During its prime with Age of Empires II, Microsoft’s premiere strategy series owned the Real-Time Strategy market in a share with Starcraft and Command and Conquer. Long gone are the days of GameSpy, as well as may be the days of Age of Empires as a proficient RTS. Headed to the mobile platform, produced by KLabGames, the strategy series will now seemingly eliminate logical, deep combat in favor of something else entirely.
Take note of the errors in this hype video, with frantic swinging of weapons against no threat in the back of a squad of men. Catapults which fire upon buildings that have long since fallen. Chaotic swipes against units, creating a far-and-away unrealistic combat for a series known for its strategy. We could see vast improvement over this display with units saving their strength until they make it to the front line, and archers not putting themselves in harm’s way, taking advantage of the classic arc of archers the series is known for in combat.
With the visual and mechanical changes shown in the video, following a collapsing casual PC title, the Age of Empires series is a far reach from what it once was. Given that Sid Meier’s Civilization will be making what appears to be a promising leap into space, this may be the inexcusable blow that the AoE franchise takes before it lays to rest – unless major changes take hold during the late phases of development.