Microsoft and Relic Entertainment announced the first paid expansion for Age of Empires IV last month during Gamescom. However, other than a teaser or two, firm details on the upcoming content were not detailed, until today. The Age of Empires IV: The Sultans Ascend expansion now has a November launch date, and it will carry brand new civilizations, a fresh campaign, maps, and more
The new The Sultans Ascend single-player campaign will join the four main branches already available in the base game. This one will focus on conflicts in the Middle East during the times of the European Crusades. Starting in the 11th century, players will take the role of the Muslim resistance for eight missions:
Muslim provinces are mired in rivalry with one another. The Crusaders take advantage of this and sweep through the Levantine coast, taking major cities and capturing Jerusalem leading to their controlling most of the Holy Land. Players will fight against the Holy Orders of the Templars, Hospitallers, and Teutons, as well as their old foes, the Mongols.
Relic revealed this to be the first campaign in Age of Empires IV to offer naval battles as well, which will be featured alongside new heroes, abilities, and mechanics.
After multiple teasers, the studio also confirmed the Japanese and Byzantines as the brand-new playable civilizations hitting the real-time strategy game. Arriving as two of the most requested playable factions in multiplayer and skirmishes, Japan will feature special Shinobi units for battlefield espionage while Byzantines can go for new infrastructure buildings and hiring mercenaries.
The base game's Abbasid Dynasty, Chinese, French and Holy Roman Empire factions are also receiving "re-imagined variants" with the expansion. This will offer alternate heroes, units, and strategies to make use of in multiplayer. Lastly, 10 new maps and two new biomes — Japanese Spring and Savanna — are also included in the expansion package.
Age of Empires IV: The Sultans Ascend is now available for pre-order with a $14.99 price tag for PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. The expansion will launch on November 14.