Heroes of Annihilated Empires is a fantasy RTS/RPG combo that has a lot of the usual RTS mixed with a dab of RPG. It is hard to call it an RPG at all from the beginning but after 30 minutes of gameplay you finally get to use your hero character and experience the tiny amount of RPG elements the game includes.
The gameplay in Heroes of Annihilated Empires is pretty basic. Each race can only build 12 different buildings making it pretty easy to get every structure within 5 minutes of starting the game. The rest of the gameplay, up until the point when you can use your hero again, becomes a race to see who can spam out the most units through the most buildings. After your hero is able to move again a little more strategy is added to the game because your hero can buy alliances with other neutral clans scattered across the map. Unfortunately, the player has no control over the neutral clan after you ally with them and they will run around the map randomly attacking enemies. Your hero can also purchase potions and artifacts from various structures. As your hero levels up you get to choose what attributes to throw points into. Overall the gameplay is shallow but still provides some fun gaming moments.
Heroes of Annihilated Empires’ graphics are lackluster and fairly boring for the most part. Because of how zoomed out you are when playing the characters look like ants that your commanding. Only when you bring out the elite units do you see impressive graphic details in the character models. Overall though the particle effects are decent and the character models are downright boring. Many of the buildings even lack anything interesting in their appearance.
The controls are simple to learn and only have a few minor glitches. When you select a character it doesn’t show up very well and sometimes you will continually click the same creature because you are not sure you selected him. Other times you may drag your cursor around some creatures and tell them to do something just to realize they weren’t selected. Character pathing can sometimes cause characters to turn in place until you tell them to do the same thing over again. Other then those complaints the controls are great and really work well for the genre.
Heroes of Annihilated Empires’ features are basic to the genre. They include a single player campaign which unfortunately starts you off as a specific side not allowing you the option to play as a different team. Multiplayer games run as standard RTS skirmishes and can go on for very long periods of time before anyone wins. Then you also have the option to play single player skirmishes vs. the computer. Oddly enough both the skirmish modes (multiplayer and single player) only contain 3 maps to choose from and only one allows for the maximum number of players which is 7. I don’t understand why they stopped at 7 as 8 seems to be the usual number of players for RTS games, but it really causes some issues online. Because of this odd non-round number of players people who play online are forced to play 3v4 or lower the game limit to 6 players.
Replayability is probably one of the game’s worst points. Most RTS games have the same replayability that almost naturally comes with the genre. Unfortunately, this game messed up here big time. One of the biggest aspects of RTS games is the ability to play skirmish mode on a wide variety of maps. This game includes 3 whole maps to skirmish on; on top of that only one of them supports the full 7 players. On top of that the inability to choose a team to play the campaign through reduces the replayability even more.
The idea of creating a fantasy world where you can also control a hero is a great overall concept. The addition of being able to equip various pieces of equipment that can be purchased from artifact vendors is another great concept. The concept was great and if there weren’t so many problems with the game itself it probably would have been an amazing RTS.
Heroes of Annihilated Empires isn’t bad but there are a lot better RTS games out there. However, if you like the idea of customizing a hero as well as building an army at the same time there are few RTS options for you. The bit of RPG gameplay in Heroes of Annihilated Empires may be enough to pull an avid RPGer into the game.
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