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Forge of Empires Review
Apr 26,2012 03:04 by Sara Lau3
Forge of Empires is a new civilization-building game where players can develop their own city and construct it from scratch. The game, which spans a long period about 5000 years from Stone Age to Late Middle Age, seems to be more or less inspired by Age of Empire.
Basically, to maximize use of each plot of land, buildings should be placed around your town hall, then gradually increase in coverage until they radiate out into every corner of the land. Roads must link your production and military buildings to your town hall in order to utilize their functions. Your first business in the game is to build a residential house which can increase your population and provide sufficient workforce. Once you have a bunch of free worklabors, you can start to set up pottery workshops, blacksmiths and all kinds of other buildings to utilize resources or gold for your empire. If at any time you decide to change the layout of your town, you can simply use the “tool box” to pick up and relocate any buildings to any open empty plot with no cost. The production system is designed to give hardcore players some strategic advantages. Before initiating a production order, you get to choose from multiple time frames, within which the building keeps busy in construction. If you choose the shortest amount of time, you will get most quantity of resources per minute ratio; alternatively, you can set your business shop on a longer construction order and return 8 hours or so later to collect a relatively big quantity of resources.
“Happiness” is a vital mechanism that you have to manage in order to maximize your town’s productivity. You need to waste some empty land plots to build monuments and decorations to increase your nation’s reputation, so that a higher “happiness” value can provide a bonus on productivity.
Once you have an army, you will have the option to assign your soldiers to either a defensive army or an expedition squad. The game provides a single-player campaign and you need to conquer NPC territories on the world map. The campaign doesn’t come with any in-depth storytelling to keep players hooked. Combats are carried out on a turn-based hexagonal battleground similar to Heroes of Might and Magic series: Troops are under your direct command; units are distinguished from each other based on their different move range, attack range, and attack or defense power. Various impassible terrains like water or rocks serve as choke points that give veteran players strategic edge. Battles of initial stages are so mindless easy to play, I completed them all with my starting tie-one units – spearmen. I proceeded through the campaign very quick, until I confronted with an unfair battle. So I realized that I would have to unlock some new technologies and troops from more advanced age to get the upper hand.
Speaking of technologies, I’ve never seen a game with such a humongous technology tree before. You start in the Stone Age and will have more options as you progress through the researching. Technology tree covers everything you can expect including new battle units, new resources, new buildings, and new training events to make your troops more powerful. Each technology will cost you a certain amount of research point – something akin to energy point that regains automatically as time goes by, but it regenerates much more slowly, the accumulation speed is only 1 point every hour. Players are only able to store a maximum of 10 spare research points, so if you would like to make good use of each precious research point you will have to login in at least every 10 hours.
The PVP system of Forge of Empires is a bit different from what you’ve get used to. This game does not come with a big world map so that players can be found scattered across it. Instead, a buddy list-esque layout that displays players around your level of fame is situated on the bottom of the screen, allowing you to visit or attack them.
Overall, the game is not bad, graphics are nice, and the appearances of buildings change significantly as you advance through different ages. But the game seems to focus too much on its single-player campaign: Alliances cannot be formed and nations cannot be conquered. More features should have been incorporated to enhance the gameplay of multiplayer part. Therefore I do not recommend playing this game.
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