We all know Iceberg Interactive love signing promising 4x games (Endless Legend, Star Drive 2 and so on,) and you can now add the ancient China-based Oriental Empires to that list.
Of particular interest is the involvement of R.T. Smith and John Carline as project leads. As you can see from their Mobygames profiles, Smith was Project Director and Lead Designer on Medieval II: Total War (and helped developer the original Medieval and Shogun: Total War,) while Carline was an artist on Medieval II and Kingdoms.
That’s some pretty hefty development experience for a game of this type, especially if you’re someone who preferred the earlier era of Total War games.
Oriental Empire’s single player campaign (it’ll have multiplayer too,) will span the period 1,500 BC to 1,500 AD and put you in command of one of 16 factions in ancient China. Each one with different bonuses or penalties.
The game is said to take place on one seamless strategic map, which will allow you to zoom right in or out of the world. That’s a feature I’ve previously enjoyed in the Hegemony titles.
As is befitting of a 4x game, Oriental Empires will include building construction, research trees (for culture and philosophy, as well as weaponry) and the ability to set edicts, laws and decrees in your realm.
The battles will be “large” in scale, with hundreds or even thousands of soldiers taking part. I’m going to just copy what the press release says about the battles, because it seems as if you give orders ahead of time and then watch the clash unfold (so not really turn-based or real-time,) but it isn’t entirely clear. Here’s the line: “Watch skilled armies and reinforcements go to battle, according to the battle orders and formations set by the player.”
Some Oriental Empires screenshots follow after this text. The game is scheduled to appear in Steam’s Early Access this summer.