Fires rage around you as lives crumble in the wake of your army’s unrelenting assault. Your foe surrenders at last. There’s rejoicing among the soldiers, but you pause and wonder why. Does raiding a small village and defeating a few peasants count as a victory worthy of pride? Age of Empires 4 is a video game before anything else, so regardless of how you feel about the events you control, this triumph ticks an objective box and earns experience.
It’s also a new kind of real-time strategy game, one that treats its history with more care and is intent on immersing you in it….