Microsoft is going strong with its many new goodies being released in the coming months. But they are more than just strictly work-related stuff like the much-hyped Fall Creators Update for Windows 10. They also have fun in their corner as well, by announcing the latest installment of their long-running real-time strategy game series for PC. “Age of Empires,” a historically-themed strategy title set variably from Ancient times, the Medieval period, the Age of Exploration and Discovery, to the onset of Imperialism, has not seen a new version ever since 2007 with the release of the second expansion pack for the third game.

Now, a decade after, the award-winning series is back for another round.

Trailer released

Microsoft Studios, the videogame publishing arm of the computing giant, made their announcement during Gamescom 2017 in Cologne, Germany. Details made public during the event has it that “Age of Empires IV” will be developed by real-time strategy specialists Relic Entertainment. Relic is the visionary game studio behind the official “Warhammer 40,000” tactical games and the World War II-themed “Company of Heroes” series. One can therefore expect a superbly visualized and engaging gameplay experience to take the Microsoft Studios RTS cash cow to a new generation of gamers.

A trailer was also released to further hype veteran fans of the “Age of Empires” games and interested newcomers for what could be in store.

The video shows visual artwork harkening back to the previous installments of the series. It starts from a depiction of ancient Greeks in battle, to the rise of Imperial Rome, as chronicles in the original 1997 game. The next segment shows a medieval siege (likely the Crusades as in “Age of Empires II”), and then the start of the voyages of exploration and the Conquistadors in the Aztec Empire, the period of colonization in the New World, and even a sneak peek of the Japanese era of Warring States.

Spanning history

Age of Empires” was originally developed by Ensemble Studios for Microsoft in 1997, as a real-time strategy game where players guide the development of a civilization across periods of history. Playable factions range across three games from Ancient Rome, to the French led by Joan of Arc, to the Continental Army fighting the British Redcoats.

It also spawned a small mythology-based spinoff series in 2002, and an online game.

In addition to “Age of Empires IV,” Microsoft is also gearing to release a re-mastered 4K version of the first game, subtitled the “Definitive Edition” with multiplayer support and enhanced soundtrack. It will be exclusively available for Windows 10 at the Windows Store. The upcoming fourth game has no release date yet, but will also be exclusive for Windows 10.