Empire Earth is what you might call an ambitious project. The final game will boast five campaigns spanning 12 epochs of history. 'Epic' is too cliched a word to describe a game that covers more than 500,000 years of human conflict; and as far as developer Stainless Steel is concerned, the words 'gruelling' and 'painstaking' are probably far closer to the truth.
Still, in our opinion you only get out of a game what you put in, and EE contains everything from Cro-Magnon man to Nazi bunkers and beyond. In other words we're talking Age Of Empires, Sudden Strike and Starcraft in one finely tuned package with more than 200 distinct units. Don't forget that all this is in full 3D, and we were shown how you can zoom down to see the colour of soldiers' eyes, or plant yourself in the cockpit of a Spitfire as it screams out of the sky. As we stood watching the demo it became apparent that Empire Earth is going to be big. The attention to detail is both spectacular and realistic, even smoke from battles slowly starts to drift across the play area making it difficult to see your enemies.
EE is another in a new breed of RTSs attempting to make use of line-of-sight routines, meaning that archers, snipers or laser weapons are much more effective from elevated places such as roofs and hilltops.
Empire Earth was showing a great deal of promise at the show, and is yet another game we'll be keeping close tabs on.
Hailed On Its release as a cross between Age Of Empires and Civ, Empire Earth was one of those games that promised so much but only delivered in part (for the recent expansion Empire Earth II: Art Of Supremacy). All of which wasn't all that surprising, as had it achieved its objective of mixing those two strategic legends in one perfect whole, we could all have happily packed up and gone home, knowing we'd played the ultimate strategy game.
What you do get, however, is an entertaining RTS game spanning 12 distinctly different historical epochs, ranging from prehistoric times to the future. The gameplay is far more akin to Age Of Empires than Civ, and in fact more often than not, Empire Earth feels like Age Of Empires, only with more epochs, a greater selection of units and less intelligent AI.
Graphically, the game has aged poorly, but if you're looking for some basic history-spanning RTS fun, then Empire Earth is still an entertaining jaunt - especially at this price.
Download Empire Earth
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Empire Earth Screenshots and Media
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