Empire Earth II: Platinum – PC – Review

Let’s face it, we have played
countless RTS games and they all pretty much start out being the same old thing.
Gather resources, gain technology, build armies and conquer the world … right?
Well, I’m here to tell you that all RTS are NOT created equal; in fact I will go
as far to sat that Empire Earth 2 has broken, no let’s say crushed any
limitations that other games in the genre have come up against.

The platinum version of the game is
not really different from the original; in fact all the platinum version gives
you is the original EE2 and the expansion The Art of Supremacy. The bonus is
that it also contains the Prima official game guide. All this in one convenient
package is a must-have for any RTS gamer. If you haven’t picked up EE2 yet now
is certainly the time.

The game guide adds a wealth of
information available at your fingertips. This will really help those just
learning to play, as well as, giving some useful tips to those RTS die-hards.
The guide provides walkthroughs, hot keys, tech trees, explanations of research
and plenty of strategies. This is great for learning to play without having to
be tied to your PC.

EE2 will take a player on a conquest
over some 12,000 years. From right around the age of cavemen to the future of
technological warfare, the player will be inundated with countless options to
experiment with as they progress through time. Though options are limited at
first; as you gain technologies more and more options become available. There
are so many choices available that it actually can be increasingly difficult as
you progress through the game. Fortunately there is an in-game encyclopedia
available as well as the strategy guide to help you out.

The game looks pretty good for a RTS
game. Most RTS games lack in the eye-candy department because more focus is on
the strategy experience rather than the visual. EE2 is no different, but I will
go as far to say that I liked the changing weather conditions and the way they
looked and sounded. The music was true to the different eras and the sound
effects were decent enough. Though typical for this type of game, they certainly
were not bad.

Empire Earth and the expansion the
Art of Supremacy provide a well-rounded RTS game that will have any fan of the
genre sucked in to hours of addictive game play. Though both games were offered
as single retail purchase, they are provided now in one package. Though the
expansion is not nearly as deep as EE2, it does add some different countries to
the mix. Some have said that it only provided a limited amount of new things so
it should have been a download or a patch. Fortunately it is already included
here. The guide is what this reviewer is quite fond of. All three together make
for one great experience.

Review Scoring Details

Empire Earth II: Platinum

Gameplay: 8.0
The Tutorials are fantastic. Not only are they informative, they are narrated.
Once you get started there is almost too much going on, which can be quite
frustrating until you get the hang of things. Though I like many options to
provide new and interesting ways to play, it can be a bit daunting to casual
gamers. The game guide offers strategies to help you along with learning the

Graphics: 7.0
Ah, once again an RTS with an average look to it. I said it before and I’ll say
it again, for this type of game the focus is mostly strategy, not a pretty game.
The visual effects are most certainly adequate.

Sound: 8.0
Good musical score that seemed to fit the epoch you are in. The sound effects
were what one would expect for this type of game.

Difficulty: Hard
As I said earlier there is a lot going on and though you can assign tasks to
your units, there is a lot of micro-managing going on. The Tutorials get you
pretty familiar with the commands to get started, but the game does have a
fairly high learning curve. The game guide does speed it up a bit and does
provide tons of hints to make playing the game a bit easier.

Concept: 7.5
I liked that this RTS offers about 12,000 years of conquest so you really get a
feel of advancing your civilization through the ages. There are countless ways
to manage and enhance your empire. Packaging the expansion together is what most
software companies seem to be doing when sales start to slow down, but adding in
the game guide is a welcomed addition.

Multiplayer: 8.0
If you thought the campaigns pose a challenge, wait till you play with some
friends via LAN or Online. This is where the fun, or dare I say frustration,
begins. Games are certainly a blast to play, but can be difficult especially in
a four or more player slugfest.

Overall: 8.0
Though the games alone warrant their own scores and do have their own reviews
also found on the GameZone site, this score is based on the Platinum package.
Both games are fun and the game guide gives tons of walkthroughs and hints, but
really it’s three already released products in a new box. Having said that, if
one is looking to buy EE2, the platinum version is the way to go.