Relic Entertainment delivered Age of Empires IV as an impressive real-time strategy game last year, building upon the massively successful classic Microsoft franchise. Almost a year later, the studio is finally ready to unveil brand-new civilizations for the title, further expanding on the diverse offerings. Best of all, the new arrivals will be completely free. Watch the reveal trailer from gamescom above.
From the footage, the Malians seem to introduce spear throwers into the game, and even some spear and shield wielders as melee units. These special units may be replacing the standard Archer and Men-At-Arms that other civilizations utilize, or could be separate unit groups entirely akin to the Abbasid Empire's Camel-based military options.
Meanwhile, the Ottomans were shown to have a new type of powerful siege unit, Janissaries wielding gunpowder weapons, and a new type of horseback unit that looked to be playing drums while riding across the battlefield, possibly buffing nearby allies.
Every civilization has multiple unique aspects in Age of Empires IV, and some shots of the trailer reveal cattle raising as a new food product, a new type of mining buildings, and other faction-specific features that are incoming.
Age of Empires IV's Ottoman and Malian civilizations will arrive as a part of the free anniversary update on October 25 for owners of the game and PC Game Pass subscribers. More information on this massive update should arrive soon, possibly during the Xbox gamescom livestream on August 25.
At the same time, celebrating the civilization announcement, Microsoft and Relic have put Age of Empires IV on its deepest sale yet with a 50% off discount across Steam and the Microsoft Store. A free-to-play week offer is currently ongoing on Steam as well.