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Forge of Empires Review

Forge of Empires Review

Free to play MMORTS - Browser Based

Publisher: InnoGames

Released: 2012


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Over the last few weeks we’ve played a variety of different MMO games that both entertain and innovate. Games like Chivalry: Medieval Warfare have shown how combat can be shaken up in an online game and Wartune is a perfect example of how the MMORTS genre should be developing. Every game has had more to prove than the last and each one so far has stood up to the challenge, all precursors for how their respective genres should be looking to update themselves. It was always going to be tough to keep that streak going and Forge of Empires had a lot to live up to. Can Forge of Empires manage it? We took a look to find out.

Positives - Forge of Empires review

A Whole New World – Creating your own empire has never been a more beautiful or relaxing experience. The graphics are stunning and fairly interactive for a browser game. Load times are quick, so you’re not bogged down between screens and watching your town grow is a truly rewarding experience. The music adds another level, a kind of relaxing, choral/orchestral piece made up of long chords which is guaranteed to destroy any stress you may have felt over the day. If I were a big fan of the genre, this game would be perfect after work.

Forge of Empires Gameplay Review Screenshot 1

It Ties Together – There are some games that are so wrapped up in menus and buttons that it can become quite frustrating to progress. Forge of Empires manages to do away with all of that by having alerts to tell you when something needs doing. If there are buildings idle, you’ll know about it and if there’s gold to collect, you simply need to click a building to collect it. It sounds like too simple feature to rave about, but it’s amazing how many MMORTS developers get this wrong.

Neutrals

A Fight to the Death – The battle system of Forge of Empires is almost tactical, but mostly not. Two armies - made up of up to eight units a side – face off against one another in a grid, you must move and attack. This would be fine if there were special moves you could do based on environment or positioning – I’m thinking Romance of the Three Kingdoms there – but there’s not. You’ll slowly approach the enemy while they slowly approach you and then you’ll hit one another until one of you wins. It does the job, but it’s hardly gripping.

Forge of Empires Gameplay Review Screenshot 2

Did you know about the Halloween events? – This isn’t really a complaint and it’s fairly specific to the point where it might be a bug in their system, but I’ve been told that there are Halloween events, by a mandatory pop-up, no less than six times this morning. Randomly appearing constantly is incredibly annoying, especially after I’ve already read it, and there doesn’t seem to be any option for turning it off. If I knew that this was a regular occurrence, not just a glitch for this one message, this portion of the review would go firmly in the negatives section.

Forge of Empires Gameplay Review Screenshot 3

Empires? – I’ve played Forge of Empires quite a lot over the past couple of days, but I’m still technically a beginner, or so you’d think. As it happens though, I’m a little above halfway up the leader board, implying that not many people play this game constantly. I’m not sure if the leader boards have just been reset, but if not, this isn’t going to be your most social MMO.

Negatives

Waiting for War – You won’t get very far into the game before you realize that waiting remains a huge part of Forge of Empires. The genre (MMORTS) is well known for making the player sit out for ages while nothing happens on screen and Forge of Empires manages to continue that tradition perfectly. Whether you’re building something in one of your stores or scouting some distant land, you can expect to be waiting up to 10 minutes after progressing relatively little.

Forge of Empires Gameplay Review Screenshot 4

Questing for Beginners – Quests in Forge of Empires will very, very slowly take you through much of what the game has to offer and reward you by making it so you don’t need to sit and wait for resources. They’re almost mandatory and you’ll find your progress through the game coming to a halt as a result. Things are generally explained well, but that doesn’t do much to break up the monotony.

Forge of Empires Gameplay Review Screenshot 5

Conclusion : Forge of Empires

"Forge of Empires is a decent MMORTS, surpassing much of what’s available in the genre for the way it presents itself alone."

Still, it struggles to find its own identity, and the result is something that will have you sitting around, waiting for something to happen. As usual, if you’re playing occasionally at school or at work, this can be looked past, but if you want a game to play constantly there are other MMORTS games that allow you to do more in less time. It’s worth a look, there are some nice features in there, but certainly not enough to warrant leaving another game for.

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