Empire Earth II
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Sunday, 13 January 2008

Empire Earth got several awards in 2001 when it was released. Mad Doc Software felt compelled to release a sequel, Empire Earth II. In Empire Earth II you follow several civilizations through their epic struggles.


For example you can follow Korea and the nation’s breakaway from China. Other campaigns include USA, which you can follow from the Spanish-American war to a future conflict with robots.  Historic battles include the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Three Kingdoms.  It’s also possible to play the German campaign, which starts during the 13th century and ends with the war to unify Germany.

A neat part of Empire Earth II is that it’s possible to choose sides in each campaign scenario, for example you can choose to play Normandy both as allies and axis. Of course choosing sides will give you different objectives to achieve.

The basic game play in Empire Earth II is similar to any other real time strategy game, gather resources, build a suitable army and attack your opponent. Sometimes it’s scary how Empire Earth II resembles the competitor Rise of Nations from Microsoft Games. The resources you can gather in Empire Earth II is stone, wood, gold and food. There are also special resources, which will only be available during certain ages/epochs in the game such as; tin, oil, uranium and saltpeter.

Obviously Empire Earth II also has the technology discoveries as we have seen in strategy games since Sid Meier’s Civilization. New technologies are researched using universities or temples (go figure). The more citizens you garrison in a university or temple the more technology points you will get.
Empire Earth II also contains a bunch of ages; each age has different weapons, buildings and technologies. The first age is called the stone age followed by the copper age, iron age, dark ages, middle ages, the renaissance, the imperial age, the enlightenment age, the industrial age, the modern age, the atomic age, the digital age, the genetic age and the synthetic age.

The more interesting ages occur at the very end of the game, things gets abstract and it’s kind of fun how Mad Doc pictures future warfare. Yup there are a lot of Star Wars-like vehicles, lasers and gizmos.

It was a real challenge trying to find any new feature in Empire Earth II, something that really makes it worthwhile. Truth is that there isn’t any killer app in this game, but there is at least one nifty little feature. If you are somewhere on the map building a new city center and your enemy attacks your other city center it will show up in a mini-view at the bottom of the screen. So you can basically follow the battle as you continue your other business, Mad Doc do have a solution for being two places at once.

Graphically Empire Earth II isn’t that creative either, it certainly doesn’t set new standards in the genre. Actually it looks quite similar to other recent RTS-games, maybe even a little bit uglier. I know graphics isn’t everything, but in recent releases like this one I think they at least could have put in an effort.

Empire Earth II has some pretty neat environments and maps. The weather changes between storm, blizzards and calm depending on the environment. If you are in the desert the storm will kick up sand and your units might start to move slower. In tropical areas aircrafts can have difficulties flying in hurricanes and severe rain. It’s also possible to predict the weather by building outposts (small guard towers).

The game also contains an interesting planning element, called the war planner. Basically you draw plans on a map, where you want your units to move. You can then choose to execute the plan and they do it. The war planner is a neat future and saves a lot of time and hassle.

The expansion for Empire Earth II: The Art of Supremacy (included in the Platinum edition) is kind of basic and could have included more features. However you do get three campaigns; Russians, French and Masai. Overall the Masai campaign is the most interesting one; it is set in 2030 where greedy corporations have taken over Africa. The Masai unites, builds a small empire and then fights the corporations and its allies. The Art of Supremacy expansion also adds custom civilizations, which means that it’s possible to create your very own civilizations with their own characteristics.

If you like strategy games Empire Earth II is the game for you. But it feels like RTS-games are getting repetitive gather resources and attack. In order to save the genre developers have to innovate RTS-games instead of just releasing clones.

Related: Sid Meier’s Civilization, Age of Empires, Civilization: Call to Power
Developer: MadDoc Software
Website for Game: http://www.empireearth2.com/home.html
Publisher: N/A
O/S: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 2005 (2006 Art of Supremacy Expansion)

Pentium IV 1,4 GHz, 256 MB RAM, 64 MB VRAM, Direct X 9.0c
Tested on:
Intel Core2Duo 1,86 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Windows Vista

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