Next competitive evaluation

Yesterday I had some unplanned time to kill at Best Buy, so I had a look at their current stock of PC games and walked out with a list of 6 strategy titles that looked interesting but which I knew nothing about. The games were Seven Kingdoms: Conquest, The Settlers: Rise of an Empire, Heroes of Might and Magic V, Maelstrom: The Battle for Earth Begins, Lost Empire: Immortals, and Sins of a Solar Empire. Of those the first four were quickly ruled out based on reviews for the following reasons:

  1. Seven Kingdoms: Conquest – buggy and nothing new in terms of game play.
  2. Settlers: Rise of an Empire – easy and repetitive game play; copy protection that is incompatible with many CD/DVD players and the publisher recommending user’s replace their drive.
  3. Heroes of Might and Magic V – buggy; cumbersome interface; most creature special abilities and items lack any description regarding what they actually do and as someone who likes to optimize I know his would bug me to no end.
  4. Maelstrom: The Battle for Earth Begins – awful path finding, which for an RTS is enough reason for me to stop reading right there, but I read a little more it’s a got a cumbersome interface that makes group units difficult and then when a group is told to move somewhere some units may take different routes and told to attack a few do it while the other mill about. Enough about that.

From the reviews alone I had difficulty determining if Lost Empire: Immortals was worthwhile or not and since it had a downloadable demo I gave that a go. Selecting fleets and systems was frustratingly difficult to do, and while what you had to micro-manage in the 4X game was different then others the micro-management was still there, so its below par compared to other 4X games where selecting fleets is easily done.

So that leaves Sins of a Solar Empire, which is an RTS/4X hybrid, that has gotten pretty rave reviews and definitely looks interesting, so that will be my next competitive evaluation.

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One Response to Next competitive evaluation

  1. jerry says:

    Regarding #3, reason for cumbersome interface is likely because it’s follows previous revisions of the game UI and interface. Maybe it was intended that way, as I used to play HOMM 3 a lot back in college, and this game had not learning curve regarding UI.

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