Empire II - The Art of War

Strategy 1995 Dos Dosbox White Wolf Productions World Wars

A lesser title in the Empire series, but fun nonetheless

The Empire series was a nice wargame/tactics simulator, which had its own personality in the realm of wargaming at large, but, nonetheless, the problem was the consistency of their titles. The first title, weirdly enough was the better one in the series, crafted carefully and which proposed a very neat experience throughout. Unfortunately this second title did not benefit from the same careful production, and it shows. The basic idea, as in the original is that you will be a higher hierarchical commander, that is, deal with conglomerate units on a turn based hex style map, but if you take a closer look at it the seams become so visible. These inconsistencies have to do with the overall layout of the menus, the control scheme in its entirety and also with the fact that the game is balanced rather inconsistently. Thus, I you will be able to play it, but it will be a rather obfuscating experience: you won't find the controls as easily, you won't be able to move the units as you want to and their abilities will also be hard to control, due to an improper implementation of morale. I mean, don't get me wrong, I get that a scared unit group will be less likely to comply, but this is not something constant, and it's too invasive. So, the game is just too frustrating, which is a big letdown, seeing that it wanted to expand over the original. But sometimes less is more and if you're going to half implement an option that changes the gameplay so much, better test it more carefully or just forget about it.

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