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Conclusions

Goods

For anyone who likes realistic historical simulations, look no further. Taking into account things like weather, religion, trade, and even inflation. You can really see the complexity of running a Empire which also makes it that much more satisfying when you are successful.

The Game uses a semi-real time playing environment. This means that you can pause the action at any time and give troops order or survey the battlefields. This is a very useful feature because the game can get pretty crazy and you simply can't control everything at once. Of course, that is part of the challenge of running a Empire. I sure know that without it, I'd be in serious trouble (This option is not available in multiply).

When I first started playing the game, so much was going on that it was extremely difficult to keep track of. That's where features like the pause system and passage-of-time settings can help a lot. If things are happening a bit too fast just slow down the passage-of-time. Its that simple, and that's a good thing.

Bads

One area that I was disappointed with was the manual. Flipping through it revealed that it contained lots of useful information, but it was impossible to find anything on the fly because it lacked both an index and/or a table of contents. This isn't the end of the world, but it did make it an annoyance. I believe that it is possible to obtain a table of contents off the net if you look in the right places.

Another negative was actually the sheer detail and complexity of the game. If its really possible to be a bad thing. I mean the game is great because of this, but I think that Newbies could be scared away and I doubt that many causal gamers will spend enough time to learn the game. It is a real shame that this could be the games greatest point and at the same time, it's worst.

Muiltyplay

The same scenarios are used for multi-player, though the pause mode is not available since you are playing live opponents. The host sets the initial passage-of-time rate. With up to 8 human players at the same time and 4 different play modes, including Standard, Supremacy, Deathmatch, and Mission modes. It can make for some good action if you're tired of the boring old computer opponents. Humans are always a lot meaner and sometimes use strange tactics!

Review Box

The Goods:
Huge amount of detail, lots of gameplay, very realistic, pause anytime you want. Customizable alert messages.

The Bads:
Can be confusing with so much happening at once, might scare away newbies, no contents in manual. Music can get annoying.

The Final Take:
Paradox has done a great job of recreating this period of time. The attention to detail was amazing. Nothing else like it period.

Conclusion

Overall the goods in this game out way the bad things by far. If you can put up with the manual, the music and are willing to invest the time it takes to learn the game, you will really enjoy yourself. Its got some very unique features in it, with the semi-real time environment going for it and the huge amount of game play, you'll be enjoying this great game for a long time. I'm looking forward to seeing what paradox releases next.

Tyler Waterhouse
April 26, 2001

 

 





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