Top Critic Average
Etherium is unlikely to work its way into anyone's list of strategy favourites but if you're a fan of traditional RTS games, its short bursts of action might be as welcome as a cool pint of H20 during a drought.
To sum it up, Etherium is a fun yet deep game. The game's pace is fast enough to make every match exciting yet complex enough to leave seasoned RTS veterans wanting more. The inclusion of Conquest mode helps ramp up the number of hours you'll be spending into the game.
Etherium's unique 'Conquer Mode' creates a non-linear, exciting adventure. Engage in classic real-time strategy warfare whilst you fight for control of, not only the galaxy, but the precious mineral Etherium, too.
After all of that, for a game like this which appears to be aimed solely at a competitive multiplayer audience, it's really a matter of how many people are playing it and what the metagame ends up looking like. If there are imbalances in multiplayer, how quickly are they addressed? How are they addressed? How healthy is the community? How quickly can you find a game? All of these questions can't be answered simply by playing the game once or twice, definitely can't be answered before it releases, and are dependent on a sort of ephemeral quality that some games have and some don't. I think there's potential, but there's not quite a resounding reason to play this RTS over the dozens of others.
Etherium isn't a bad game by any means, as the RTS elements of the game are perhaps the most enjoyable, combining the best pieces of other strategy games. However, the turn-based sections of the game seemed to slow the overall pace down, and the card system seems disconnected from the rest of the game. Toss in a myriad of crashes, and I feel this one could have used some additional time to polish the experience.
At the end of the day, there are a few good ideas in what is obviously supposed to be a multiplayer-focused RTS, but there's just a lack of anything really imaginative, anything we've not seen before.
If you are looking for a new RTS game to play and have an older PC, you can't go wrong for the price. For anybody with a newer machine, there are other games out there more worthy of picking up.
While far from being bad or broken, Etherium disappoints more that it bores or annoys. It does so because it initially shows promise, but then throws it out of the window, since the few good ideas that exist aren't adequately explored. Even worse, the major focus on micromanagement, along with the somewhat unfair enemy AI, tends to decrease the fun factor quite a lot. Hopefully, the developer is taking notes on the many, generally negative reviews that its product has received, in order to create a far better sequel, or at least a gargantuan patch that would change a lot of things.
It might not scale the lofty heights of its illustrious predecessors, but it's got some fresh ideas and is certainly worth a look if bossing units around is your bread and butter.
The fact of the matter is that Etherium doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the competition. The new concepts it does bring to the table (like its space battles) are a breath of fresh air, but they are not fleshed out enough to make enough of an impact. Etherium isn’t a terrible game, but it isn’t a noteworthy one either.