Empires: Dawn of the Modern World Updated Impressions

We managed to sneak in a quick updated look at Stainless Steel Studios' upcoming strategy game at Gen Con 2003.

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We caught up with Stainless Steel Studios' Rick Goodman at Gen Con 2003 to see two settings from the history-themed real-time strategy game's single-player campaign. The first setting was the medieval Crusades out of England--specifically, the journeys and adventures of King Richard the Lionheart. As we saw, the English, known for their skilled archers and their powerful longbow weapon, possess a considerable advantage, especially when on high ground, and especially because English archers will be the only archers in Empires that can fire on moving targets. We also watched as Richard the Lionheart charged enemy French soldiers and routed them almost single-handedly, then led a charge on a French castle that involved laying siege to it with trebuchets as well as with catapults that lobbed diseased cattle up and over the walls.

We then switched over to the major US operations on D-Day in World War II and watched three major beach offensives, followed by an inland battle. Unfortunately, in the first few battles, the Americans were devastated by the German King Tiger tank--the most powerful tank in the game, hands down. However, we watched later battles that involved combined efforts from American GIs, who have the unique "charge" ability, which causes them to move more quickly and deal more damage in combat, along with US Army Rangers, who have the ability to call in long-range artillery strikes. The US can also commission Sherman tanks, which are decent enough weapons on the battlefield, and they can also call in C-47 personnel carriers to drop paratroopers into battle, as well as bombing strikes with B-17 bombers. Interestingly, the Americans' B-17s are the only bombers in Empires that will actually perform a second bombing run on their targets (all others will go on a single run, then retire).

Empires: Dawn of the Modern World is scheduled for release later this year.

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