None of the units have a sensation that they are made of skin, fur, textiles and metals. Every units look like they are made of clay or plastic.
Why are units not using any material textures?
Here is an example of War elephant, I am taking this example first has it has a large surface area.
Examples of War elephant form previous games
Unit close up, with detailed metal textures which have taken damage over a period of time, be it stocked in the warehouse or battle damage, can see the dents, and make a sense of actual material.
It also shows the wrinkles on elephant skin.
A zoomed out view of Same unit.
AOE 1 Definitive Edition War Elephant
AOE 3 Definitive Edition War Elephant
All these units are detailed and has actual material textures. It gives a sensation that these units belong in that world.
Now here is AOE 4 War Elephant.
It looks like it is made of clay or plastic or that someone used pant bucket tool to fill the colour. There is no sensation that this unit is an actual living animal. The units also lack any battle damage, or gives any sensation of actual materials being sued to craft them.
AOE 4 Royal Cavalry
Just filled with 2D fold patterns and Shiny Grey colour Paint, doesn’t give any sensation of actual metal or Cloth, meanwhile Environment looks like they are from telletubbies with straight cartoon grass with no bends and flowers that look like they are drawn by crayons, exactly on top of a stem.
Cavalry and other human unit comparisons can be seen in this video for AOE 2 Definitive Edition
AOE 4 environment look okish, but units lack any feeling that they belong there. They all look like they are from a Pokemon Game.
Sword and Shield and Let’s Go Comparison
Sword and Shield.
The current graphics style is what makes units look like cartoon, they have no textures on them, but just 3D polygons filled with colours and 2D patterns.
Please change this and add actual material textures, This looks really bad int he current state.
This is Ancestors Legacy, made in Unreal Engine and this is not cinematic screenshot, you can actually zoom inside battle and see the action going.
Here is a video showing German units from Ancestor Legacy, just look at the details of chain mail and textiles.
AOE 4 really needs a graphics overhaul, the current game does not speak it’s AAA or of high production value. The graphics does not give any feeling that those units belong in that period of history using materials sourced from their world, instead looks like a table top game with cheap plastic figures.