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Oriental Empires

Step into the world of the ancient Orient. Control a city or tribe from the dawn of Chinese history, and turn it into a great empire. Develop your land, create great cities, raise huge armies and fight epic wars. Advance your technology, culture and religion to create one of mankind’s great civilizations. All the action takes place on one spectacular game map that brings to life the mountains, forests, plains and deserts of China. Zoom in close to review your troops and see your peasants toiling, or zoom out for a strategic overview. Plan your battles, end your turn, and then watch as your armies obey your orders, with hundreds of soldiers battling right on the game map. Start out as a single nation or tribe, starting from humble beginnings with a single settlement and expand your empire and develop your culture with the aim of becoming the universally recognized Son of Heaven and ruler of the world.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Good Chinese based 4x. Difficult learning curve and I think that has caused a few of the negative comments. I don't love it but after reading other reviews I thought that it had many unfair negatives so I figured I'd help balance that out with my positive. I have experienced no bugs of any kind so far. I think it's good and very challenging.
It's very important to have an heir at all times as battle or disease can kill anyone at any time. Also the limited help you get from your advisor/tutorial is very important. It's easy to overlook something that seems basic and not important but in this game basic problems can become empire threatening quickly.
If you like 4x and/or ancient Chinese culture, and you can live with great difficulty, steep learning curve and little hand holding, then you'll love this. If any of that is not for you then there are other games out there that you'll enjoy more.

Review from Steam

A mixed bag with more atmosphere than I've seen in any other 4x game
First, the negative (and there's some intense ones!)
(-) the soundtrack is repetitive
(-) the Grand Chancellor's description says it decreases peasant unhappiness... just the opposite
(-) the game crashes wayyy too often, it's probably the least stable title I own
(-) the AI isn't always the brightest, especially defending against aggressive starts
But it's also the one I play the most
(+) a very satisfying economic system that appears easy to learn but is actually hard to truly master
(+) armies can be raised in an instant... assuming you have the income
(+) the terrain's bonuses are remarkably varied. A single rhinoceros tile has enough income to sustain four squads of light infantry- crucial in the early game.
(+) Natural disasters sweep the field routinely- but (crucially) predictably. Build a city next to a river, and know that sooner or later that river WILL flood. Better have granaries built and don't overwork your peasants.
(+) court management is simple, but it's very satisfying to finally get a really good Justice minister or a military governor for that city that's always on the brink of rebellion
(+) where many 4X games have heavy-handed limits on cities, OE uses a penalty to noble happiness. You can go past the limit... but don't be surprised if nobles try to steal your cities thinking your attention is elsewhere
(+) instead of using exaggerated, cartoony models to emphasize that THIS IS A SPEARMAN Oriental Empires prefers to use mahjong tiles that appear when you select an army. Everything's color coded so you can see who's there (i.e. don't send an army of peasants to crush a peasant rebellion) and their weapons are clearly displayed
Playing Oriental Empires is a game for thoughtful people. You're walking a tightrope, with disasters and rebellions as threatening as AI empires. The atmosphere is deep and rich, and a decision as small as opening a second barracks can tilt your economy in predictable, challenging ways. It's a natural engine for story telling.
Well do I remember the peasant rebellion that seized control of the empire's gold mines- only to be conquered by a rival who refused to give them back. I remember the thrill of stumbling on a jade mine's rare wealth for the first time.
Ultimately, the flaws in this game are fixable- but few games offer as interesting a palette of decisions. Bad things happen, people get tired of being told what to do, war looms on the horizon- but if you planned ahead, you can probably keep it from crashing down on your head. Easily the most satisfying 4X game I've ever played. Just ignore the fact that your capital is on fire.

Review from Steam

Good Game :)

Review from Steam

The game is somewhere between Civilization and Total War. The basic premise is closer to Civilization than TW but there are enough additional considerations that you can feel you are playing more of a simulation than a pure 4x game.
That said, there are many rules not explained very well and even reading old threads from prior to the DLC it can be difficult to get a good handle on the rules. Most of the time it is not game-breaking to have a weak grasp on the rules but in the later turns of a 300 turn campaign when factions have 20-40 cities and 30-50 armies, it can get really complex just to capture a single city to tip the point balance.
Most games are won between 100-200 turns due to that, if you aren't in the points lead by 200 it is going to be a real grind to capture the lead.
There are probably 3-5 different ways to play between herders, farmers, and depending on start position and special units.
Culture victories is mostly a combination of playing wide&tall with the most population in the most well developed cities, it will require some fighting but not a huge amount.
Conquest victory will require fighting endlessly from the start of the game until the end and you will likely have to nearly fully overcome 2-3 strong factions.
Overlord or getting recognized as Emperor seems the most difficult from what I can tell, I have yet to achieve it as it seems to require dominant military & cultural power + a really good start to snowball fast enough to reach enough of the factions on the map and impress them with your might.

Review from Steam

There's something very immersive and charming about this game. It's not the most in-depth or meta game, but it puts heart into what it does and it's a great time in multiplayer with your friends pillaging each other "by accident".

Review from Steam

Solid 4X by ex Creative Assembly devs with plenty of interesting mechanics. It doesn't have much political and diplomatic depth but the military, logistic and economic aspects more than make up for it.

Review from Steam

total war and civilization hybrid.