|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Pollux Gamelabs||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Paradox Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 11, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 - 10 Online||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Lost Empire: Immortals is a turn-based strategy game that takes place in space. It incorporates elements from the civilization-building genre. It's the kind of game that has been done to death in various forms, and Lost Empire: Immortals does little to rise above the glut of mediocre titles in the category despite the seemingly original in-outer--space concept.
Throughout the galaxy are scattered various races that once benefited from the ancient technologies and philosophies of a long-forgotten master race. These colonies are beginning to reawaken as they discover their heritage, along with the ancient knowledge that once drove them to explore and expand their empire in the galaxy. These six races are poised to conquer the entire galaxy through a variety of means, both fair and foul. They will rebuild their fleet of spaceships which they will use for assault, defense, and transport. Domination of the galaxy may be achieved through war, diplomacy, technology, commerce, and various combinations of these elements.
With no lack of depth to this game, things can get really complex as you progress. The more of the galaxy that you command, the more decisions and calculations you'll have to entertain and perform before each and every turn. You can play in single-player or multi-player mode, and while it may be fun, the gameplay will be far too familiar to fans of the genre. It comes across as a generic, budget game. Some of you may argue that shooters are much more similar in terms of content than such strategy games, and I would agree, but only because the shooter is automatically limited in scope by its very nature. A turn-based strategy game with civilian building elements has so many components that there's no reason for any one game to be so similar to another in gameplay structure. There's nothing wrong with using a proven formula as a guideline, but Immortals uses it as blueprint.
Choose from one of six races. You will begin your conquest by taking stock of your resources which include minerals, materials, food, and the population. You will need people skilled in the various disciplines such as builders, soldiers, and leaders. They will need to be sustained with food. The materials and resources can be used to build bases and ultimately ships for your fleet. Resources can also be sold, and to a lesser extent, traded. The money from sales can be used to purchase weapons and/or increase your technologies through research and development. There are some 5000 systems to conquer, so you can plan on a lot of busy work.
Maps can be randomly generated, so you'll never play the same game twice. But by the same token, it's virtually impossible to play a game of checkers the same way twice. Turn-based strategy games are similar to chess games. The fact that Immortals is considered a video game at all can only be attributed to the graphics and animation, which only serve to bring the gameplay to a more visual medium since it's essentially a tabletop game, or a text-based game at that. It's evident by the low quality of the graphics and cutscenes that the production was not considered the main focus here. While the enormity of the galaxy is impressive, the close-ups are less than flattering. There are jaggies everywhere. This is not a big-budget game. There is little in the way of voiceover work, which is actually a good thing considering how plodding the cutscenes narrator is. Relaxing, ambient music is the only thing that will keep you company on your tedious sojourns through space.