Monday, February 18, 2013
I'm playing Impire, a dungeon management game by Cyanide Studio and Paradox Interactive.
The game features a lengthy campaign that can be played cooperatively, along with a competitive skirmish mode for up to four human players online. Each mission involves the same general structure: going to a specific set of locations and killing all of the enemies along the way. The interface has some good features (icons that display important units and locations, as long as they aren’t close to each other) but is cumbersome overall, preventing totally efficient management of units. The first priority is placing rooms in your dungeon that produce units or resources, provide upgrades, or affect enemy hero units. Collected resources can be used to recruit units, place new rooms, and organize more squads, while mana allows you to spawn workers units, teleport squads, or attack enemy units. Impire uses an innovative achievement-based unlock system, granting new units, rooms, and upgrades while you reach simple intermediate goals. Units are organized into four-monster squads, gaining experience over time and attacking nearby enemy units automatically. Low-level units are very frail and should be upgraded as soon as possible. Heroes are usually easy to defeat if you surround them with more than one squad, and defeated heroes can be farmed for resources or training experience. Off-map raids for resources or mission objectives are disappointingly non-interactive. Impire is generally an easy game thanks to instant teleportation around the map: you can easily deal with invading heroes and retreat units back to heal. Overall, the repetitive mission design, straightforward build progression, limited unit control tactics, lack of tough decisions, and occasionally unwieldy interface fail to make Impire a truly engaging title.