Reviews// Impire

Posted 8 Mar 2013 16:29 by
Humour is very hard to write and even harder to perform. Cyanide Studios, the creators of Impire, have no doubt discovered while making the game. Sadly, they didn't seem to glean much from these discoveries, as Impire is not funny. Even though it clearly sets out to be.

But more on that later. Let's get to the very core of what Impire is, which is ostensibly an dungeon building simulator. The player controls the dark lord Baal-Abaddon, who has been summoned by Oscar van Fairweather, an inept and misguided wizard. Oscar charges Baal-Abaddon to do his bidding, but soon these shackles are thrown off and the servant becomes master.

The game has the player building dungeons that are staffed by workers that Baal-Abaddon can summon at will, provided he has enough mana. These workers can then be directed to various rooms that serve functions, all of which have a greater and lesser impact on the infrastructure that is required of a dungeon. Did that last sentence sound like something out of a textbook? Well that's kind of fitting as Impire is a rather stale game.

The core of a dungeon in Impire is the food production and nursery. The food is a resource that is required to make denizens. These creatures are in turn summoned from the nursery.

The type of creature you can summon is based on how many DEC points you earn. To earn these points you have to complete certain tasks, such as kill 10 heroes as they try to invade your dungeon. The more of these tasks you complete, the more features of the game become unlocked. Are you, dear reader confused at this point? Bewildered by a torrent of information to such an extent that where you don't know which way is up, down, left and right? Well don't worry, that's a typical response when encountering anything to do with Impire. The game is one of the more confusing and overwhelming games currently out there.

As the game unfolds the player is faced with the confronting heroes who seek to put an end to the workings of Baal-Abaddon. Sadly their efforts are ultimately futile as Baal-Abaddon can never die and the minions the player can create are pretty much infinite. This results in the player throwing creature after creature at heroes until they are very dead. Such a mechanic becomes an action of attrition and not of strategy and intellect.

Impire is not a challenging game as its underlying mechanics prevent the player from losing outright. This reduces every single encounter to a grinding slog of enemies who will fall by virtue of the fact that they can't stop the flow of creatures being thrown at them. This is not fun as the player is reduced to going through a series of motions by balancing resources to a point where they become invincible and their victory is assured. It's just a question of time. That is not a challenge and it is therefore not much of a game.

Impire does attempt to teach the player the mechanics of the game by throwing a wall of data and options at them and unlocks features as they progress. It just doesn't deliver this information in an easy to digest manner and it results in the player fumbling around trying to figure out what is going on, with tool tips that are somewhat on the verbose side.

The developers have really tried to ease the player into the game, but due to the multilayered aspect of resource-gathering and summoning (then managing) how resources are treated, not to mention what your combatants are doing at any one time, it becomes exhausting.
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