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Empire Earth 2 demo

March 5th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

Mad Doc Studios has released a demo for its upcoming sequel to Empire Earth, Gamespy’s game of the year for 2001. The original was designed by Stainless Steel Studios, but they handed the franchise off to Mad Doc for the expansion. Now they are doing the sequel.

Color me underwhelmed. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original game – it was too big and unwieldy for me to get a firm grasp on, and the rock/scissors/paper system that has become standard in all RTS games of this type became confusing when the game got to the later ages. There were so many ifs-thens-buts that planning became mind-numbingly painful. The mix of historical units and sci-fi stuff didn’t work especially well.

The EE2 demo reveals a very pretty game. The graphics are outstanding, with excellent water effects. The winter storms are very convincing, and unit animations are more than satisfactory. But, even for a “same-old RTS” formula, EE2 is boringly familiar. The graphics are great, like I said, but add nothing to the game play. The crown victory condition system does little to encourage the combat that makes these games fun, and in fact pushed me to go into tortoise mode. The AI is great on defense at the default level, but still prefers to send out small squads to attack, eschewing the combined force armies that make Rise of Nations the king of historical RTS.

Yes, it’s only a demo, and you are limited to a few ages. And, EE2 has adapted a lot of concepts that RoN perfected – especially borders and multiple cities. In the end, there doesn’t seem to be much here that makes EE2 a must buy. When I get my hands on a complete copy, expect a more complete review. But at this point, I’m not rushing.


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