Two graphs tell you why AoE4 is lacking texture

You can wait for whatever you want, your opinion on Age IV is pretty well documented at this point :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I was giving an explanation as to why Definitive might have more polish compared to a brand-new release like Age IV, as well as defending my choice to raise actual screenshots of AoE II (as supposed to Definitive). You’re welcome to ignore it, if that’s what you want to do.

The number of tiles textured has nothing to do with the quality of the building. I didn’t realise my parent’s house is less realistic than mine because I have more roof shingles than they do :rofl:

(you’re also not comparing the same buildings - look at the building up on the left in the Age IV screenshot. It’s blurry, because the screenshot isn’t doing a good job at showing the detail, but it’s a lot more similar to the Age II: Definitive sprite below it)

Some buildings, like military production with racks/archery/stables, would really benefit from having this unnecessary sidethings like 2 miniscule shrinked towers in the front of the barracks deleted for a bigger main building and assets.

Right now the relation of building and unitsizes is absolutely not given.
Especially production buildings look way too tiny.
Deleting some stuff like the buildings frontyard for the sake of a better more pronounced main building would adress that so well.

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OP was analysing the tiled roof. It again, looks like not having any shadow/bump-mapping being applied to it. That is an issue elsewhere as well in AOE4, leading to that plastic look everything has.
That has nothing to do with art direction. They clearly wanted to show a tiled roof and failed at applying the proper techniques (or missed it or its bugged).

The quality of the screenshots may be bad, but that has nothing to do with that issue.

It’s not a fair comparison. repeating myself: DE’s art was made for current resolutions, HD/TC/AOK’s art was not. Comparing the both is a quite obvious bias for AOE4.

OP, you meant the tile count? Wtf…

I don’t think you’re understanding what the OP sees as the problem. I’m not saying you can’t see different problems, right? You’re allowed to find the roof subpar for whatever reason you want. But the OP a) is talking about the number of roof tiles, which seems a bit weird, and b) comparing two very different buildings that have different roofing styles.

Of course it does. People will look at it and think “that looks bad” instead of “the screenshot is the thing that’s subpar”.

If the texture is actually poor, then that’s something that could be improved (could / should / whatever). However if the texture isn’t poor, and it actually looks better than the screenshot suggests, then the screenshot is misleading. Which isn’t fair on Age IV.

Well, yes. Comparing AoE II to AoE IV is going to make AoE II look bad, and that’s unfair on AoE II. We agree!

So why can’t we agree that using selectively-edited screenshots to claim “Age II looks better than Age IV” is also being unfair, but this time it’s unfair to Age IV?

There are ways to criticise the art, or give an opinion on why you don’t like it, without using badly-cropped images that don’t even compare the same kind of building.

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This what you get comparing two different engines and used technology to fake 3D.

Some people just don’t understand the difference between using dynamic animated sprites and full in-game rendered orthographic 3D.

The sample image that you used here might be generated by their new low spec renderer, which is an amazing job to especially develop already anyway - real-time rendering on low spec hardware.

It didn’t look like this at all on my RTX3000 mobile GPU.

Post the screenshot to prove it, please.

As a customer, I only care about how good the end product is. It’s up to the company making a product to choose the technology that allows them to make the best end product.

If a car manufacturer released a car that is just like an existing 50mpg car, except theirs only does 10mpg, and they said it’s because they used different tech to make it, and I can’t expect that tech to be as fuel efficient as another tech, I wouldn’t say “oh, okay, that’s fine then, I’ll buy your 10mpg car”, I’d just think they were idiots for making an inferior end product.

Having said that, I hope that someone will soon be able to post a better AoE 4 screenshot for a fairer comparison, as I do think the image in the OP is not a fair comparison.

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Like I said, if somebody prefers the resulting look and style of the sprite-based graphics, that’s entirely their choice. Nothing wrong with that.

The visual clarity of buildings and units in AOE2de is just from another planet. So sharp and clean, we can never confuse them with any other. We can recognize and tell them apart in a second. Look at those fruits and baskets. Damn. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I expect nothing more. It’s perfect.


I agree. I was arguing over OPs head since I was not clear what his point was. For my argument, the screenshot quality didn’t make a difference.
As we know now, he referred to the number of tiles (== the texture used)… kinda pointless without better screenshots and info about the ingame graphics settings…and even then its comparing sprites with a texture, so meh…


It’s not that we don’t understand, it’s that we understand the excuse has not been relevant for ~25 years.

If you were going to explain why Tomb Raider’s 3d models aren’t going to look as nice as Duke Nukem’s sprites then we could get behind you. The problem is that we have 12 year old 3D RTS games that could beat AoE2:DE, let alone newer ones.


wow it’s cool.what’s that?

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Want to know as well

Anno 1404 (2009). If you really want to get your mind blown check out Anno 1800 though since it’s the latest one

is that a screenshot of anno?

i get it. i also like more aoe2 “buildings”.

but compare aoe2 SPRITES IMAGES to 3D models of aoe4 is just plain dumb and ignorant.

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You don’t get it, this is just not a texture things, it’s also model thing, this spirte from aoe is generated from high poly count model - that’s why you can see each indivdual tile and why there is so many of them. You can’t do the same thing with just a texture - normal maps or tesselation won’t really reproduce this the same way.

Since we’re comparing, AoE III:DE:


Yeah well, not exactly. But see the Anno or AOE3 screenshots here. Or plenty other 3D games of the era. They for sure get closer to representing “the real thing” when it comes to the materials.


I’ve just taken a couple of screenshots from Forza Horizon 4, which isn’t even current tech, FH5 looks quite a bit better.

The first one shows a huge number of buildings in a distant view, the second shows what those buildings look like close up. It runs at around 180+ fps on my PC.

Edit: note that the forum software has re-compressed these, they’re quite a bit clearer and sharper in the images I uploaded.