Lost Empire: Immortals

Written by Joe Martin

March 15, 2008 // 8:01 a.m.

Tags: #homeworld #space #strategy #turn-based

Gameplay

Gameplay in Lost Empire is exactly what you’d expect in this genre of game. You start with a small fleet of ships and, as the game progresses, you’ll colonise new worlds, explore deeper space areas, contact new races and so on.

The game is turn-based, so you’re never too rushed or pushed for time – Lost Empire: Immortals is much more about playing the long-game. Speed and reflexes don’t matter nearly as much as patience and stamina.

Remember, it’s not the size of your army, it’s what you do with it that counts.

Having said that though, battles are the one area of the game where it’s definitely not what you do with it that counts as for the most part you’re little more than a spectator. Most of the time, once you’ve sent your units to engage there’s little actual interaction and all you can do it sit back and watch the game in “stunning, real-time 3D!”.

Gee. Whiz.

Lost Empire: Immortals Conclusions
Epic space battles have never been this dull!

Of course, conflict isn’t the only option and it’s usually possible to bribe or talk your way out of a situation by using the correctly placed spies and technology. We did have to laugh at a few spelling mistakes and bizarre errors in the inter-species dialogues though. My personal favourite was, when another race declares it can’t stand your people anymore and is declaring war, the only response available is “Have a nice day.

Personally, I’d shove it wherever it is that The Horde chooses not to shove things, but that’s just me.

One thing that Lost Empire does offer in spades though, provided you’re into you’re monotonous and slow-paced strategy games, is replayability. There are hundreds of stars and systems to explore and grow to in each galaxy and the galaxies themselves can be randomly generated too, though there are dozens of pre-designed examples as well.

It’s also possible to define a few dozen different types of victory conditions and the obligatory story mode can be disabled if you want a more freeform game. Switching to multiplayer, there’s room for 32 different players, but the game is essentially the same as singleplayer and I personally wonder if many players will stick around for a full match – even a quick game can last hours and hours.

Lost Empire: Immortals Conclusions
The scale of the game is impressive and you can zoom in or out massively

Graphically, the game isn’t all that much to look at, but that’s allowable really. From the moment you see the still pictures used in the intro cutscene it’s clear that Lost Empire: Immortals didn’t have a massive budget to blow on graphics and that efforts were consciously channelled into gameplay instead. There are options to enable anti-aliasing and so on, but all it really does is make the circles around your territory a little less jagged.

Really, when you spend literally the whole game flicking between menus then there’s not a lot left to be said about graphics. The general design of the units and menus is a workable, but a tad uninspired – that’s as much as there is to be said.

Conclusion

Lost Empire: Immortals is one of those games that is going to appeal directly and heavily to a very, very specific audience. That audience can be defined by one simple question too, which we’ll put to you now.Lost Empire: Immortals Conclusions

Do you enjoy playing Risk?

If you answered yes then this is a game that may interest you as it really epitomises the patience and tactical gameplay that you’ll need when planning you ship movements and trade routes. If Risk isn’t quite your bag then you’d better move onto the next game.

Personally, I never got into Risk much and always preferred the licensed Dune board game. That game had a specific end-scenario that would bring about a game over if the game reached a stalemate and had several unique and innovative touches scattered throughout the rulebook.

Lost Empire: Immortals doesn’t have that claim to innovation and the game is utterly predictable in almost everything it does. Combine this with incredibly long games and huge playing fields and you’re left with a game that is going to leave a sour, tired taste in the mouths of nearly all gamers. Hardcore strategy fans though may find something appealing though, provided they can look past the admittedly rough edges.
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