It’s been more than 14 years since Age of Empires III, the last full-fledged, built-from-scratch release in Microsoft’s legendary real-time strategy series. RTS, and gaming in general, has come a long way since then, and it’d be fair for fans to wonder how much is going to stay the same in Age of Empires IV.

We got the chance to ask creative director Adam Isgreen about exactly that at X019 yesterday. When it comes to Age of Empires IV civilisations, it sounds like we can expect a mix of the familiar and the radical – the English will feel familiar to the Britons from Age of Empires II, while the Mongols will be very different, with Isgreen implying that Age’s traditional “unique units and differences in tech” might be among the systems revised.

We probed further on such points as resources and progressing through different ages in time. “We deviate a little, but we really love the model from Age II,” Isgreen says. “So yes, there are four resources [in Age IV], and all the civilisations use them – but do they use them in the same way? Do they use them in the same order? Hmm, don’t know. You’ll have to find out.”

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