Game Review: Imperial Glory

Imperial Glory, Pyro Studios 2005, $5.99 on gog.com

Imperial Glory is a turn based war & diplomacy strategy game for PC and Mac set primarily between the years of 1789-1830. As the Player Character nation (PC) you are tasked with being the emperor of one major European nation, charged with making his empire the great nation and conqueror of the world.

Players can choose between 5 nations, Great Britain, France, Austria, Prussia, & Russia, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages along with (somewhat) unique elite and special forces units. Through diplomacy and battlefield tactics the PC is tasked with rewriting history and conquering as much territory as they can in Europe and North Africa.

The player can choose two modes; 1789-1830, a score based mode, and then an untimed mode, in which the player must conquer the whole map and rule the world. From this reviewers perspective the score mode is much more of a challenge, more realistic, and better suits the games mechanics. If you one wishes to play a complete night of the 1789-1830 mode it might take around 3-6 hours of game play.

Diplomacy is a major part of Imperial Glory in that most countries are forced to make allies and definitely some enemies in their quest to annex territory by force or by politics. It is especially fun to play as a nation which keeps many smaller, neutral nations under their protection for trading purposes or the chance to peacefully or militarily annex them later.

Neutral nation-territories which can be conquered or annexed are grey, Austria is Yellow.

Imperial Glory certainly takes it format from the more popular PC games of the genre like Total War and Shogun Total War, immensely popular warfare-diplomacy strategy games in their own right. Some of this games other influences include Risk and Stratego. Risk, created by a French filmmaker in 1957, then known as La ConquĂȘte du Monde, certainly is the closest relative to Imperial Glory in feel and even game play. Though its obvious similarities to the Total War franchise may turn some away thinking it’s a cheap knock off, this game has less of learning curve and its varied enough to up a decent replay value.

This game does however suffer from the tedium of doing things over and over again in-game with little reward at times. The battles when you actually control your soldiers are confusing, the graphics are dated, and your opponents AI and your soldiers AI is very sloppy most of the time. More playable nations, more unique nations, and more nations or territories should have been added.

Personally, I just simulate most of the battles turning Imperial Glory into a faster paced tabletop-esque experience, an overall game play feel not dissimilar to Risk at all. The varied units for the countries sometimes don't seem very different in usefulness though it’s a nice attempt by the gamemakers to add some realism to each playable nation. The naval combat portion is enjoyable especially when you choose Great Britain as your nation because your are forced to make a giant fleet and conquer the many oceans of the European hemisphere.

Napoleonic period fans may like this game for the subject matter alone, though truly it is almost an alternative history of that period so proceed with caution. Overall Imperial Glory is most certainly not a unique game play experience but it is an enjoyable, and reasonably put together Napoleonic warfare & diplomacy strategic simulator. 3.5 out of 5

Armies of the Napoleonic Age


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