Game Review: Empires (Half-Life 2 Mod)

January 5, 2009

Free mod Download
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Empires has consumed my life. I would probably compare it to a land-based version of Allegiance if I had to compare it to an existing game. Empires is a hybrid RTS and FPS, complete with classes, vehicles, a commander, and experience points. Two teams fight to capture flags as each teams commander builds bases and collects resources. I won’t bore you by detailing the many aspects of the game, but an excellent description of the game can be found over at Playthisthing.

Empires totally aces the RTS/FPS hybrid, but my favorite game aspect is how the game’s pace ranges from orderly to complete chaos in mere seconds. Forget about America’s Army, Empires provides the most realistic feeling of being in an actual warzone I have ever played. Most other FPSes do a fine job of providing you with chaos during firefights, but only Empires presents a very rigid command structure, where not following orders is a sure way to get killed repeatedly.

For instance, at the start of a game, I followed my squad leader over to an old set of ruins, as we were ordered by the commander to fortify the area. Most of my squad played as engineers, with the exception of one heavy machine gunner. We immediately began building structures that our commander had placed as soon as we came in range, while our lone machine gunner set up to face any enemies that might try to interrupt our fortifying.

Within a few minutes, my squad of four had constructed a full base, complete with defensive turrets and a spawnpoint. This may not seem that great, but the amazing thing about it was that we did not speak a word to each other while doing this. Knowing what needed to be done, we simply went about building a base as fast as possible. On the other side of the map, where our commander had sent another less organized squad, our forces were being slaughtered, and our base was destroyed. This squad did not follow the order given by the commander, and died as a result. In Empires a small, organized group can do a lot if everyone follows orders and does what they should. Empires takes teamwork to levels almost no other game has gone to before.

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