Oriental Empires Review
Hello everybody, Shaun Meyers here to share my thoughts on Oriental Empires by Shining Pixel Studios and Iceberg Interactive.
Oriental Empires is a 4X strategy game that’s similar in style to the Civilization series. However, there’s one key difference, this game focuses solely on Ancient China.
When you begin a game you’ll be able to choose one of 2 era’s to start in. The Grand Campaign and The Warring States. The Grand Campaign takes place between 1500BC to 1500AD. The Warring States era starts in 407BC at the very start of the war. The Grand Campaign is recommended to start with as it features a tutorial system.
When your era is chosen, you’ll be able to choose one of the 15 states of China. The states include Shang, Shu, Han, Chu, Ba, The White Di and The Dingling. When you first start the game, most of the states will be locked. You can unlock them by playing the game.
Much like most 4X strategy games, you’re tasked with founding a city and expading your influence. There are some unique features in this game that sets it apart from others though. The game features that ability to zoom in and out pretty far. This allows you to see an overview of your civilization as well as zoom in to see your armies battle.
You also have complete control over what you wish your cities build. Or if you don’t wish to do it manually, you can have it auto build things for you. In order for your city to grow, you’ll need to create farms. Farms are a simple improvement to the outer limits of your city. If you build a farm outside your influence, you’ll gain that hexagon as your own territory. This allows you to expand without paying money for it. Keep in mind that building too many improvements at once can overwork your peasants. This causes unrest and they could revolt if you aren’t careful.
There’s also a tech tree which you can use to unlock new technologies. Technologies also unlock new units and a wide range of new buildings. Another thing that unlocks through the tech tree are new edicts. Edicts have a wide range of effects on your empire. These can be positive or negative and they can cause unrest in your citizens. Edicts also require an upkeep cost and some of them are highly expensive. You definitely don’t want to enact an edict that costs 500 gold each turn to keep running. That is, unless you can afford it.
War is inevitable in this game so you’ll need to be on guard. Depending on the difficulty level you’re playing on. Combat can be easy or quite tactical. Even on the easiest difficulty, you’ll have a difficult time of defeating an enemy troop in a single battle. In my time with the game I’ve had to battle a single troop numerous times, even with large armies. This is simply because they run away and your units don’t pursue them to kill them off.
A big downside to combat in this game is that, during battle you have no control over them. So, you can’t issue commands to them to allow them to act smarter. You do, however, have the ability to to change their formation, battle plan and facing when you’ve selected them. This gives you at least a little control over how a battle goes but it’s not perfect.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that your units will sometimes sit in their position for a bit. When they attack, their formation will get mixed up and they’ll need to rearrange themselves and then they will attack. By then the battle is already over.
I’ve also found the diplomacy a bit disappointing and limited. Considering the time period this game takes place in, this isn’t too surprising because it was a time of war. It would have been nice to have a more detailed diplomacy system, though. (I’m a really big diplomatic victory person lol).
Overall, I’ve found Oriental Empires to be really fun, regardless of my minor complaints. I’ve always found Ancient Chinese history to be pretty interesting and getting to play a strategy game based on it has been great. If you’re in the mood for something new in the 4X strategy game then Oriental Empires may be a good choice for you.
Thanks for taking the time to read the review folks. I’ll be back with my next review soon, until then, happy gaming folks!
Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) out!
Features of Interest
- Fun Gameplay
- Great Music
- Lots of Techs, Buildings and Units to Acquire
- Ability to Zoom In and Out Really Far
- Addicting, One More Turn Feeling
- AI Could Be Better
- No Ability To Control Your Units During Battle
- Diplomacy Could Be Better
- A Single Unit Can Hold Off An Entire Army Because They Run Away
- Sieges Are Very Time-Consuming