Lost Empire: Immortals

Written by Joe Martin

March 15, 2008 | 08:01

Tags: #homeworld #space #strategy #turn-based

Companies: #ascaron

Lost Empire: Immortals

Publisher: Ascaron
Platforms: PC
UK Price (as reviewed): £24.99 (inc. Delivery)
US Price (as reviewed): $29.00 (ex. Tax)

Let’s get right down to it today and not mess around with gentle introductions and developer pillow-talk, m’kay? God knows, after playing Lost Empire: Immortals I can do without relaxing lead-ins – I need excitement!

Lost Empire: Immortals, which I constantly find myself calling Lost Empires: Immortals on the basis that it actually features more than one misplaced dynasty, is a strategy game of the most old-school type. It’s turn-based, low-budget and slow-paced. It’s like Warlords, but set in space – which I suppose makes it a little more like…well, more like Warlords with lasers and stun-guns.

Actually, it’s kind of weird that I can’t think of an example of a prominent turn-based strategy game set in space. It’s even weirder that neither of the two journalists sat next to me could either. The genre is undeniably crowded, I know that much, and there’s bound to be hundreds of games called Space Star General Slayer Super Duel II – but none of these games have really achieved success on a level that makes them a household name in the minds of gamers.

Lost Empire: Immortals
For most of the game, you'll be seeing this or a menu

Maybe, just maybe, Lost Empires: Immortals could be the game to break that trend – but it’s far more likely that I’ve ignored a glaringly obvious example of the genre and that someone will correct me in the forums. Ashamed and humiliated, I will then skulk back to my desk and wither away in awe of another person’s gaming knowledge.

Or not. Really, I’m just trying to find something exciting to think about to help coax me back to life after the terminally dull gaming sessions I’ve had with Lost Empire: Immortals.

This Empire Belongs To…

The premise of Lost Empire: Immortals is quite simple. Aeons ago, the galaxy was filled with war, strife and all things not-very-nice as immortal, God-like beings waged against each other in what was, by the sounds of it, a rather pointless battle.

Out of the chaos though two immortal leaders emerged – the duo declared peace, reformed the galaxy and all was well until they corrupted absolutely and turned on each other. The player then takes the role of the leader of a lesser, mortal race who then must lead his people to glory – in story mode this is achieved by allying with one of the two immortals, Enias or Bythos, and killing the other. Alternatively, you can kill both if you wish.

All this backstory is delivered quickly to the player in a very dull cutscene at the start of the game, which really is only notable because it’s voiced over by the world’s slowest speaking man.

Lost Empire: Immortals
Spelling mistakes and leftover placeholders betray a certain roughness around the edges...

After the cutscene is over though, players are dropped down into the first of many, many menus and can start their game by choosing which race they want to play as from all the available stereotypes – the all-rounder Humans, the ever expanding Horde, the evil people whose name I can’t remember, etc.

Choosing a race isn’t just an aesthetic choice though and the game bestows certain advantages and disadvantages on the different races – faster build rates in certain areas and so on. It’s fairly run of the mill stuff – though, interestingly some of these racial advantages don’t really unveil themselves until you’ve researched enough about your own history.

Research is one of the most important areas of the game as it’s pretty much impossible to do anything until you’ve learnt enough about it. In fact, pretty much everything you do centres around the idea of learning – something I’d encourage if only it wasn’t so realistically dull and basically an exercise in not-reading the numerous news flashes that pop up. Any new ships you want to build, planets you want to colonise, wars you want to wage – all of these are affected by how deeply you’ve researched certain technologies, be they new types of hull or planet-destroying weapons of mass destruction.
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