At the end of the industrial
revolution the western world was wracked by a series of wars. It was a time when
politicians and generals became heroes. The best and the brightest lights of a
generation built their own empires and wielded enormous power. This is the
setting for Imperial Glory, the new turn-based strategy game by Eidos and Pyro
Studios. Players take command of the great European powers. Trade, military
might, and diplomacy are all tools in your arsenal to reach your goals. Blessed
with an engaging combat system, wonderful graphics, and an easy-to-learn
interface Imperial Glory is a welcome addition to the strategy genre.
The game begins with players
assuming command of an empire. Basic military units are available, but players
will be forced to build up their empire if they want to recruit better ones. The
real-world map of Europe, northern Africa, and the Near East are available. The
map is divided into smaller regions that players can gain power over. Each
region generates resources that players require to advance their cause. Money,
raw materials, population, and research are all garnered from areas an empire
controls. It is obvious that the developers have put a great deal of effort into
making the world of Imperial Glory an accurate reflection of the real world.
Each region produces different levels of resources, which in turn provides for a
certain amount of balance in the game.
Like all strategy games
there are a host of upgrades available for players to pursue. There is a diverse
research tree, separated into several “ages” that players advance through. New
military units, diplomatic options, and facilities to build are all unlocked
through research. In addition to the standard unlock-the-upgrade system there is
a unique feature in the Imperial Glory research tree. Players can unlock
“quests” that they can complete. When the quest is completed an empire can claim
the rewards. Free construction of facilities, increased research for a year, and
diplomatic advantages can all be earned by completing quests. The quests can
only be completed once per game. While the quests don’t provide a crushing
advantage, wise players will complete as many as they can.
Resource management is an
important feature of any strategy game. Imperial Glory takes this one step
further through a system of trade agreements and diplomatic favor. Every country
has a favorability rating among its neighbors. This is useful in negotiations,
but it is very important if players want to peacefully annex other countries. An
empire can send an offer to another to sell resources for a set price. This
allows players to sell extra resources and purchase what they need. Diplomacy is
a two-edged sword, and turning down a trade agreement will have a negative
impact on relations. Players should keep an eye on their relations with other
nations. Push them too far and friends will become neutral. Neutral nations can
be bribed by your enemies into joining their war against you.
When war does break out
players have the option to personally command their troops. The turn-based
screen rolls away. In its place a three-dimensional world is created. Each unit
appears and can be commanded at will. Players can signal the charge, align their
troops, and send in the cavalry. The combat areas are all extremely well
rendered. They also have realistic challenges that a tactician must master. In
sea combat, for example, players must effectively use their broadsides, choose
how they are going to engage the enemy, and maneuver their ships around the
wind. Combat is fast paced and exciting. If you find that the real-time-strategy
element is not for you there is an option to automatically resolve the combat.
Players will have to raise
armies and build navies to fight their battles. Almost as important as size of
the armies are their composition. Players must recruit leaders for their ground
units. Commanders have a limited number of units that they can command at any
one time. This makes it vital that armies are balanced for several roles. An
army of nothing but cavalry is lightning fast and very maneuverable. It will
lose to an army that uses infantry to form a defensive posture and lets the
cavalry break upon their bayonets. Solid infantry formations, in turn, are
vulnerable to assault by artillery cannons. The most powerful ground army in the
world is useless when attacking across oceans. Numerous ships are required to
carry the troops, which leads to a need for a powerful navy to protect the
In addition to the
single-player campaigns there are several other options available. Players can
engage in re-enactments of famous battles from the period. Multi-player games
are available so friends can go head-to-head and decide once and for all who
deserves to be ruler of the West. Like all strategy games the most innovative
and entertaining enemies are always other humans. Imperial Glory has done a
wonderful job of creating AI opponents to challenge players in single-player
campaigns and their multiplayer options to allow friends to enjoy the game
If you have ever wondered if
you had what it takes to rule the world, Imperial Glory is worth taking a look
at. Fans of the strategy genre, both turn-based and real-time will have hours of
fun exploring the world Pyro Studios and Eidos have brought to us. Other gamers
will be drawn to the impressive graphics and innovative gameplay. Solid gameplay
for trade, military conquest, and research combine with innovative twists to
enthrall fans. Courage and vision separate the survivors and the fallen.
Imperial Glory awaits the victors. Do you have what it takes?
friends wherever you can. If you are engaging in merchant traffic, wars cut off
your trade routes. Consider having a gold reserve to bribe hostile nations to
seek peace if you need it.
looks like a wonderful starting location. They are an island power, isolated
from ground assault, and they have a lot of trade route options. Before jumping
into the game as the English remember that they produce population very slowly.
This makes building up your military a time consuming process.
of the edge of the map during naval combat. The wind will tend to drive ships in
one direction. When you get to the edge of the combat area your units risk
leaving the battle and abandoning you. The AI units have a tendency to sail
around the boundary if you let them. Take the fights out into the open water to
There are a lot of
features available in Imperial Glory and each of them works well. Trade,
research, and combat are all run through an intuitive design. Players will have
hours of fun enjoying this game.
The graphics in
Imperial Glory are well done. I was especially impressed with the 3D-combat
scenarios. Even with a complex battle running, hundreds of troops fighting for
victory, the graphics rendered smooth and crystal clear.
Like many games, the
sounds are well done. The voice-recordings in the interface help bring you into
the world. The background music and combat noises help keep you there.
There is a bit of a
learning curve in Imperial Glory. Players have to keep track of diplomatic and
economic alliances. They also have to juggle resources to keep their armies in
the field. Imperial Glory is fun, but to play at the highest levels a fine
degree of finesse is required.
There are many games
in the historical-strategy genre. Imperial Glory builds on those that have gone
before and brings its own innovations. There are so many options for players to
explore that there will always be something new and exciting for gamers to
Facing an AI is fun,
but the real thrill comes from facing a human blessed with cunning and
creativity. It also adds a new layer of fun to the game. Instead of dealing with
the generic diplomatic factors you also have to consider when another player
will choose to move against you..
Imperial Glory is an
entertaining game. The graphics, gameplay, and concept are all well done. There
is a bit of a learning curve, but players ease into the complex areas of the
game. The mix of turn-based and real-time strategy form a winning strategy.
Historical leaders had to deal with “time delay” as their messages raced across
the surface of the globe. That feeling is captured well in the turn-based
segments. When the time comes for battle, though, the real-time combat engine
brings combat to players in stunning detail.