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Age of Empires 5: Everything We Know So Far

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The Age of Empires series has cemented itself as one of the most influential and beloved real-time strategy franchises in gaming history. First launched in 1997, the games have transported players across history, allowing them to command massive civilizations and armies throughout iconic eras like the Stone Age, Classical Period, and Middle Ages.

With the much-celebrated Definitive Edition remasters of the first three games, it’s no surprise that fans are eager for more – Age of Empires 5. While concrete details are scarce, there’s been plenty of speculation about what the next fully-fledged entry in the legendary RTS series might include.

Background on Age of Empires 5

Announcement and Early Details

Age of Empires 5 is still largely shrouded in mystery. Developer Relic Entertainment and publisher Xbox Game Studios have yet to announce a fifth mainline game officially. However, Age of Empires IV was left on a cliffhanger ending, with the narrator stating, “This is not the end. This is only the beginning…” strongly hinting that another sequel is in development.

Additionally, job listings at Relic in late 2022 specifically mentioned an unannounced Age of Empires project, further fueling rumors that it is actively in the works.

age of empires 5

Potential Setting and Time Period

Given the ongoing chronological progression of the games, fans have speculated that this may focus on the early modern period, covering expansive events like the Renaissance, colonization, and imperialism across the 15th to 18th centuries. This potential setting would allow for a blend of medieval and early gunpowder units.

Other plausible eras include the rise of the Mongol Empire or the Islamic Golden Age, expanding the scope beyond European civilizations. There are countless possibilities spanning world history that would all make for compelling Age of Empires experiences.

Possible New Gameplay Features and Mechanics

As an unannounced title, potential new gameplay features are purely speculative. Building on IV’s massive battles with hundreds of units, V may introduce large-scale tactical pausing, allowing players to command regiments and divisions to coordinate grand strategy.

Other rumors point to more RPG elements, with hero units that level up and gain experience as they lead forces across campaigns. Of course, this is all conjecture, but these features would integrate seamlessly with Age of Empires’ signature strategic gameplay.

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Expected Release Date of Age of Empires 5

Development Timeline

If Age of Empires 5 entered core production in late 2022 after IV’s launch, a 3-4-year development cycle is reasonable. Previous entries have generally been released 4-5 years apart, though Definitive Editions may have impacted that cadence.

Overall, 2024 seems potentially ambitious, given IV just launched. 2025 or 2026 seems plausible, aligning with typical RTS dev timeframes. However, Relic’s experience with the series may expedite the process.

Possible Launch Windows

Targeting 2025, a likely launch window would be Q3/Q4. Major Age games usually launch in the second half of the year. A late 2025 date would give Relic over 3 years of full development while allowing timed exclusivity on Xbox and PC.

However, if development progresses quicker than expected, Q4 2024 is also feasible. This would satisfy fan demand for the next entry while allowing Xbox to close 2024 with a massive RTS tentpole release.

Gameplay Features and Mechanics

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Gameplay Features & Speculation

Graphics and Visuals

Built-in Relic’s Essence Engine, V will likely take IV’s stunning visuals to new heights with enhanced environments, effects, and level of detail. Ray tracing support also seems probable, leveraging Xbox Series X/S hardware for immersive real-time lighting and shadows. Higher unit counts and world detail could bring battles to life like never before.

Campaigns, Story, and Single-Player

IV’s lengthy 35+ hour campaigns were celebrated for compelling narratives across diverse cultures. Expect Age V to continue that legacy with an epic historical storyline at the core. The narrator’s tease of “only the beginning” hints at an overarching plot that connects entries together, potentially unfolding over multiple games.

Multiplayer and Online Play

With multiplayer being a huge focus, V will assuredly build on IV’s foundations of ranked play, custom lobbies, and large-scale team games. New modes, quality of life improvements, and better Competitive Ranked matchmaking seem likely. Integration with Xbox Live and Steamworks will provide performance enhancements and expanded social features.

Civilizations, Units, and Buildings

V may feature Renaissance-era staples like arquebusiers, galleons, and cannons alongside earlier medieval troops, depending on the setting. A wider coverage of global cultures would introduce new architectural styles and technology trees. More asymmetric civ design and unique units could really diversify playstyles.

The Trailer

The Age of Empires 5 trailer has not been officially released yet, but I have this Age of Empires 4 trailer for you.

What We Know So Far About?

Official Announcements and News

So far, Microsoft and Relic have not officially confirmed Age of Empires 5, though job listings and the narrator tease in IV certainly imply it’s in active development. Until an announcement, concrete details are extremely limited. However, given the franchise’s popularity and IV’s success, Age V seems inevitable.

Rumors and Leaks

Gaming leaks point to 2024 or 2025 as a possible launch window based on typical RTS dev cycles. The setting and exact premise remain a mystery, though rumors suggest the early modern period is likely. Unfortunately, there are no substantive leaks or details at this time beyond speculation. Fans eagerly await official word.

Rumors and Leaks

What Fans Are Hoping to See In The 5th Series

Setting and Time Period Requests

The early modern era is a common request, with fans excited by the prospect of conquistadors, revolutionaries, and imperial armies utilizing gunpowder and seafaring gameplay. But other compelling options, like the rise of the Mongols or the Islamic Golden Age, would diverge from European-focused settings.

Gameplay and Mechanics Wishlist

Fans seem most eager for greater strategic depth, whether through tactical pausing, improved formation control, or more complex economic systems. Also high on wishlists are RPG-inspired hero units and more asymmetry between unique civs.

Quality of Life and UI Improvements

Common requests include smoother online multiplayer, better pathfinding, and enhanced control schemes for the console. Many also hope for replay and observer modes, quality-of-life changes, and a more polished UI.

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Conclusion & Summary

While concrete details are still unknown, the future looks bright for the legendary Age of Empires series. Based on job listings and the narrator tease in IV, Age of Empires 5 appears to be actively developing at Relic Entertainment, continuing the franchise’s acclaimed strategic gameplay into a new era.

The early modern period seems likely based on rumors, which would introduce gunpowder gameplay and naval warfare, combining medieval and Renaissance warfare. Epic story-driven campaigns, stunning visuals, and deep strategic multiplayer will remain cornerstones.

While fans eagerly await an official announcement, the prospect of commanding massive armies in Age V remains as exciting as ever. With the series enjoying a major resurgence lately, it’s only a matter of time until Microsoft reveals plans for the next major chapter in Age’s ongoing conquest through history. Age of Empires V will surely be an RTS milestone worth the wait whenever it emerges.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will Age of Empires 5 release?

No official release date has been announced yet, but based on typical RTS development cycles, late 2024 or 2025 seems most plausible.

What will the setting and time period be?

Rumors point to the Renaissance/early modern era in the 15th-18th centuries, though other eras, like the rise of the Mongols, remain possible.

What new gameplay features might be included?

Potential additions like tactical pausing, better formations, hero units, more complex economies, and new multiplayer modes seem feasible based on fan requests.

Will it come to Xbox consoles or just PC?

Age IV launched on both Xbox and PC, so Age V will almost certainly follow suit as a Play Anywhere Xbox title.

How will the graphics improve?

The Essence Engine will likely enable greater visual fidelity, environments, physics, unit counts, and immersive details than Age IV. Ray-tracing support seems probable.


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