Perimeter: Emperor's Testament Review

Perimeter: Emperorís Testament is a follow on to the RTS game Perimeter. It is not technically an expansion pack but since it assumes that youíve played the original game extensively you may want to track down a copy of that game if you havenít. Emperorís Testament doesnít even try to ease you into things, completely eschewing a tutorial and the standard opening ďpuffĒ missions designed to get your feet wet. Couple this with the fact that the storyline is convoluted and confusing to even Perimeter veterans and youíve got a recipe for newbie frustration.

Base building, Perimeter style.
If youíre a Perimeter veteran than your enjoyment of the game will depend greatly on how much you enjoyed the original. If you couldnít get enough of it, then youíre in luck because Emperorís Testament is a big heaping handful of more of the same. On the other hand, if you werenít a big fan of the original or are looking for new features and enhancements to the core gameplay then you may be disappointed; Emperorís Testament is almost indistinguishable from the original.

What Emperorís Testament has going for it is essentially what made Perimeter stand out from your typical RTS fare. The game features 3D topographical landscapes as it maps and gives you the ability to terraform the terrain as you battle the enemy. As in the original this is a cool gimmick although it is underutilized. The terraforming is basically used to flatten out space for your bases and to help you reach different parts of the map. It would have been cool if the expansion let you terraform at will; building mountains around your base, closing off enemy advances in a box canyon, and other similar strategies.

Perimeter also broke from the RTS mold with its innovative units. Rather than building armies of specialized units, Perimeter featured only three basic unit types. These units were given the ability to transform into different unit types on the battlefield, effectively letting you change the make-up of your army on the fly to meet the current situation. Battles were constantly evolving conflicts in which enemies constantly fight to counter the other sideís latest unit transformations. On the downside this makes battles require a fair degree of micromanagement, but it can still be fun for those who like a hands-on approach to directing their troops in battle. Emperorís Testament sticks with this unit model Ė so much so that youíll be very hard-pressed to see anything different from the original game here. With two years between the games, it would have been nice to see the developers spend a little time in coming up with some new units for you to play with.

When you get down to it, you can sum up Emperorís Testament by saying that itís more of the same thing. If you just canít get enough of Perimeter, then hereís some more of it to feed your hunger. If youíre looking for an update to the gameplay, units, or features, you should wait to see if a Perimeter 2 is released sometime down the road.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 73%.  Emperorís Testament is best left to those who just couldnít get enough of Perimeter.


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