Just as Age of Empires turns 25 as a franchise — and even coming to consoles — the latest entry, Age of Empires IV, is turning one, and Relic is celebrating with its biggest update yet. The free Season Three: Anniversary content update is now available on Steam, Microsoft Store, and PC Game Pass, carrying two brand-new civilizations for multiplayer, highly requested features such as cheats and taunts, ranked play for teams, a whole lot of balance changes, and more.
As previously announced, Malians and Ottomans are the first new arrivals to the real-time strategy game as multiplayer civilizations, upping the total number of choices available to 10.
Like other factions in the game, both the Ottomans and the Malians arrive with unique play styles, buildings, and units. Players will find the former civilization is best played with a focus on building a higher-grade military and overwhelming the opposition using the bonuses provided. The latter is more focused on economic benefits, and its units are better suited for hit-and-run tactics due to having lower heavy armor.
To make sure players understand the strengths and weaknesses of the two civilizations, Relic has also delivered two wave-based single-player challenges for practice against AI.
Ranked play is also not limited to 1v1 matchups anymore, with 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4, matchmaking options available for gaining a new "Team Rank" score and other bonuses. The long-time-coming feature of in-game cheats and taunts are now here too. A handy FAQ page with details on the available commands can be seen here.
Moreover, A rework of naval gameplay, waypoint markers, eight new maps, AI upgrades, a hugely upgraded caster UI, as well as hundreds of civilization specific changes have landed with this update too. Find all the details in the immensely long changelog for the Age of Empires IV Season Three: Anniversary Update here. The game's console launch is planned for sometime in 2023.
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