The world of strategic video games has always been very varied and over the years we have made the acquaintance of great titles that have led us from the early stages of history to the future, up to reaching science fiction peaks or even leading to fantasy. AGEod e Slitherine Ltd. with theirs Field of Glory: Empires this time they have decided to tell us the stories of a great empire and all its epic adversaries, making us relive the story from very different points of view. This title, as you have already learned, is set in the classical era and takes up the geopolitical context of the empires located at the time on the Mediterranean. But no more chatter, let's find out more about this Grand Strategy game.
Divide and conquer
Field of Glory: Empires places the player in a rather turbulent historical context: it is 310 BC, Alexander the Great has recently died and his generals, dividing the territories he conquered, have given birth to numerous new kingdoms. At the same time the Roman republic is acquiring more and more power in the Italian peninsula and the first wars between it and Carthage begin. Which of these powers will be able to have supremacy over the others? It is up to you to decide. In fact, players will be able to choose your faction among seventy different powers, divided into main and secondary.
Like all titles of this genre, before starting the game the player is asked to select the most suitable difficulty for him. However, this affects the game in a different way than usual: as the difficulty increases, the technical ability of the artificial intelligence does not increase, but the bonuses it will have during the game and the penalties that will negatively affect the player's work increase.
The game map is very large and divided into regions but, unlike what one might think, it is rather bare. In fact, if a very high number of different factions are concentrated in the Italian peninsula, in the Balkans, in Greece and in Asia Minor, in the remaining territories we find a certain desolation; many of these are in fact controlled by phantom rebel factions that will be subjected in the very first turns of the game, while we would have appreciated more a study on the possible tribes or small kingdoms that controlled those territories, thus allowing us to face challenges worthy of the name.
We must sin in beauty non licet
Less experienced players who will try their hand at the Field of Glory: Empires they may encounter various obstacles in their path. The game, as we will see later, deals with many mechanics in depth and it is therefore difficult for a novice to approach them. About that Slitherine accompanies the game with a monumental digital manual of over 200 pages and with a series of video tutorials on YouTube that allow the user to quickly understand the tactics to use to make their kingdom prosper, provided that they have a good knowledge of the English language. In fact, both this work and the manual attached to it they do not contain the Spanish language, a feature that may discourage some players.
Among the most important mechanics present in this work we find that of the Legacy. This, directly connected to the relationship between culture and decadence, determines the course of one's empire, establishing from time to time the type of ruler at the head of the kingdom and the policies he proposes. Thanks to this feature, which interfaces with various random or historical events, each game is always different from the previous one and forces the player to maintain a constant level of attention towards his empire. In fact, in Field of Glory: Empires, unlike other titles of the same genre, the more the user plays well, the more he must keep alert. so that violent civil wars do not break out in his kingdom or his enemies do not decide to violate the perimeter of his empire.
In addition to this, the player is required to always keep an eye on their resources (there are many) avoiding shopping sprees for their army with the risk of not being able to maintain it. It will therefore have to strategically choose, turn by turn, how to distribute the citizens of each city in its possession to obtain the best economic, productive or cultural advantage according to its needs.
Just like in Civilization, to name one, also here the player will have to choose the type of constructions to be produced in their possessions; unlike the game mentioned though, the buildings available will not follow a certain technological path, but will vary randomly from turn to turn. If there is no availability of building a structure that suits the user's strategies, the latter may decide to lose a shift to obtain a new building proposal, but on the practical side we would have preferred a much more organized system that would allow you to choose to implement a specific strategy, compared to the random one chosen by the developer.
Si vis pacem, bellum for
But the real focus of Field of Glory: Empires are the battles and demonstrating this is the in-depth characterization of the various troops available. Each of these will have its own specific role in the battle and will get bonuses and penalties depending on the situation in which it is found: the light infantry for example will have bonuses in difficult terrain such as hilly and mountainous ones, while the heavy one will be at ease in conquering. of cities, thus showing its true potential. Also interesting is the possibility of adding to each army a specific general who can add extremely useful modifiers to overturn the result of an otherwise obvious battle. The battles are automatically managed by the AI which, by comparing troops and various modifiers, solves them in a few seconds, making everything very fast and smooth.
The battlefield isn't always the best way to expand your borders, however. In addition to weapons, players will have to make good use of diplomacy to try to enter into lasting alliances that allow them to cope with financial crises or internal turmoil without having to worry about defending their territories. Unfortunately iThe diplomacy system suffers from a somewhat Machiavellian AI, which does not always respect the conditions set by us. This certainly gives a greater challenge for the most daring, but at the same time it could annoy many players.
Alea iacta is
Like all Grand Stategy games, Field of Glory: Empires doesn't make graphics its strong point. Visually, the game is poorly maintained and there are numerous graphic defects dictated by the movement of the troops at each turn, which create events that are nothing short of singular (the ships that move for some stretches on the mainland are just one of the possible examples). AlsoThe audio sector is a bit subdued: the soundtrack is in fact not very varied and accompanies us throughout the game, only to disappear and then reappear a few minutes later.
But the truth is only one. Aspects such as the graphics and the audio sector go absolutely into the background in a Grand Strategy title, where the game mechanics are certainly the masters and Field of Glory: Empires, despite the small flaws that it brings with it, turns out to be a small pearl of the genre.