Played it now for a few weeks and here's my review:
Price: 60 euro's. In my view not worth it. I think the price was placed that high for the simple reason to push people onto gamepass. There is no other reasoning why.
Single player campaign:
The single player campaign is well crafted, the video's are well done its like watching a documentary but with interactive gameplay its kinda interesting however in didn't spend much time on it as multiplayer is my main solution so can't really say much about it and will move on as result.
It's a mess, the game is riddled with exploits, from infinity resources, to map visible entirely for some players, walking through walls, some units not having upgrades or get lower stats while upgrading towards civs being completely useless.
After endless complaining and no communications from the team, they pushed out a patch 3 weeks or so after release a tiny patch that would solve a mongol rush solution, which absolutely destroyed the multiplayer game. But its just 1 of many issue's the game has.
They did nothing else in this patch other then that, which was after 3 weeks and tons of bugs from wall clipping ( people just walk through walls ), resource exploits, to straight up map exploits and so much more.
With no communication from developers like at all ( absolute worst interaction with the playerbase ) they decided to make a simple picture with 4 things they would do with support for the game in the upcoming year with the first thing on it 100+ fixes in the winter, no date specifically.
As the game was gaining massive traction from RTS players as everybody wants a new RTS after so long that is competitive, and the game is in a unplayable state already for weeks this was kinda the breaking point and it broke most RTS fans completely to dump the game after the announcement. The game should have launched in playable stage on release date, and now with this patch with no information taking even more longer without a date = people deserting the game.
The devs got a bit worried after they saw there playerbase tank, because they suddently saw a huge drop in there playerbase with endless people shitting on the game in there discord so they labeled the patch to be done the week after there announcement which for most players was already to long, because lets be honest here. if a exploit is found it needs to be fixed the same day or the day after and progress needs to be reset, but devs rather tell you the exploit exists and let u sit on it for months.
So again to long people bailed yet again and devs started to drop some fixes that people wanted to see which put the game on life support.
1 week later, the patch drops and to nobody's surprise. It basically did nothing but kill the game even more.
China which was weak in the early game, but strong in the late game now became practically the best in every area ( nice balance ).
Horses of france are kinda useless now, only strong point its shit now.
Dehli elephant civ, completely pointless to even play. they nuked the weakest civ in the game for absolute no reason at all to such ridicilous degree's, its unplayable.
Ram push which was the most annoying thing in the game, got even buffed.
And the list goes on and on and on with changes like this.
Then for the exploits
they fixed nothing. People are simple destroying whatever building they builded and rebuild it straight away to get 130% resources back which results in shit like this
Basically guy named sweet, just deletes and rebuilds endlessly to get 1k resources for free every time he does it.
But it doesn't stop there, new bugs are introduced that are even more worse then this, spearmen with basically map wide range. U target whatever on the map and it gets hit and dies as it has infinity range.
Shit goes on and on as even the simplest thing to give leavers some punishment early or that people that dodge maps because they don't favor there civ is something alien towards these devs which results in endless leavers in games.
Officially they don't really have leaderbords, they just have something in place right now that temporary ( because the game simple isn't done and probably never will be ). whenever the real thing is going to launch in the game nobody knows, and frankly i don't think people at this point care anymore anyway.
It runs smooth for me so no complains there, however cpu taxation is on par with early 2000 games. It clearly feels like a game built on a engine that came out of the single core period but just gets brute forced to higher performance because of faster hardware these days.
If you don't play it at 4k something many MS games seem to have these days, the game is riddled with grass shimmering, the filtering doesn't remove it. once u notice it on the grass u can't unsee it. its visually simple below par on what u would expect for a 60 buck game. Not much time was spend on this department. Also no technology's like RT and DLSS something MS also seems to have problems with adapting for a game like this simple, showcases how ancient the game engine really is and honestly MS with forza 5 / halo infinity / and now age of empire not supporting any of it, feels like they are behind the curve in the PC market.
Frankly the writing was on the wall with this game.
- to expensive to push gamepass subs
- terrible developer that has no clue what he's doing
- game engine comes out of the year 2000
- basic features are missing that RTS needs
- Online heavily flawed.
- Spended way to much resources on campaign, which isn't what this game is going to be played for or is going to keep this game alive mulitplayer is.
U can still have some fun if you turn your brain off. And your team allows you to play the game for longer then 10 seconds before they leave, disconnect or kill you with exploits.
Microsoft fucked up