While a great deal of the focus in a recent fan preview for the upcoming RTS Age of Empires IV was about single-player features like new campaigns and the new Delhi Sultanate civilization, there are a couple of nuggets that enter our multiplaying wheelhouse that are worth mentioning, especially for fans of competitive RTS gaming.
Multiplayer in AOE4 will grant eight players their own population cap of 200, which means that a total of 1,600 units can clash in a single match. Siege will reportedly play a big factor in the RTS, granting defensive players the opportunity to form a bulwark and create a boom economy, though aggressive play can also be rewarded thanks to a fire mechanic.
Much of the gameplay in AOE4 will be familiar to series fans, especially fans of the second game, but there are some new tweaks to the overall formula. Additions like stealth in heavily forested areas, the ability for pikemen to brace against a cavalry charge, and archer units that can create temporary fortifications are all new wrinkles to the game’s rock-paper-scissors strategy.
There’s no definitive release date for Age of Empires IV yet, but there is a launch window of sometime in the fall of this year, with a beta sometime before then. The game’s official site has some more information overall, while the full preview video is embedded below.