Empire Earth was the first strategy game to keep me addicted for more than 2 weeks. Why? Well, first it has 4 campaigns - all totally different: one based on the conquests of Greece, another one on the conquests British, one on the conquests of the German and lastly, but certainly not least, one based on the Russians. Each one of them has its own epoch. The Greek start in the pre-historic age, the British on the medieval age, the German around the the industrial age and the Russians on the modern age. This means, different buildings, research, troops, as well as weapons available for all of them.
Each campaign is split into a series of scenarios. They are all very long with different objectives and almost all of them have heroes. Famous heroes like Theseus or William will need to be guided (and protected).
Like mentioned above, the game uses the advance of epoch. To advance to an epoch you must complete a determined number of researches and construct the necessary buildings. You also need some resources, such as gold, iron, wood, food, etc. All the required resources are always available on the scenario map...the thing is, sometimes, on enemy territory, which makes resource gathering more challenging. Each campaign, however, (and scenario) has a limit to how far you can advance. For example, on the Greek campaign, you won't go beyond the Bronze Age and on its first scenario you won't go beyond the stone age. It is obvious why this limit was created. Each nation ruled for a determined amount of time and it doesn't make sense having Theseus cross the sea on a plane, now does it? The Russian campaign can reach what was called the Nano Age. Cyborgs and such will be available. They are all pretty cool to use.
The visuals are all 3D and you can zoom to exaggerated extremes. Zooming on the unit’s faces will make you laugh, seeing as they are horribly designed. Visuals are however, neither impressive nor dated for that time but the game runs very smoothly with pretty much any GPU at the highest settings. The sound effects are all amazing and varied.
On each scenario, you can choose a difficulty setting – from easy, to normal and hard. It affects how much damage you cause and receive.
But there is one major flaw. On some scenarios your heroes (yes up to 4 heroes on one scenario) are like massive destruction weapons. There are two types of heroes: warriors and strategists. Warriors have greater status, such as extremely high HP and attack power. Strategists have lower status but can heal your troops. Both heroes heal themselves automatically even when fighting. So, a warrior can wipe out large groups of enemy troops by himself while a strategist (who fully heals a unit in one second) can make things much easier, (too easy actually) by healing your units while the enemies make desperate, useless attempts to reduce their HP. However, as the epoch advances, heroes become more and more weak. Mostly because they can’t attack aircraft and the attack power of the enemies (and the defensive buildings such as towers) grows exponentially while the heroes, doesn’t…but in the first 2 campaigns heroes will just make the game kiddy stuff. Nevertheless, most scenarios still offer a challenging experience, even on easy mode.
Empire Earth also features a multiplayer mode, which last time I checked (2009) was still on. You create scenarios and choose the goals for them. They can simply be to kill everyone you see or team up with other players and destroy the opposing teams or just collect as many resources as possible within a time limit or construct as many wonders as possible.
It also features a sort of sandbox mode. You can create maps with up to 8 teams controlled by the CPU that can either be friends or foes. The goals mentioned above are also available although the sandbox is mostly for practice. I didn't want to include this but an editor tools is also available. Players will be able to create scenarios and share them to friends. You can edit the maps, construct buildings and place units to your liking, but meh...
The game is very easy to get used to but a very long and detailed tutorial was included. The tutorial is so long and fun to play, that I even consider it to be a campaign.
The game used to be pricey but an expansion and 2 sequels have been released so it now it costs as much as rain.
That being said, I consider Empire Earth to be “just” great.
Replay Value: 8/10