Oriental Empires is a turn-based strategy game that feels like a combination of Total War: Warhammer and Civilization. You command one of many empires in China during one of the several periods of time as China and Mongolia were both on the rise and having territory disputes (to say the least). There’s no one specific period you play in, it’s more of a mesh of history and an ambiance that is created for you to play in. You can choose a custom game with objectives to meet and different map and skill sizes, or you can play the main campaign where you get a rough history lesson in lower Asia’s development.
The Grand Campaign has several factions for you to choose from, each with their own banners and territories that you see over. Much like Warhammer, depending on who you choose, you’ll have various benefits and disadvantages that will guide you in your campaign quest. You’ll also start off with a specific territory that you will more than likely need to expand in order to survive.Much like Civilization, you’ll be going from hexagon to hexagon setting up cities and fortifying your empire in order to grow and sustain. As you grow, you’ll attract the attention of other empires who will either be friendly or wish to rage war.
The biggest pain in the game is building units of any kind, whether you’re building or setting up armies, as they take so much time and often do happen as quickly as you need them to deal with a crisis that may come up. You’ll find yourself having to build up resources and stay in a well-protected pocket a lot of the game. You’ll also need to build up your technology and crafting trees quickly, and keep your people happy by making sure your culture is high on the list of things to take care of, or they’ll become unhappy and your empire will crumble from within. Oh, and you need to keep your nobility up, or the nobles will give you hell, so enjoy that balancing act.
Oriental Empires is an amazing little game where, if you truly want to become emperor, you can! However, the game is hampered with tedious tasks that will bog you down. Unless you’re the kind of person who loves playing civilization, this may be one of those titles you need to stay clear of. However, if you enjoy the conquest of building an empire and the challenge of getting everyone to put you in charge, this is a great experience that you need to at least give a try.
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