added such as being able to shift click on Mills to auto build farms.