Weve had a
chance to play the beta of Sierra & Stainless Steels Empire Earth and
decided a report was in order, so here goes. Empire Earth is a RTS that
covers Prehistory to the Nano Age of the 22nd Century. Commanding
history's best known civilizations, youll colonize or conquer
surrounding territories and establish new settlements. Wood, gold, iron
and other natural resources provide the raw materials for expansion,
while intelligent citizens keep your economy running smoothly. Over a
dozen technology tracks offer numerous opportunities for further
One of the most
obvious and distinguishing traits of Empire Earth is its massive scope. With
gameplay stretching from the Paleolithic era to two hundred years in the
future, it covers a whopping 500,000 years of human history. Empire
Earth is divided into 14 epochs: Prehistoric, Stone, Copper, Bronze,
Dark, Medieval, Renaissance, Imperial, Industrial, Atomic-World War I,
Atomic-World War II, Atomic-Modern, Digital, and Nano.
than 200 types of combat units from every era in history, youll lead
your armies to glorious victory with the help of Charlemagne, Cromwell,
and other great heroes from yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Attack
unsuspecting enemies with stealthy submarines and aircraft. Soften up an
enemy position with artillery fire, carpet bombing, or off-shore
shelling. Wage epic air battles with over 30 types of aircraft such as
Sopwith Camels, Spitfires, F-15s, Apache Gunships, and B-2 Bombers.
Fight massive naval engagements with more than 40 kinds of ships,
including 16th Century ships-of-the-line, U-boats, and modern aircraft
carriers. Train colossal Mechs to fight the battles of the future.
is a breeze and merely requires right-clicking on objects while using a
contextual cursor. All vital data and options, like resource totals and
units available for creation in a selected building, are lined along the
bottom of the screen--there's no need to scan the entire screen to find
what you're looking for. Determining which button does is very
intuitive, thanks to colorful icons with rollover help text.
are impressive--during any given epoch, you'll notice an array of
clever, artistic touches that bring the buildings, units, and terrain to
life. Trees gently sway in the breeze, ocean tides lap against the
shoreline, and indigenous creatures like eagles and ostriches soar or
trot by. Individual human characters are very expressivefor example,
idle animations show overworked villagers wiping the sweat off their
brow, canine scouts will stretch convincingly, and soldiers handle their
The Empire Earth
Preview Beta is a limited multiplayer version of the final game. It
contains three epochs spanning from the Imperial Age through World War
I. Features like the scenario editor and the other epochs are not
included in the beta version. The following gameplay description is not
intended to be complete or final in any way.
first buildings constructed are settlements and a granary. Resist the
temptation to stay in a very limited area; otherwise youll never
collect enough resources. Steady but cautious expansion is aided by both
citizens and canine scouts for revealing resources. You have to gather
resources so that you have some food overhead for military while making
citizens all the time. Settlements should be built near gold, wood and
iron and the granary is a necessity. Expect enemy attacks within 10
minutesits not difficult to hold off the initial rush if youre
prepared. The first military buildings constructed should be stables
tree of Empire Earth is common for all the civilizations and researching
technologies is familiar: click an icon in the appropriate building, pay
a small price and wait for the research to complete. Building walls is
inexpensive but gaining rock can be slowthankfully, walls are pretty
tough to knock down. Be wary of big attacks in the Renaissance or
Imperial epochschances are good that an early end will result. My
advice is to defend and advance to the WWI epoch. Maps are varied and
minor changes in game settings will result in significantly different
outcomes. Theres no manual with the beta, so there was a bit of a
learning curve, although anyone familiar with RTS conventions will do
well from the beginning.
Heres what you can
expect when Empire Earth ships in November:
- Epic scope - spans over 500,000 years, from the
discovery of fire to laser technology nd beyond.
- 14 different Epochs - replay all of human
history or just the span of time that interests you.
- Train more than 200 different kinds of units.
- Battle on land, air, and sea - in addition to
armies, you can build wide varieties of ships and aircraft.
- Fight wars of the future with advanced robotic
and anti-gravity units using secret weapons.
- Enlist great historical Heroes - such as William
the Conqueror and Patton - to enhance your military abilities.
- Customize your military units by improving their
strength or equipment.
- Play in Standard mode for a more-strategic
empire building game or Tournament mode for faster-paced action
- Have your Prophets devastate opponents with
Calamities such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and deadly plagues.
- Engage in historic siege warfare - breach an
enemy's walls with catapults, rams, and siege towers.
- Increase the morale of your soldiers to improve
their offensive and defensive capabilities.
- Match wits with the cunning AI or coordinate
attacks with your computer-player allies.
- Construct 20 types of buildings and research 150
technologies. A helpful technology tree foldout is included.
- Temples, Universities, and other buildings
provide additional defensive measures beyond walls and towers.
- Create your own civilization from 100 different
attributes or choose from 21 predefined civilizations.
- Different paths to victory, including military
conquest and constructing Wonders of the World.
- Six different Wonders, each with its own special
- Special effects such as a day/night cycle,
weather, translucent water, smoke, and special attack effects.
- Experience expertly balanced gameplay - each
unit has its strengths and weaknesses.
- Gather 5 different resources that vary in
importance depending on your strategy.
- Play four epic single-player campaigns that each
follow a civilization's extraordinary rise to power.
- Training scenarios guide you through the basics
of game play.
- Gorgeous random maps of various types and sizes
for the ultimate replayability.
- Create your own original maps, scenarios,
campaigns, and even in-game movies with the included editors.