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Feral Interactive
Strategy & War
Release Date

Imperial Glory
July 29, 2005 | Ian Beck

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Although Mac users have been able to slake their thirst for real-time strategic conquest thanks to such venerable franchises as Civilization, WarCraft, Age of Empires, and more, some people find it endlessly depressing that one series has never made it to Mac: Total War.

The sad news is that, as of this printing, this is still true. However, Mac users will soon see a game heavily inspired by the Total War games which also happens to bring a goodly amount of twists of its own to the table. That game is Imperial Glory, created by Pyro Studios (some of whose other titles include the recently ported Commandos series) and being ported and published by Feral Interactive.

Imperial Glory is a turn-based game with real-time combat in the tradition of the Total War games, and takes place during the Napoleonic Wars (1789-1830). You are allowed to play as one of five major players in the European theater: Great Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, or Austria. Although the fighting units available for each of the different powers are more or less equivalent, the playing experience for each is different since the different nations have very different strengths and weaknesses in the areas of commerce, military, science, and resources.

Despite its heavy reliance on the gameplay of the Total War series, Imperial Glory is a unique game in its own right thanks to additions such as naval battles, a tech tree, and the clever introduction of "quests."

Strategic leadership
The turn-based portion of Imperial Glory is played on a parchment map of Europe and North Africa covering 51 different provinces and 31 maritime regions. Armies and fleets are represented by brass counters which you move from place to place, but the turn-based portion of the game is much more than simple Risk-style army movement: you must also manage your resources, decide what to focus on in commercial ventures and scientific research, and participate in diplomacy.

In point of fact, although battles are certainly important and a big part of expanding your empire, you don't even necessarily have to participate in them (although if you choose to let the computer decide them based on statistical analysis, you'll be missing out a big part of the game, and likely will not be as successful as if you were to take personal command—assuming that you are a competent commander, of course). The strategic elements of the turn-based phase of the game offer a large range of options, from over 90 different advancements within four different branches (military, political/diplomatic, commerce, and resources) to the in-depth diplomacy system which allows you to arrange for rights of passage through foreign soil, marry a royal heir to your neighbor in order to improve relations, set up newspapers in foreign cities to drum up support for your cause, and more.

Another exciting feature of the game is the addition of "quests" which become available based on different criteria, such as what you have researched, where you have invaded or annexed, which country you are playing as, and so forth. Quests have varying requirements to fulfill and varying bonuses for doing them. For instance, one quest is to find the Rosetta Stone by occupying North Africa and sending a small contingent of light cavalry there, and by fulfilling it you will get a bonus to your technological research. Other quests tie into other historical events going on during the time period of the game.


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