Article Author :PCGS Date : 17th May 2005 Comments :0
On the surface, Imperial Glory looks like it would make for some good competition for the Total War series. As we mentioned in our previous coverage of this title, many fans of the Total War series have been longing for a more modern take on the game preferably around the Napoleonic War era. It looks as if Imperial Glory just might be that one game to satisfy the crazy fans. After all, it holds many areas in common with the Total War series. The management screen is very similar, the interface is very close in comparison, and even the battles (for the most part) feel the same. However, after playing through a full campaign and hours of instant battles, we have decided that looks can definitely be deceiving. Imperial Glory may hold many similarities with the Total War series, but it lacks the features and depth that made the Total War series succeed.
Imperial Glory sees you trying to become the next great ruler of Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. You have the choice to play as five different nations: Great Britain, France, Austria, Prussia and Russia. There are a lot more nations in the game, but unfortunately only these five are playable. Each nation does have their advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one could slightly impact your gameplay. The main goal of any nation in Imperial Glory is to conquer as much of Europe as they can. The game tends to emphasize peaceful conflicts rather than war. Thanks to its strong diplomacy system peace can be maintained between nations. This can be accomplished through treaties, coalitions, improvement of relations, rights of passage and more. Of course war can't always be avoided, and there will be a number of times when such a task will be necessary. Battles seem to be far and few between as you'll spend most of your game time staring at the management screen.
The main portion of the game is contained within the campaign mode. Here you not only choose which nation you wish to be, but you also have the choice of two different methods of obtaining victory. The two styles are score victory and total victory. Score victory gives you 40 years to work with where you must score as many Glory points as possible. This style is more for novice players and allows you to get more experience before tackling the second style. Total victory, on the other hand, is where you must conquer all of Europe without any time limit.
No matter what style of victory you choose to play you'll spend most of your time focused on the management screen. This screen is the main interface and is much like that found in Rome: Total War. This screen is in the form of a battle map laid out across a desk. From here, you can manage your entire nation. For the most part management duties will come down to three things: researching and building new technologies, creating and moving armies, and dealing with diplomacy between neighbouring nations.
The main tool here is the rather large research tree. The three categories of research include scientific, social and military. Only one new technology can be researched at a time. You can choose which item to research at any given moment, and depending on what it is, it may take a few turns to research. Sometimes waiting for your next turn can take up much of your time as it occasionally takes a while for the AI to make their moves when it's their turn. Once you're done researching some items the tree will become more narrow, and your choices of items to research will become less and less until you have not choice but to advance to the next era. There are three eras in all, and each one offers new and more advanced items to research. Researching more and more items is vital to the success of your Empire as it allows for you to create newer buildings in any of your territories. Each era has their own select buildings that can be created to advance your Empire in many ways. For example, building an Academy will train any troops you may have making them more powerful. Although these buildings do come at a price as they can cost a lot of resources and gold to build.