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[Digital Foundry] Age of Empires 4 Tech Review


I did not see the thread so lock if old.

Age of Empires 4 brings a range of excellent new features to the franchise - and is generally a superb RTS. However, a bunch of technical problems hold this game back from being everything it can be.

Summary shameless stolen from ILikeFeet.

  • simple, low complexity graphical style
  • detail at highest settings are lower than contemporaries
  • shadow res and AO res is lower than contemporaries
  • would be good to have higher settings
  • destruction physics are in 30fps
  • material quality is good despite texture res
  • volume fog casts shadow
  • 3090 hits 100-120fps at 4K/max
  • 2060 is upper 40s at 1440p/max
  • optimized settings for 2060 at 1440p
    • geo at high
    • low AA
    • 48fps on 5700
    • 56fps on 2060
    • 60fps on 2060S
  • Navi is performing worse, patches could fix this
  • moving the camera causes crazy frame time issues, hits cpu load, developers are aware of the issue
  • loading very single threaded
  • gameplay is oriented around single threads

My personal summary from the video (deal with it):

Something happened in 2019 and the game was downgraded from what they showed in the trailers plus in several ways it is inferior graphically to Age of Empires III... yeap a game from 2005... so I'm not sure if I liked how low bar they gone with this new one.

RTS games are more about AI than graphics so even not understanding why they gone backwards with the franchise it can be fun if the controls and AI are good (something I can't get from the video).
Last edited:
Some technical issues, but I'll get it anyway. I had a blast playing the technical beta and I can't wait to get home from work and dive into it.
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