Fall of Empires Review: Beyond First Impressions



Fall of Empires Review: Beyond First Impressions
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist

They say first impressions last. If that were true then this game, Fall of Empires would suck tremendously. Fall of Empires is aMMO Web Browser Game that focuses on an all out war between the several of the ancient empires in history. The interface was probably the first thing I noticed as it was designed a bit poorly, rather like that of other static websites during the 90s.

You know what it's like when you buy a book with a plain white cover that says "Woodland Creatures"? Sounds like it would be something you'll end up using in school; however, they did say that you should never judge a book by its cover, so let's at least give this game the benefit of the doubt. One good thing though is that the game creates custom campaigns for a non-linear feel. Quite impressive wouldn't you say? Graphics aren't everything, nor do they justify how good a game is (in MMOs that is). Let's rush in and see what happens shall we?

Starting up

There isn't really that much to think about when starting a character in Fall of Empires, to be honest it's rather simplistic. You'll be choosing between an array of empires that have made their mark in history. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Vikings, Celts, and of course... the Japanese (wonder where the Chinese went). Each empire has their own special trait that allows them to excel in their respective field. These traits weren't really developed when I started the game but the tutorialsaid they were there, so let's just go with that. The game is turn based, meaning you'll be supplied with a number of steps, money, and soldiers per turn. Each turn's duration is around 20 minutes. The object of the game is very simple-out live and outlast your enemies (those would be the other players). There's not many players online but I'm sure you won't mind as text based games like this rarely demands more than 100 players.

It is very hard to win in this game, as being number 1 is the only way to do so. There is no second place here my friend. I mean, come on! It's war! Surely it's all just King of the Hill.

Some problems

Okay, it's already bad that the interface looks like my elementary school IT project but some of the links seem to log you out on random occasions. Well maintained is it? I'm not saying anything.

Stats
Character stats

How to become the King of the Hill

Don't worry if you're about to start late, for much like any other MMO everything slows down and reaches a certain limitations. This isn't really the type that measures you for the amount of kills you've attained throughout the years but rather the undeniable force of your established army. I don't really know what to call them but the character sheet looks like MMO stats so let's just be stereotypical and use that. Your stats page will have ranks representing how much that specific stat rocks or sucks within the boundaries of the game. Good luck though if you're on a quest to make them all rank one, that means that you'll be on top of the food chain.

Don't be a push over

Defense should probably be on your priority list as these ruthless killers are bound to pick on you upon your arrival. Buildings will be available, giving your troops a better chance of survival. You can also purchase towers and that will help increase your Empire's defense rate.

Fall of Empires Building
Buildings

ATTAAAAAAAACK!!! LEAVE NO MAN ALIVE!!!

Attacking is very simple in this game. In order to wreak havoc on your enemy's fortress, you must first click on the attack option on the top left portion of your screen. This will bring up the attack menu in the center of the screen. After clicking attack (again), you'll be taken to the ranking board where you must choose your next victim. Fairly easy but it gets tricky since as a newbie, it'd be best for you to start small so scroll further and try to find a rather weak opponent to boost your stuff :P.

The Interface

As I mentioned earlier, the interface is rather dull and simple for a site meant to be a game. The game really lacks visuals. Geez, it wouldn't hurt to put in a couple of pictures to further enhance a unit's description you know. They do have this interactive option bar on the top left portion of the screen, which changes the menu in the middle, depending on which option you choose. Kinda funny though since the words tend to go over the wood themed border. Anyway, I didn't say that it didn't have pictures-some of the buildings do have images that are pretty hard to comprehend but hey, it's a start. It also has a link leading to the forums where players can exchange strategies and so forth. For those who are too lazy to post however, the game was gracious enough to provide a chat bar as a faster way of interaction.

Battle Interactions
Battle interaction

The verdict

Not bad, but that doesn't say it was good either. Perhaps I'm just too much of a visual person but the main fact that it lacks visuals makes it nothing but a whole pile of text (that goes over into the margin LOL). Yeah, I do know that it IS a text-based game, but do they really have tobe that literal? Well, the mechanics aren't really that bad. You are free to create buildings, units, and other defensive structures. I guess you'll need a bit of an imagination to actually imagine the war; otherwise, this'll be the same as clicking the messages in your Facebook account. Not my fault if that's fun for you LOL.

The good:
- Community
- Campaigns baby!
- Well maintained (I think)
- Tons of options
- Competitive

The bad:
- Lack of visuals
- Bad looking interface
- It feels too raw (like we're playing beta or something).

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