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.
It is kind of insane to think that the original Empire Earth was released all the way back in 2001. This is a game that was a huge deal back in the day and even now the series is still very popular with RTS fans. Let’s go back in time and have a look at the original game in the series and see just how well it holds up.
500,000 Years Of History
While it may not sound like a huge deal now the fact that the original Empire Earth covered a span of half a million years was just incredible. The game has you starting out in the prehistoric times and making your way to what the game calls the nano age which is the somewhat near future.
As you would expect, each of the different “ages” that you progress through will bring with it different changes. These are things like technology, weapons, culture and so on. It makes going from each age a rather different experience and sometimes you have to change your tactics in order to “change with the times” which is quite interesting. Ages such as the bronze age, the industrial age and world war II are eras you will be playing through.
How Do I Conquer?
Of course, a huge appeal of a game like Empire Earth is not just “surviving” it is making your civilization the best there can be and imposing your will on the rest of the world. There are over 20 civilizations in the game and each one will require some fine dealing to get the best out of them or to just make them fear you.
You will have to gather resources; have a good supply of citizens and you will have to of course manage your armies so that when war comes (and it will) you are ready. The combat in this first game can take a while to get used to and having “heroes” who can do things like demoralize your opponents or boost your attack does add an extra element of strategy to things. One of the best things about a game like this is that the way you go about world domination may be different from the way I do.
Five For The Price Of One!
One thing that is quite remarkable about this first Empire Earth game is the campaign. Actually, I should say campaigns as there are five different ones to play through. The learning campaign is a fun and an interesting (and also very useful) way to teach you the basics of the game, but with a story. There are also Greek, English, German and Russian campaigns for you to play through. Each one has its own story and from what I understand some of these are pretty historically authentic which is pretty cool.
It may look rather tame by today's standards, but this first Empire Earth game is a still a very solid RTS game. I feel that this one has the perfect amount of depth to it. While it does have a learning curve, I do feel that it is far more accessible than its sequel. If you like RTS games, I do feel that this one here is not just a great throwback to classic RTS games, but even by today's standard, it is a good game.
- For its time it was very grand in its scale
- Five different campaigns to enjoy
- Play through over 500,000 years of human history
- Go from the stone age to the nano age
- Plenty of ways to go about playing the game
- Not as in-depth as an RTS game from the last few years
- It does have a bit of a learning curve
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.
Processor: PC compatible,
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode
Empire Earth Screenshots
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