Heroes of Annihilated Empires
While browsing Gamespot yesterday evening, my eye was drawn to a rather fetching screenshot for an RTS called Heroes of Annihilated Empires. This morning, I decided to seek out the playable demo and give it a whirl myself.
Essentially, the game is Warcraft III in reverse. Both are strategy games that include noticeable role-playing elements, but whereas Warcraft III emphasized the notion of developing singular heroes rather than masses of minions by considerably restricting the number of units you could build, Heroes of Annihilated Empires goes all-out with massive armies (read hundreds, if not thousands, of individual soldiers), with the scale of the resulting battles capturing the sense of global conflict that was all but impossible with Warcraft III’s piteous little groups of 20-30 units.
So far, it appears to be a fairly generic fantasy setting, pitting Elves against the Undead, with the requisite dryads, goblins, fairies and enchanted trees, but the pre-rendered movie which played at the start did offer a glimpse of what looked like modern aircraft, which suggests that the game may have a few more tricks up its sleeve than initially meets the eye. A glance at the official web site, meanwhile, implies that these events take place in an alternative past (or future?) of the real world. Oh, and the learning curve is hard. I gave up on the sample mission after three attempts, and have since been dabbling (rather unsuccessfully) with the skirmish mode. I get the impression that this is a game that requires one to read the manual thoroughly - something which unfortunately isn’t offered with the demo.
The full version is due out on October 6th, according to Gamespot. I’m not sure I’d buy the full version, but the demo seems interesting enough for me to want to continue poking around with it. Who knows - if it seems like a keeper, maybe I will pick up the retail copy.