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Oriental Empires is a very well made strategy game that allows you to get through a campaign in a few hours instead of having saves that span days, though that is an option as well if you wish. Despite its smaller scope focusing on Ancient China instead of the globe, the stakes actually feel higher due to the limited resources and high number of factions fighting for them. While some of the systems require a lot of getting used to Oriental Empires is well worth persevering with.
Oriental Empires doesn't exactly break any ground in the strategy genre, and its sometimes insufficient tutorials can be frustrating at times. That said, it gets the basics right and is fairly cheaper than some of its contemporaries, making it an ideal game for the gamer on a budget or for the strategy gamer looking for something new to check out.
Overall, I can easily say this game is a really good game and it deserves a chance. As a huge fan of turn-based strategy games, I can easily see that they did a great job designing it. Oriental Empires offers a balanced mixture of all the main features that we love about well known strategy games. The visuals, the sound effects and a couple of issues with the combat system might be annoying from time to time though. If you're a fan of turn-based strategy games and if the idea of the Eastern culture in a game like this attracts you, this game is your game. However, if you expect a game with high-end visuals and fast-paced action features, well, you know the answer.
Oriental Empires is a title that is worthy of being called 4X. Yes, it has a good amount of flaws that pushes it away from the greatness, but it still can give to the fans of strategic adventures a great experience.
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Oriental Empires is a solid, detailed first effort from Shining Pixel Studios that fans of the 4X strategy genre will enjoy. Unfortunately, newcomers and veterans alike might be disappointed by the unwieldy UI, unpredictable systems and lack of in-game tutorials or explanations.
Oriental Empires offeres more than enough to keep long time strategy fans happy. It looks great and does try one or two new things that don't turn out as well as they could, lacking the depth and variety to push it into being a great game.
Oriental Empires is worth taking a look into if you're a fan of 4X strategy games or Eastern Asia in general. Although the combat and UI can be confusing at times, there is a lot more to this game!
So we come to the fun payload. It's sort of lacking. We've played games like this before, many of them really excellent and with depth and character. Oriental Empires certainly looks nice and has a classical Chinese feel that helps it along its way, but once you're through the surface, it's a lacklustre 4X without a great deal to set it apart from the pack. Much of the time, Oriental Empires feels like playing a game of Total War where you auto-conclude all of the battles, but with a penchant for very slightly unfair and unavoidable disasters.
The translation of history into a video game is one of the best parts of the game. The units, groups and terrain are all very accurate to Chinese history. While many of the elements look great on the surface, there simply isn't enough depth to any of the systems to feel like a true 4X. The largest failing is the combat system with a randomness that destroys strategy. It all feels rushed and unpolished. While there is something that could be great under it, it is not ready yet.
Oriental Empires lacks in content on all levels and thus removes the player's ability to experience and explore an interesting time period. If you enjoy the 4x genre, it's a possible interest, but it's otherwise uninspired.