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E3 2021: Microsoft confirms Age of Empires IV release date; here's what fans can expect

E3 2021: The once-popular real-time strategy game of the late 1990s is now aiming to make a comeback with the arrival of Age of Empires 4 in October this year – here's all you need to know.

E3 2021: Microsoft's poster for its upcoming Age of Empires IV game for PC.  E3 2021: Microsoft's poster for its upcoming Age of Empires IV game for PC. 
E3 2021: Microsoft's poster for its upcoming Age of Empires IV game for PC.  (Microsoft/Relic Entertainment)

E3 2021, the world’s most popular annual gaming technology and trade event, has been packed with exciting announcements from game developers that are bringing exciting new titles and releases in the coming months – or even next year. After companies like Nintendo and Ubisoft, Microsoft on Sunday announced that it would begin shipping the much-awaited Age of Empires IV game later this year.

At the company’s Xbox event at E3 2021 on Sunday, Microsoft announced that Age of Empires IV is coming to PCs as well as the company’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service on October 28 this year, according to a report by VentureBeat. The game has received several upgrades over the past versions of the game, especially in the graphics department, according to the company’s trailer for the latest instalment of the popular strategy game.

Unlike the previous games that were released by Microsoft under its now-defunct Ensemble Studios, the new game has been created by Relic Entertainment, the report states. The game has been in development for over four years now. The once-popular real-time strategy game of the late 1990s is now aiming to make a comeback with the arrival of Age of Empires 4 in October this year.

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Just like the previous versions of the game featured historical battle and army units from various regions, Microsoft Age of Empires IV will also feature the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongols of China, the Normans in England —  plus Joan of Arc and William the Conqueror campaigns.

Microsoft also plans to update its older titles, the “Definitive Editions” of games like Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III will get new expansions and features in the coming months. These older, real-time strategy will also give gamers the ability to participate in cooperative (coop) play when they receive their updates later this year, according to the report.

However, if you’re a console player and lack the requisite gaming hardware on your computer, it looks like you might be waiting for a while – there’s no word on when Microsoft will bring Age of Empires IV to the Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or the Xbox Series S. The game hasn’t traditionally been one that is easy to play with a controller, so it looks like PC users will have the upper hand for now.

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