Forget everything you know about Empire Earth, because Mad Doc and Sierra are taking the opportunity to reimagine the series with the bold new Empire Earth III.
When it comes to Empire Earth III, forget what you know about the historically-themed strategy series known as Empire Earth. That's because Sierra and developer Mad Doc both decided that it was past time to go into a different direction. Oh, the basics will remain the same: Empire Earth III is a real-time strategy game that lets you guide a civilization from prehistory to the distant future, but everything else has been rethought and redesigned. We know, because we had a chance to see the game ourselves on a recent visit to Mad Doc's Massachusetts' office.
According to lead designer and project lead Matthew Nordhaus, work on Empire Earth III began right after its predecessor shipped in 2005. However, instead of developing a quick-and-dirty sequel, the designers knew that they had to go in a different direction. Mad Doc basically inherited the franchise with Empire Earth II, so the developer built upon what creator Stainless Steel Studio started. With Empire Earth III, the studio can instill its own vision. And with this reimaging came a complete rewrite of the game and graphics engine. Empire Earth III has "very little, if anything, from the original," Nordhaus says.
For example, the philosophy of "more is more" that prevailed in the first two Empire Earth games has been tempered quite a bit in this new game. The feedback from Empire Earth II was that it was too overwhelming for a lot of players. The huge scale of Empire Earth has always been one of the series' strengths and weaknesses. Sure, it's great that you guide a Stone Age civilization throughout the many epochs of history, but by Empire Earth II even the designers at Mad Doc admitted that it was getting hard to tell all the different factions apart, or what the key difference between, say, epoch 12 and epoch 13 really was. On top of that, there were dozens of different technologies that you had to worry about. Many of the gameplay differences were merely cosmetic or minor. That's not going to be the case with Empire Earth III. There will be fewer, but more distinct, epochs, as well as a streamlined technology tree of different improvements to research.
The first thing that you'll notice about Empire Earth III is its sharp visual design. Complaints that players have made about the previous Empire Earths was that combat was a muddled mess with similar-looking units filling the screen; there wasn't much personality to it. In contrast, the units in Empire Earth III look oversized and exaggerated, and you instantly know what each one is capable of. The best way to describe the look of the game is to imagine a blend between Warcraft and Age of Empires. These new units will be categorized into three different region sets: Western, Far Eastern, and Middle Eastern. That doesn't mean there are just three factions in the game, but each faction will belong to one of the three regions.
Each region not only has its own distinct look and feel, but there are considerable gameplay differences between each one. The Western region has fewer but more-expensive units, reflecting its high-tech advantages. The Far Eastern region relies more on masses of cheaper units. And the Middle Eastern region supports more mobile units, such as cavalry and structures that can move. When the timeline shifts to the future late in the game, the differences between the regions become even starker. In the first two Empire Earth games, you could research a future in which mechs, giant mechanized war machines, ruled. In Empire Earth III, each region has a different type of end unit. For instance, we know that the Western region has the mech units, while the Far Eastern region has genetically engineered monsters. That should make late game combat something to see.
The battles that you'll take these units to are going to be a lot more interesting than those in the earlier games. Empire Earth III will introduce a new, open-ended world domination mode that will let you conquer a virtual Earth or a randomly generated planet. Then there will be the expected skirmish and multiplayer modes. However, world domination is going to be the main mode in Empire Earth III. As its name suggests, your goal will be to take over the planet, and in this case the game will feature a 3D globe of the earth that you can zoom in and plot your moves on. This part of the game is turn based, and you'll be able to do a lot more than simply order armies to move into adjacent territories. Empire Earth III will feature a fairly detailed espionage component that will let you send spies into enemy territory to foment revolts and uprisings. The diplomacy system has also been overhauled. Diplomacy has been distilled to key ideas, such as declaring war or forming an alliance, which makes it a lot easier to understand than Empire Earth II's convoluted diplomacy, which swamped you with confusing options.
Damn, looks like they really dumbed down the Empire Earth series.... "The feedback from Empire Earth II was that it was too overwhelming for a lot of players" Seriously? Now it looks like it was designed for a child of the age of 5. Wtf? No strategy anymore? *sigh* I'm glad I still have the first one XD
Looks really cool, and also a good starting point to a noob to the franchise (like me). However, it looks A LOT like Medieval 2, which I already have...
I can Only Hope That the discount of Ages and Races wont screw the game up, up until now the first is the best i think, lets hope the third wont disappoint
sounds cool i like the idea of quests instead of just trying to kill your enemy it brings more strategy to the game but then again it might mean something totally different than what im thinkin guess well just have to see
hey kool game. ive got eeII and its a kool game but the concept of EEIII is ALOT better than the origanall 2. i also wonder if there's going to be EEIV. if there is im buying it strait away. also wen EEIII come out in Aussie Im getting it A.S.A.P. KOOL GAME :0
Um, kezsim.... what do you call Mechs then... don't they qualify as "Robot". Sure does to me :) hehe.
It does`n seem to be something AWESOME!!, it has better graphics..ok, but the LACK OF DETAILS (in special about units) it make him below C&C3. The style play...ok, it`s the same, to me..that is good, because i like that! But it has to make something special to combat the present and future RTS games.
The real question is: Will World Domination be a multiplayer mode? Edit: Which it clearly says it will be on page 2... *Goes and stands in corner*
The revamp is justified, because the 2nd part didnt look or feel great... Ideas that were thought out like coordinated allied attacks were all great on paper, but were messy during actual game play. With the emphasis on gameplay in this version,I think there's a good chance this might be a classic!
I liked the original a lot, and I'm a little disappointed that this one is not retaining the realistic style. Giants? WTF? Other than that it looks good, but to me this is a pretty big & important element.
holy crap, that sounds AWESOME!! i've been waiting for a good online RTS for a LONG time, and i think this is finally it. also, it seems it basically has my favorite part of one of my favorite RTS', Bfme2, and that is the "Global Domination" mode, i love combinations of turn-based and real-time strategy
I ndidn't like the second game too .. I think I liked CIV 4 more .. any way this one looks quite promising !
mmmmm i really didn't like the second game and i never played for first but it looks alright...... i will have to check out a demo first.
Too early to tell if it's a winner, but based on the franchise and these glimpses, and I'm drooling.
If this game will actually be as cool as its sounds now, then it'll be time for me to buy a new grafics card. Lol
Well in light of all the recent and upcoming RTS games available, I wonder if there's any room for this one? With Supreme Commander, Company of Heroes, Dawn of War, and soon, Command and Conquer 3, how is this one going to differentiate itself?
Indeed Supreme Commander is a great RTS however due to its modability this can be some real tough competition for Empire Earth.
Rise Of Nation was better for me, I liked how it was more accurate to history, but meh, Looks cool. Supreme Commander is what I'll be playing though, and mayebh some Halo 3 beta at the time
i have played empire earth 1 and 2, I really much liked it. I realy hope empire earth 3 will be a masterpiece, and the demo shall come qiuck I just can't wait!!! PLZ inform me whem the Demo realeses!!! My username: Markner
wow! OMG!!! this game is gonna be da best! the first empire earth was so easy i could play it with my arms tied behind my back and blindfolded! i played it so much i was the game master! i dominate digital armies! 2 was a piece of dookie crap feces and i dominated it easily even when i contracted polio, thats how good i am, but only twice as good as i am on team slayer in Halo! i rule the digital realm and i make mom proud! i hope 3 is impossible and has a mode where the computer can read my thoughts and move before me even when its my turn becasuse i am so good that i would beat that easily as well! that is the only empire earth i would like to see. STAR WARS GALACTIC BATTLEGROUNDS IS TEH AWESOME!!!
Nah, this game wasn't complicated, the World Dom feature they putting in EE3 here is what was done in Dawn of War: Dark Crusade so it isn't toally new to the genre. Still though i liked it there so I'll probably like it here, though my feeling on this one is wait and see right now because EE2 I went right out and bought and well,...blah.
I can't wait for this game!!!!! better grafx,world domination mode,better AI. I NEED IT NOW!!!!! lol
Looks pretty cool. I just hope they don't change it too much and end up with something hard to love.
interesting, i like the art style, but i wonder about unit control, functionality, camera control, resources, and functionality, what kinda pc you'll need, will the animations match the rest of the visuals, i don't care if the game has a exagerated look i want good animations. it would be cool if EE games would reinvent them selves every sequel like a FF game. pathfinding? or how about clipping(the biggest trend in RTS's). gameplay pacing, i have tons of questions. i want one long glorified detialed trialer like Sup Com did, that trialer explianed everything except resource management.
i got EE2 and was pretty dissapointed, but im definately getting this game asap! it's got nice graphics and the introduction of a phys. engine is awsome it worked out nicely in AOE3 with the cannons and what not, i think the more stark contrast between cultures and nations will be nice as well, and the world domination sounds ORGAZMIC! and i'll need a towel for the idea of randomly generated planets, thats just ji$$-worthy
Empire Earth was mij FIRST RTS game on my P3 733mhz and i played it like hell did go for Empire Earth 2, because i was hooked on C&C generals but I'll think i'm gonna buy Empire Earth3 .. sounds cool and good looking to
Game looks awesome. EE2 was sweet, but not as good as I would have liked. Hopefully they deliver on everything and truly make a kickass game.
Empire Earth series promised much but delivered very little in terms of originality and gameplay (most of the 'original' were too poorly implemented in the gameplay see Diplomacy and planning in EE 2 and the unit type in the second). Looks like a clone of Warhmmer 40 K: Dark Crusade.
I've never played Empire Earth but from what I've read it seems to be like the Civilization-series but as RTS, rather than turn based strategy. And it looks awsome. Looking forward to test EE3 then.