Empire Earth III


posted 12/5/2007 by Rachel Steiner
other articles by Rachel Steiner
Platforms: PC
What do the player get when the player cross a little bit of Civilization with real time strategy from Age of Empires? The answer my friends isn't blowing in the wind, it's Empire Earth III. There are many aspects to this game that keep me wanting to play it over and over, and maybe try and get a few friends in on the action. At the same time, it doesn't abandon its real time strategy roots. It has the ever popular skirmish mode for those who purely want to play the close up maps or a quick game but also has what is known as "World Domination" mode where players can look at the big picture and maybe live out a bit of history.

Let's start off with the basics, shall we? There are three factions to choose from that are simply named Western, Middle East, and Far East. Each of these factions has advantages to their play. The Far East has the advantage that their most basic units not only can fight but they can build as well which makes the process of taking over territories a lot easier. In order to take over a territory the player must build a city center in that territory. Every World Domination campaign starts off with taking over a single province. By double clicking on the province, the player go to a close up map and begin a series of real time strategy scenarios which include exploration and combat so that the player can get the hang of the controls.

For the first time that I have seen, the player don't just need to worry about combat. the player need to worry about diplomacy and how the player deal with the other nations in the game. the player never know when one of them may prove to be a powerful ally and that can save the player a fight in the end. Plus, they could help the player with the scientific research and advancement. This is probably one of the main points that separates this game from other real time strategy.

On the world view the player can do things such as spy on the playerr enemies, work on the aforementioned diplomacy, and even find more territories to take over. There are three diplomatic states, Neutral, Allied, and Enemies. When dealing with neutral minded opponents the player is required to do a "forced attack". When the player attack a neutral player, it will of course declare war on them so the player really need to put some thought into who the player are attacking and whether the player have the resources available to overcome them. Allies cannot attack each other but also share line of sight automatically. The nature of the alliance can also vary by using time limits, making the alliance breakable, or upholding alliances for the entire battle. the player enemies are those who the player have declared war on.

There is one more aspect of diplomacy and that involves the native tribes. By maxing out the playerr relation level with the native tribe, the tribe will then be assimilated into the playerr forces. The tribe will also give the player a portion of their resources, helping the player obtain the playerr goal a lot easier. The controls for diplomacy are easy and buttons are right on the heads up display. Also when other players send the player proposals, the button blinks alerting the player to a message.

Next there are the world events. World events are random missions and quests that only occur during the single player campaign mode known as "World Domination". When world events occur, the player have a choice whether the player will complete it or not. Upon completion there is usually a benefit or reward in the end. Some event create a chain of events. Also in the campaign mode are empire techs. These techs include spy activities, corruption, and other events that will affect the playerr enemies negatively or even give the player bonuses. They come in three types Military, Commercial, and Imperial.

All in all, the controls are pretty much the same as any real time strategy but with the added benefits of being able to look at the big picture. Instead of working on one battle, everything a player does affects what might happen in the future. One must think carefully of every action just as they would when playing a game such as Civilization, but unlike the Civilization series, the player uses their own skills in strategy and diplomacy to realize their megalomaniacal dreams of world domination.

Real time strategy taken to the next level? Inside we take a look at what happens when you combine real time strategy game play akin to Command and Conquer with gameplay from the likes of Civilization. Interested? Come on in.

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