Sandbox strategy lovers, get out your wallets.
Empyrean Rule: Rise of the Ancients is inspired not only by the majesty of Lord of the Rings, but also by such legendary games as Civilization, Eve Online, Mark of Chaos, Dark Omen, and the Total War Series. The game is described as “a true sandbox experience derived by the seamless blend of real-time tactical battles with a large-scale strategy/empire management game in a massive persistent open fantasy world.”
As a General in the world of Edelynn, players command massive armies recruited from among a wide variety of races, heroes, and unit types. Each race has its own distinct abilities, spells, and stats. The game world is enormous and never sleeps (like New York, but bigger and bloodier), and both individual people and entire empires will scheme and fight to achieve power and dominion. Player decisions will directly impact the game, which takes place entirely in real time, and each player must decide what kind of life they want to live. Who will be their enemies? Which skills will they upgrade for their heroes? What kind of battles will they wage?
Fighting happens frequently, of course. The Generals can choose between single player, co-op battle, or PvP, and select from a wide range of battle mechanics including Line of Sight, Weather Effects, Friendly Fire, and many more. Players can also join or form a guild to wield even more power, being able to own regions in the world and maintain complete control over aspects like trade, diplomacy, and infrastructure. Even the economy of the game world is determined by the players. Raw materials and products are limited in availability, and the laws of supply and demand can make an economic war even deadlier than a physical one.
Empyrean Rule is currently in pre-Alpha. It is expected to be compatible at launch with Windows, Mac, and Linux, and the developers hope to make it available for other platforms in the future. It has been brought to Kickstarter to fund the final phase of development, and has already been named a Kickstarter staff pick. It’s also on Steam Greenlight, where its first day saw it rise 22% of the way to the top 100 games.
Interested gamers may wish to help increase the standings on both websites; the Kickstarter is offering interesting rewards at the various tiers, including collectible coins, art books, the chance to participate in polls regarding game design, resin figures of game models, and even a statue of the player in the game, complete with backstory. Keep an eye on the crowdfunding campaign, and also get the latest Empyrean news on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.