Empires Apart is the latest in the long line of modern RTS games that will attempt to bring back the golden age of the RTS, taking direct inspiration from classic titles such as Age of Empires, Empire Earth, and Stronghold.
Empires Apart aims to 'recapture' the enjoyment of RTS's, with the age-old tactics of collecting resources to build an army and subsequently leading it to victory being the focal point of the title. However, the developers of the title do not want it to be a simple remastering of such old titles, as they are taking ‘snippets’ from such genres as MOBAs and ‘hints’ from MMORPGs, with the overall goal of Empires Apart to be an Age of Empires title ‘at heart.’
The game's website illustrates how the developers of Empires Apart are planning to create the title. A game of Empires Apart begins by the player picking a Civilization and starts in-game by gathering four types of resources, which are food, wood, stone, and gold, with the final goal of building an army to 'crush' the player's opponents. Each Civilization in Empires Apart is built to feel 'unique', with different buildings and units. Each Civilization "is designed to be a Rush, Boom, or Support type of Civilization", and the game will allow players to choose different Variants that will favor certain aspects over others (such as an improved Calvary but weaker navy).
When a player is done choosing a Civilization and a Variant, the player can choose a Hero, which is a historically relevant special unit that has access to "unique passive and active abilities." While other games have such a hero, what is interesting about Empires Aparts' take is that once the hero is killed, they will not be able to revive it.
Empires Apart is being developed by DESTINYbit on the Unreal Engine and being published by Slitherine, with an estimated release date in the second half of 2017.
While it looks OK and the PR is certainly saying the right things, uttering the words ‘MOBA’ and ‘MMORPG’ is a fantastic one-two punch to my expectations. However, the art style looks interesting and there hasn’t been a good RTS with a decent multiplayer community since StarCraft II, so I’ll be keeping an eye on this one. Given that the RTS community has had precious little to play in the last ten or so years, it would be remiss of any RTS fan not to.
What do you think of Empires Apart? Are you interested in yet another RTS trying to recapture old glories? Let us know in the comments!