Imperian Review: So Old School It Rules
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
Imperian is a browser based text game that puts you in the shoes of one of the many possible races in the game world of Aetherius. Demons, orcs and bickering gods are your biggest problem besides trying to survive the rough land you’re in.
Imperian’s gameplay is like a table top game using flash and your browser as your controlling mechanism. The game narrates what is happening, it tells you what you see, what you should be hearing and the currentoptions you may have. All input into the game is done by typing the word or the letter which the narrator explains.To put it in a table top game perspective, Imperian is like your personal Dungeon Master that guides your travels in the world of Aetherius.
Naturally, when you play a game like this there is the normal roster of three basic characters, however Imperian provides you twelve races to choose from. They range from the standard Human to Dwarves and Elves. There are some racesthat are unique to the gameand this gives the game a broader scope when it comes to character creation. The added unique races have a story of how they came to be and that they have different strengths and weaknesses akin to their race. The new racesfound in Imperian are a big plus for the game because it gives players more choice when it comes to creating their characters. . More choices means that you get to enjoy discovering how they differ from each other.
An Immersing experience
The thing about Imperian’s gameplay is that it never fails to immerse you into the world.. Yes, there is the lack of a graphical interface but in exchange you get a truly Table-Top gaming feel. It is like you are seeing your character as it travels through the world Imperian sets before you. The game is purely story driven set by how you act according to the scenario that is given to you. Games like this takes time and if you are impatient this isn’t going to work for you. Imperian is definitely a game to be enjoyed as a slow-paced RPG rather than an action RPG that we often see with graphically heavy browser games.
A view of Imperian
As immersive as the game is, it is not immune to flaws. The primary problem with Imperian would be the controls. Normally, you control your character in a browser game by clicking, here in Imperian, you move your character by typing in the commands. This sounds really awkward and totally inconvenient in theory but once you get the hang of it, it works fairly well. I can say that the commands are another immersive feature for the game. As awkward as it is, typing in what your character would do in-game does make you feel like you are inside the world.
Imperian uses flash as its mainplatform. This can be a problem with older computers however it does help lessen loading problems as you play. The flash system helps as there is no real lag time as you play the game. Everything is run in real time therefore even if the game is slow-paced it’s in constant flux making the game not too boring especially for those thrill seekers.
Usually in games like this there is a lag in-between action especially if the Internet traffic is congested. This is where the game being text-heavy comes as a bonus. Even if the net is screwy the game does not really let up in performance.
Imperian is a rare game that emphasizes how the story unfolds rather than on how you get to slash you way to victory. The game also encourages you to use your imagination, similar to people still reading books even if there are movies available. Though that reasoning may be a convenient excuse for the games lack of anything graphic but it does deliver as long as you have paid attention to the game and used your imagination extensively.
This is the type of gameplay that shows a lot of promise because role-playing games originally came from Table Top gameplay. So it is safe to assume for me that this game would have a niche of its own. However, while it may be true that the game is reminiscent of the roots of the original RPGs, this may be in fact a game that is a little too outdated for gamers. This type of gameplay would attract those who prefer old school RPGs rather than those who are looking fora quick game. If you are the type who wants fast action and an instantaneous adrenaline rush for their game then this one is not for you.
As far as story-driven RPGs are concerned though, Imperian is one of the best I’ve seen, using narration and a gameplay that is so old-school that it rules is the successful mix for this game. All in all Imperian is one of those games that can be considered as a classic when it comes to RPGs however, not everyone in this day and age would understand the awesomeness of the game. If you want a role-playing game that brings quality rather than eye candy then this game is for you.
– The gameplay is exclusively unique to Imperian
– The game is a mix of storytelling and roleplaying goodness
– It makes you feel like you are playing a table-top game.
– Imagination is a major requirement in playing the game
– The text color can be bothersome for older monitors
– The game does not have that much graphics on the interface.