Game Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition – A Disappointing Port for Xbox


Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition has recently been released for Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X, promising an exciting strategy game experience. As a fan of the Age of Empires franchise, I was eager to give it a try. However, after spending some time with the game, I can’t help but feel disappointed. In this review, I will share my thoughts and insights on Age of Empires IV for Xbox, highlighting its shortcomings and why it fails to live up to its predecessors.

Gameplay and Features

Age of Empires IV, developed by Relic Entertainment, attempts to capture the essence of the beloved Age of Empires II while introducing new elements. Unfortunately, the game falls short in terms of depth and complexity. The gameplay feels painfully simplistic, lacking the strategic depth that fans of the franchise have come to expect.

One of the major downsides of Age of Empires IV on Xbox is the limited control scheme. While the developers have made commendable efforts to adapt the game to a controller, it still feels clunky and confusing. The console version also suffers from a reduced number of features, such as the removal of the scenario editor, limiting the potential for creativity and replayability.

Visuals and Art Style

Visually, Age of Empires IV is a letdown compared to its predecessors. The game features polygonal graphics that lack the excitement and charm of the sprite-based counterparts. While each civilization does have some visual distinction, the overall aesthetics fail to impress. Age of Empires III, with its stunning visuals, remains the superior choice in terms of graphical appeal.

Sound and Voice Acting

In terms of sound, Age of Empires IV shows some improvement over its console port predecessor, Age of Empires II. The voice acting sounds more professional, and the sound mixing has been fixed. However, the soundtrack lacks the excitement and impact of previous games in the series. Overall, while the audio aspects of the game are decent, they fail to make up for the gameplay and visual shortcomings.

Replayability and Variety

Age of Empires IV offers limited replayability and variety compared to its predecessors. The game features smaller maps and fewer civilizations to play as, reducing the overall depth and customization options. The main addition to promote replayability is the selection of landmarks when advancing through ages. However, this feature fails to bring significant changes to gameplay, and the civilizations still feel similar to each other, with little variation in units and strategies.

Comparison to Previous Age of Empires Games

When comparing Age of Empires IV to its predecessors, it becomes clear that it falls short in several aspects. Age of Empires II and III offered immense levels of fun, customization, and depth, which are lacking in the fourth installment. The game feels like a step back rather than an evolution of the franchise. Whether played on a computer or on an Xbox, Age of Empires IV fails to capture the magic and excitement of its predecessors.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition for Xbox is a disappointing port that fails to live up to the expectations set by its predecessors. The gameplay lacks depth and complexity, the visuals are underwhelming, and the limited control scheme on a console adds unnecessary complexity. While there are some improvements in sound and voice acting, they are not enough to compensate for the overall shortcomings of the game.

If you are looking for a strategy game on Xbox, I highly recommend sticking to Age of Empires II rather than investing time and money into Age of Empires IV. The earlier installment offers a more exciting and engaging experience, with a wealth of content and customization options.


  • Graphics: 6.5/10
  • Gameplay: 7.0/10
  • Sound: 8.5/10
  • Fun Factor: 6.0/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition is available now on Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC.

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