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    Empire Earth - Page 2

    The realism of the game does suffer due to the large time span covered. Empire Earth looks fine for the earlier eras, but towards the more modern ages, the “cities” don’t look quite right against the environmental settings, which have a more wilderness like, pre-industrialised look. Some of the buildings in the early 20th century – around WW1 had a command and conquer-esque look to them, which were slightly futuristic and not realistic for the time period.
    There are also prophets and priests, who can convert enemy units and cast calamities such as volcanoes or plagues. This is a welcome addition to the early epochs, which would be somewhat boring with only simple units, but these units carry all the way onto the current and future epochs, where it is somewhat unrealistic to see a spell caster cast a plague into the middle of your 23rd century army.

    To avoid each unit becoming redundant after upgrading an epoch, they can be upgraded every era to a more modern version. For example the clubman of the prehistoric age will eventually become the long swordsman of the middle ages, to the marine of the current age, to the guardian (laser trooper) of the nanotechnology age. Individual aspects of each unit can also be upgraded up to a total of 5 times max, or 2 per feature, such as weapon damage, hps, speed, or armour.
    There is also a morale bonus featured, this is similar to a “home turf” advantage, as city Capitols or extra houses boost morale of your troops within their range and increase their fighting ability.
    Another concept is that of heroes – either strategists who heal your units and can demoralise enemy units, or warriors who are exceptional fighting units and provide morale bonuses to nearby units. These units are set for each epoch that you are in, and include figures such as Julius Caesar, all the way up to the Cyborg Molotov.
    Various aspects of your civilisation can also be upgraded, for example building HPs can be increased through researching concrete, while the development of the steam engine leads to faster gold mining. There are several dozen upgrades in total including some creative additions such as Sunday school to increase the range of the temple.
    Some buildings have key purposes, such as hospitals which heal nearby units, universities which prevent units within their range from being converted by priests, and temples, that prevent calamities from damaging those in it’s protective range.
    You are also allowed to add “civilisation bonuses” in the campaigns or deathmatch games. These add a certain percentage to aspects of your civilisation including resource gathering, or unit attack, speed, build rate, etc. I was a bit confused at first though, in the ancient Greek campaign when the game first offered points to be allocated and the options for cybers and tanks were available to be upgraded.
    The concept of Wonders from AOE is brought over, and taken to a further level. Each wonder has a particular function, for example the Library of Alexandria, which historically featured much architectural information, will allow you to see all the enemy structures, while the Pharaohs lighthouse will illuminate (remove the fog of war over) a large area of water around where it is built.

    The interface is easy enough to use, although one thing I would have liked is an attack move option. The units have a tendency to make a beeline to a certain point totally ignoring the damage that they take, or will all focus on a single target that you click on, crowding round each other and ignoring the rest of the army until the initial target is destroyed.
    Note from Empire Earth Heaven: This problem can be fixed by using "Control - Right Click" where you would like the units to attack move.
    The units also have a habit of running into and blocking each other on the seas, partly due to some fairly large naval units such as the aircraft carrier.
    There are various handy features, such as the idle citizen button, as well as formation options. Unit behaviours, waypoints, and building rally points are also included.

    The game runs smoothly and is able to handle massive battles, with huge armies of infantry and machinery, and ships, aircraft, and cybers in the later ages. The realism again suffers though, due to the masses of different epochs. In reality a few modern day F-15 fighters should be able to maul a fleet of WW1 Sopwith fighters with superior range, manoeuvrability, and speed, but in the interests of keeping gameplay a bit fairer for players who advance at different speeds, with enough numbers some older units can still hold their own against modern units.
    Having said that, it is still quite fun to watch the dogfights as fleets of units engage, chase, and battle it out in the open skies or to command the mass land battles where swordsmen and mounted units battle it out, with archers and siege weapons firing from afar into the fray of the battle.
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