Social Empires Review – Waging War Without A Plan
Woo, that sounds a little harsh for a review title, doesn’t it?
We were pretty torn apart actually. There were some positive aspects in this game, however, there didn’t seem to be much planning involved in the gameplay. If any of you guys were familiar with the web-based game, Utopia, you may find this a familiar genre. But Utopians, please obey us; do not kill your brain cells over this game. This is drastically watered down version of Utopia.
Before going into the review proper, we have a quick announcement to make. Over the past few months, we have received a number of feedbacks from our readers stating that they were unsure if, “Playability” meant gameplay or how technically buggy it is. After much deliberation, the team has decided to add another rating category call, “gameplay”, obviously to rate how fun the game is, and “playability” for the technical experience of the players.
Social Empires is a medieval based simulation game. Players get to build their empires, go on energy draining adventures, build an army and attack other players. The concept is simple, and no doubt, very popular among casual gamers. Clash of Clans, similar genre, is very often snoozing at the top of the App store’s grossing charts. But as you read on, you will understand the reason behind the title, and more importantly, instigate you to earn a little bit of karma points by mailing Social Points, telling them what you feel about the game.
Like all simulation games, key farming actions were governed by energy. Embarking on adventures in Social Empires is surprisingly economical and is a freaking lucrative investment. Not only it is a good way to earn resources, players get to recruit random, wandering warriors for free. In this aspect, Social Points have been very intelligent with designing its discovery route. We were not able to contain our excitement every time we get to unlock a new warrior. However, players have to get over a heap of disappointment before they earn the rewards. As “adventure” sounds like a thrilling, death-threatening, friendship fostering journey, in Social Empires, it was simply a button tap away. The only differences between quests were pre-requisites, cost and rewards. There is nothing strategic about deciding which quests to accept. Now what kind of empire are we trying to build here?
In games like Social Empires, building an army is perhaps one of the more exciting tasks. However, unlike Heroes of Might and Magic, there is no clear tier system in placed to give players a rough idea of which troop to invest more in, and which troop to totally ignore. Strategy is a crucial element that is missing in this game. And because of that, everything seems to fall apart. Heroes are well classified based on the nature of their weapon, but players were deprived of knowing how the different types of warriors differ from one another, how should they be arranged and how should resources be allocated accordingly.
Already drenched in utter disappointment, we have decided to head for the most hopeful aspect of the game; Multiplayer PVP. On the sacred arena where players get to choose whose ass to whoop, the only indication to whether you will get your nuts squashed, or his ass swollen was the number of troops a player has in his army. But that isn’t any clear indication. An army with 50 Scarecrows can easily pulverize 80 medium knights to the ground. Numbers of troops, which was the only indication, simply meant nothing at all. Having a limited number of attacks a player can make within a period of time, it remains frustrating when you realize that one can only heuristically assume how powerful an army is with misleading numbers. Worst of all, there is no chance for players to overcome the odds. Immediately after war was waged, the outcome comes immediately in the next screen. Hanging jaws due to unbelievable shocks were a common sight here at Gameographics while we were playing this game.
Graphics, however, is this game’s saving grace. It is a waste that players do not get to interact more with such beautifully drawn warriors and creatures. It would have been so much more exciting if the battle system was more closely modeled after Heroes of Might and Magic, or in fact, any decent turn based RPG such as the classic Brave Story. The artists are definitely outstanding, but the same can’t be said for the level designers. Some may however argue that the direction were were proposing wasn’t what Social Points were heading. If that was the case, then what a squander it would be.
There lack of strategy and well thought gameplay concept was a huge disappointment and had caused lots of distress among us. The screenshots were so captivating but the gameplay was an utter frustration, almost like a gamer massacre. However, the technical aspect was very well done, with only one crash throughout the whole time we were playing this game. Very fortunately, it is easy to earn resources in this free-to-play game. Else, any requirement to pay as a pre-requisite for better unlocks would have been a daylight robbery.