Empires: Dawn of Modern World SP Demo
In this demo, play missions from both the Richard the Lionheart and Admiral Yi single-player campaigns. In the Admiral Yi mission, you will defend Korea from a massive Japanese invasion. In the Richard the Lionheart mission, you need to rally an army to save the Queen.
This download links to Activision's download page. Do Not Close.
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No problems here. You insert the disc, the install program launches, and the game installs, without the labyrinth some other games throws at the player with a prompt to register the game every time it launches, for example.
You may ask why I rated this part of the game. The answer is as simple as this: Sometimes it’s more of a challenge to install a game than it is to complete the hardest mission in the game. So I feel that when installation is done right, it should be rewarded.
I haven’t seen anyone else care too much for the music with words other than “it was okay, nothing wrong with it”, but personally, I think it ruled. Both the game menus and in-game music successfully creates the right atmosphere.
In Empires, Every civ has it’s own musical theme, which is a nice touch.
Empires: Dawn of the Modern World contains three campaigns: Admiral Yi-Sun-Sin (Choson Korea, Middle Ages), Richard the Lionhearted (England, Middle Ages), and Patton (United States of America, World War II). All three campaigns have an involving description, and, although I can only try two of them, the third one also seems interesting.
Let’s begin with Admiral Yi’s campaign, which carries the following description:
Dragon from the Sea
Admiral Yi-sun-sin and the Korean Wars.
The brilliant commander, Yi-sun-Sin, has been relegated to a lonely northern outpost, defending the Korean frontier against raiders. But a neglected military has left Korea ripe for invasion, and only Commander Yi and other enlightened leaders recognise the peril their kingdom faces. When their fears are realised, Yi-Sun-Sin is made an Admiral and given the daunting task of defending Korea against all but impossible odds!
The Korean campaign takes place in the late 1500’s, with Korea being invaded by the Japanese Samurai warriors, and depicts the Koreans’ battle for their homeland.
In the featured scenario, a thousand man strong force has landed in Korea, meeting little resistance thanks to the Norway-before-WW2-style downsizing of their prey’s military. The scenario opens with a cutscene of a Korean War council and then goes on to let the player defend Korean castles against Japanese onslaughts, for then to raise an army and defend a mountain pass from Japanese onslaughts (part with units you train yourself, part with units you recapture by liberating occupied castles).
I like how you rely on sneaking and guerrilla warfare in the scenario, and how it presented optional objectives for the player to complete and different approaches to every objective. For example, when you are to storm the first castle, you’ve got at least three alternatives: You can give both your swordsmen and Heroes the Forest Walk upgrade and use a Keg Cart to blow away a Stone Mine, giving your Swordsmen and Heroes a free path trough the woods into the back of the castle; you can give the forest walk upgrade to only your Swordsmen and have them sneak into the castle and throw the Gate Switch, letting your entire army into the castle trough the gate; or you can simply storm the gate with your entire army. The replayability is stunning.
Second off is the Richard The Lionhearted Campaign:
1189 AD: Richard the Lionhearted ascends to the English throne in a cruel and heartbreaking war: Trough the assassination of his own father, King Henry II. All of England cries for revenge, But the country’s territories are fractured by rebellion, and while longtime enemy France is strong and amassing its forces nearby.
In this scenario, you play as Richard and his brother Geoffrey, who have just learned that Richard’s father is dead from poisoning, elevating him to the throne.
You then discuss an armistice with king Phillip of France, and then you move on to the main part of the campaign: You must retake the coastal castles that recently were seized by a local rebel count before her Highness the Queen, not knowing that the castles have gone hostile, lands her ship at one of them!
This scenario does a great job at showing off the bridge, water, and naval battle elements of the game. Well done, Triple-S!
One of the first things I noticed when loading the scenarios, was that the Scout/Hints/History sections that used to accompany each scenario in Age of Empires 1 and 2 and Empire Earth are gone. There’s now only an instruction screen for each scenario and an overall description of the whole campaign. However, the scenario designers have proven that a scenario can make do without these features and still inform the player sufficiently about what’s going on.
Overall, the instructions were clear, involving, and informative, as were the cutscenes I saw.
Nothing but positive words. The bards in realms at home and abroad will tell well-deserved tales, wide and tall, of the graphics in Empires: DOTW. The water looks real, the clothes of the characters look disturbingly real (case of point: The loose clothes of the Korean leaders in the Korean scenario's opening cutscene).
The game has tons of nice touches like moving mouths, reflections in water, and gradual damage (torn clothes, bloody wounds, etc). Make sure you get a good, powerful Graphics Card.
The second major thing I'm taking off points for is the "inflatable buildings". When you assign a villager/subject/citizen to build something, the building 'inflates' out of the ground instead of being built gradually. I guess that with the detail of the game, the team couldn't add "gradually finished" buildings for every single building in the game (this would take up HD space, and someone mentioned RAM as well), but I still slightly dislike it and chose to penaltize the demo for it (no harsh thoughts, though).
Total rating: 93%
SSSi have put their hearts and souls into making an unique RTS that will stand the test of time. So far I’ve only found a single bug (Richard and Geoffrey don’t return to outside of the monastery if you skip the monastery movie), indicating that play testers have been taking their jobs seriously as well, and there were no typos or grammar errors (to my foreign eye, at least).
—Øyvind ”Midgard Eagle” Wallentinsen,
September 18th 2003