It’s a flown a little under due to its Early Access version which has been available for some time, but Shining Pixel Studios’ Oriental Empires launches next week. Zeroing in on the middle ground between Civilization and Total War, it’s grand turn-based strategy with a historical bent and gloriously realised 3D battles. Oriental Empires is out on September 14th and publisher Iceberg Interactive has sent along a brand spanking new trailer to celebrate the occasion.

From the looks of things, Oriental Empires is pretty hardcore on the strategy front, tasking players with spinning many plates as they seek to dominate Ancient China. The game all takes place on a large hex-based map much like Civilization, sparring with the feudal lords nearby or engaging in peaceful diplomacy. The units are composed of hundreds of soldiers and can be placed on the map in tactical positions, facing specific directions and being told whether to stand ground, attack, charge or flank, for example. All the battles themselves are automated at the end of a time, with every player's moves taking place simultaneously. For instance, you may choose to stand your ground at the same time as an enemy unit opts to move around your flank, exposing your sides for the next turn.

It seems to be a fairly rudimentary combat system but there could be plenty of tactical depth to Oriental Empires depending on how Shining Pixels handles it. It’s also just one of the many aspects required to run an empire, whether contending with starvation or peasant revolts. We should have the verdict on Oriental Empires shortly.

Oriental Empires is out on September 14th on PC.