Rich in story, Empires is much greater than
the sum of it's parts when it comes to the overall title. At first my opinion
was that it'll just be Age of Empires but with a new name and then when it got
down to the nitty gritty and we were in the title proper, it struck me that
this particular game has one riveting quality that many of them out there
don't: a good story.
Stepping back a bit from the set tradition
of encompassing as much time and history as possible within the one game,
Empires focuses on specific events that shaped the world as we know it and
allow you to play through them. There are three main focus points that allow
you to play as either the English, Korean or Americans and it's from
that viewpoint that we get to experience the gameworld.
Play involves major and minor missions and
puzzles. For the most part the experienced gamer should be able to figure out
most of them, others might need a bit more time. With the ease at which one
can pick up this game, that does not present a problem and all comers to the
title should be up and running quickly and easily.
One of the first things after getting up
and running you will notice is that this game looks good. Damn good. Stunning
3D landscapes and spectacular cinematics truly make it stand out and above the
current crop of RTS games that have inundated us. All manner of detail has
been incorporated, including real time lighting effects and lavishly detailed
environments. If any further proof was needed, just check out the gorgeous
screens to the left!
The feel of the game is very open ended as
opposed to other titles in the same genre. There will be periods where there
is a sensation of free falling as you will play for a considerable amount of
time without a primary objective making itself known. Then when the action
occurs, and occur it will, everything moves up a notch and you will find
yourself in the middle of some very gripping gameplay indeed.