Empire Earth 3 in the test: Third attempt against Age of Empires

Empire Earth 3 in the test: Third attempt against Age of Empires

EE 3 at a glance

When it comes to implementation, publisher Vivendi (Sierra) has again transferred responsibility to the game manufacturer Mad Doc Software this time - and in principle for good reason: Even if it is certainly possible to argue whether the first or the second part of the series is the better; Mad Doc's implementation of Empire Earth 2 was appropriate and fun.

This time the game designers in charge risked and programmer is taking a trip into the comic field with her latest work. Units and buildings look like they came from one of the relevant magazines, and the language conversion quickly makes it clear (see “Graphics” or “Sound and language conversion”) that the seriousness of Empire Earth 3 is over.

The fact that the third part of the once so venerable series is a kind of arcade RTS (Real Time Strategy) with certain round elements is also clear when looking at the individual player. Instead of relying on a broad, epic campaign across all epochs, only a skirmish and a world conquest mode are waiting for the player. The latter is supposed to replace a campaign - but it is only reasonably good.

The world conquest mode does not follow any story or logic, but invites the player to a world view known from other strategy games, the one in 60 large Conquer provinces of the dismembered globe piece by piece (see picture below). If in the beginning there are still easy to beat in said provinces,indigenous tribes, with each round one of the more serious AI opponents approaches who can no longer so easily loot a province that has been captured.

World view of Empire Earth 3

When choosing his conquests, the player must above all pay attention to the characteristics of the province. These provide the resources 'trade', 'empire', 'army' and - very importantly - 'research' to different degrees. In all upcoming battles for new provinces, it is now important to keep the balance between said resources in such a way that your own growth does not stall. It is also extremely important to own enough provinces that produce a large number of “research”. Only with the latter is the all-important advancement of civilization possible, which allows new units and the research of further special abilities.

But that was it with the tension in Empire Earth 3. The missions always run the same: If you have not already done so, you set up armies in Province X and then right-click to send them to Province Y. Here the player can decide whether the outcome of the upcoming battle should be decided automatically, or whether it should be fought in real time. The latter is recommended in any case, unless you have a huge advantage, as the system tends to determine very illogical outcomes of battles.

Empire Earth 3

IncreasesIf the ambitious general himself is involved in the action, it always happens the same: You end up somewhere on the lovelessly designed map (see section 'Graphics') and have to set up a headquarters - after you have found a source of raw materials. In Empire Earth 3 there are only two types of resources in the field: On the one hand, various raw materials (iron, wood, etc.), which are extracted by one and the same type of building (warehouse) and which, regardless of the type of resource, are transferred to the “Raw materials 'Is added, and the resource' assets ', which is automatically generated by building a market.

An annoying degree of simplicity is also revealed when building a base itself: The few building types that exist is usually not even needed. Instead, a source of raw materials is sought, a warehouse, a headquarters, houses and a barracks and built - and then it is time to wait. Since the resources mentioned first have to be brought in and no attack is to be expected from the opponents anyway (see section 'AI'), very little happens in the first few minutes of such a conquest.

Monotonous base construction

As soon as the starting budget is used up, the search for the opponent. Once this has been discovered and the extraction of raw materials is underway, the production of further units can begin. Here, too, Empire Earth 3 is kept as simple as possible: There are three different races, among which you have to decide before the start of the world conquest mode, and which come with different unit types and abilities. But within this differentiation there are then only a maximum of half a dozen different units per epoch that can be built. In this respect, the tactical choice when building units is quick and easysimply from: A little bit of everyone, is the motto.

Empire Earth 3 also has little to do with diplomacy Offer. The possibilities are essentially limited to the fact that you can win over one of the two native tribes on each map. This is done either by paying a lot of property or by doing a job. But that was it again in the monotony of Empire Earth 3, because all too often a member of one tribe has to be rescued from the hands of the other as part of the task.

Overall, Empire Earth 3 turns out to be slow and without innovation and in that respect completely monotonous. The world conquest mode cannot nearly replace a real campaign and plays more like a string of skirmishes.

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