God Games, the megalomania simulator where your every whim is enacted by the most loyal virtual simulations, it is easy to see why they are popular, However, the most prolific games usually get you to recreate a previous successful civilisation’s exploits, but what if you led a tribe entirely from the ground up based entirely on your design/play-style? For their third outing, Mad Doc Software decided to revamp their previous efforts and ask the player just that, in 2007’s Empire Earth III.
One of Empire Earth III’s unique selling points, unlike most other Historical R.T.S. on the market. The player doesn’t start off with a default civilization. Sure, there are certain designs that evoke famous units like the Celtic pikeman for instance. But they aren’t limited just to one civilization like in other games, but forms generic factions like the west, for those units to become playable. Empire Earth even supposes what the unplanned future of your civ look like, with genetically engineered mutations, and inconceivable buildings.
The game controls quite similarly to other R.T.S. games on the market you have a city centre, where you can train settlers and expand. The units do retain a unique personality and while playing as the “west”, my units had a very distinct Welsh accent along with the penchant to make spear related puns and jokes. Not since Peter Molyneux’s Black and White have I encountered a R.T.S. with such a sense of character and charisma.
The campaign skirmishes themselves usually have two tribes. That the player is free to befriend or demolish as they see fit. To befriend, the play can give tributes or preform micro-quests. For instance, rescue one tribe princess from a band of barbarians. These quests add a little spice to the classic, “find lose the enemies settlement and let loose the dogs of war” but for the player who just wants that, there is an option to set up your own scenario in the menu. The campaign map is a globe almost identical to our own. Except it is divided into regions, you can assign them specialties. You also do the usual strategic stuff, conduct diplomacy, evolve your tech, along with creating spies and legions to impose your will. This will seem similar to fans of the Rise Of Nations series, but it’s your own civilization, your empire, your decision.
Empire Earth joins a long line of addictive Historical R.T.S. to allow the player to live out their wildest imperialistic desires. But by marrying tried and tested R.T.S. conflict, with the concept of the player shaping the culture and destiny of their tribe, and some nice touches in terms of comedic flair and the overall presentation, Empire Earth III is certainly a game that stands the test of time.
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