<< Portico: Empire Earth II Gets Bigger


Empire Earth II Gets Bigger

Mad Doc Software has announced that they will develop an expansion for Empire Earth II.

Of course they will. When PCGamer gives you a 94% and tells everyone that it is one of the best RTS ever, how can you not?

Empire Earth II: The Art of Supremacy (another terrible name full of the usual strategy game cliches) will have three new campaigns (does anybody buy a RTS for the campaigns?), new civilizations (French, Russian, Zulu and Masai) and "native tribes" to join or assimilate.

I wasn't all that impressed with EE2. It was an average game at best and seemed to miss all that has happened in RTS since the original Empire Earth.

The funny thing is that Age of Empires III (review forthcoming) has many of the same issues but is a much better game. It certainly helps that the Age games have had a clearer temporal focus, but it also demonstrates that excellent designers can still mine value out of the exhausted veins of historical RTS if they have the sense of style and panache that Ensemble does. Both games have the feeling that they have been hiding in caves since Age of Kings. Whatever lessons EE2 draws from Rise of Nations or Age of Mythology it bungles. AoE 3 mostly pretends that none of that stuff ever happened and casts aside some of the improvements it had already made to the formula.

As you can guess, I am not exactly excited about an expansion pack for EE2. Despite the respectable reviews in the press, it hasn't survived as a buzzworthy topic. The gaming afficianadoes that I talk to are still more interested in Warcraft 3 or Act of War than the gray world of EE2.

I'll wait for the reviews from people I trust before picking it up but even then I might not bother. A good expansion can make a decent game great. I've never seen one really make me care about something I'd almost forgotten.


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