For a neat little variation on the classic strategy formula as seen in Age of Empires
, then this little-known game is well worth picking up. It's got a few minor issues but none of them are so serious as to impede your enjoyment too much, and although this isn't overly original, it's remains an entertaining experience. The game takes place in the medieval fantasy world of Orbis, and as usual the land is being torn apart by war and general chaos. The many kingdoms of the land are tearing at each other's throats, which is where you come in. You must make your way through 22 non-linear missions that allow you plenty of freedom in your choices regarding how you play. Rather than choosing a particular faction at the start, you can choose to follow different paths, such as following the Imperial church or worshiping the pagan gods, by forging different buildings, and which makes for a nice change. The main focus is on real time combat, with a wide range of units available, including war elephants, golems and elementals, but there's also resource management and city building to add to the variety. There is an option to play without this latter aspect, so you can just concentrate on the fighting if that's what you're into. For the most part, this is a solid game. The combat is fast and intuitive, but quite challenging thanks to the smart AI, while the visuals are simple but effective. The story isn't great but this is a small issue and overall, this makes for a nice, low-key experience.