Empire Earth is similar to the Age of Empires series in that it is a history-based real-time strategy game. Empire Earth uses 3D graphics instead of sprites like Age of Empires II, the comparable game at the time.The game itself contains many unique and innovative features, including a "morale" system, which directly affects individual units statistics. It also incorporates a "hero" system. Heroes can be built at the town center or capital. There are two types of heroes, Strategist heroes who heal surrounding units and can demoralize enemy units while Warrior heroes give morale to surrounding units and have a greater attack power. Finally, the player has the option of creating their own civilization with unique bonuses. Empire Earth has a map editor included.
Epochs are the ages a player passes through in Empire Earth. Each of these epochs represents an age within history. In Empire Earth, the last two ages (Digital and Nano Ages) are set into the moderate future. In the Art of Conquest, a third future age, the Space Age, is available. It deals with space colonization. Each epoch brings new technologies and units. Epoch advancement requires additional buildings to be built and the costs of advancing increases as more epochs are attained, although the ability to gather the required resources greatly increases as well. With new epochs, some new units are available at the cost of having to abandon the ability to produce old units, though any old units still alive are kept. The epochs in Empire Earth are the Prehistoric Age, the Stone Age, the Copper Age, the Bronze age, the Dark Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Imperial age, the Industrial age, the Atomic World War I age, the Atomic World War II Age, the Atomic Modern Age, the Digital Age and the Nano Age. An extra epoch, the Space Age, is available in Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest. Several different units are available in each epoch, each being produced in a different building. Some units such as infantry are available in every epoch and can be created at the Barracks. Other units such as archers are available from the Stone age to the Renaissance and are created at Archery Ranges.
Horsemen are available from the Copper Age to the Industrial Age and are created at Stables. Siege weapons such as catapults are produced at Siege Factories, they are available starting from the Bronze Age until the Dark Ages and are later substituted by the trebuchet in the Middle Ages throughout the Renaissance, finally being replaced by cannons in the Imperial Age. In the Atomic Age-WW1 epoch some new buildings are made available to the player, such as Airports, Tank Factories and Naval Yards where certain planes, tanks and submarines, etc., can be produced. In the Digital age Cyber Factories and Laboratories are available and can produce many types of mechs, which are known as Cybers in Empire Earth.
Like many real-time strategy games, there are technologies available to improve a player's civilization. Technologies to improve farming can be researched at the granary. Health related technologies can be researched at a hospital. Technologies researched at the hospital improve the hit points, speed, and attack of a civilization's citizens, a hospital's healing rate and range, or the population capacity. Education upgrades are found in the university, which can protect units from being converted. Economic upgrades are found in the town center or capitol. These upgrades will increase the rate at which resources are gathered. Empire Earth has 21 civilizations,[(with two additional ones in The Art of Conquest). Civilizations are predetermined in scenarios , but chosen by the player shortly after the beginning of random map games. Also, civilizations may be created by the player through the main menu or in the map editor. Each civilization has several bonuses such as increased speed or decreased cost for a type of unit. Any civilization can be played in any epoch but will only be powerful in ages that use units that it has bonuses for.
In scenarios, the player receives "civ points" for completing various tasks. The following are the available civilizations, grouped into their recommended epochs. With the exception of the futuristic Novaya Russia and Rebel Forces, all civilizations in Empire Earth are based upon history. From the Prehistoric to Dark Ages, the civilizations are Ancient Greece, Assyrian Empire, Babylon, Byzantine Rome, Carthage, and the Kingdom of Israel. From the Middle Ages to the Industrial Age Austria, England, Franks, Kingdom of Italy, Ottoman Empire, and Spain are available. From the Atomic Age to Modern times France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, and the United States are playable, and from Digital Age to Space Age China, Novaya Russia, and Rebel Forces are playable. Japan and Korea are added in the Art of Conquest expansion and belong in the "Digital Age to Space Age" group.
Multiplayer consists of online and network play with up to 8 people simultaneously. The game is a basic war between all sides, unless diplomacy is involved. Until November 2008, multiplayer gameplay was played on the official Sierra servers, but these were shut down by Activision which had bought the company.
Atomic - WW1 (World War 1)
Atomic - WW2 (World War 2)
Atomic - Modern
An interesting note is the evolution of language through the ages. While heroes speak only English, all other units go through three different languages. Their first language consists of mostly grunts sounding like "iboig" or "gangehat". The language then evolves into a more Greco-Roman style with words like "Talás" and "Khalos" (the latter is pronounced either as K-los or kah-los). Eventually, the language evolves into English.
Units and Heroes
Excluding the Digital Age and Nano Age, many of the Units and Heroes in Empire Earth are based on warriors, weapons, and leaders from actual history.
Copper Age Hero - Strategist: Sargon of Akkad
Hero - Warrior: Gilgamesh
Bronze Age Hero - Strategist: Alexander the Great
Hero - Warrior: Hannibal
Short Sword: Roman Legionary Cohort Phalanx: Greek Hoplite
Dark Age Hero - Strategist: Charlemange
Hero - Warrior: Julius Caesar
Middle Age Hero - Strategist: William the Conqueror
Hero - Warrior: Richard the Lionheart
Renaissance Hero - Strategist: Isabella I
Hero - Warrior: Henry V
Battleship: Henry Grace à Dieu
Imperial Age Hero - Strategist: Elizabeth I
Hero - Warrior: Oliver Cromwell
Industrial Age Hero - Strategist: Otto von Bismarck
Hero - Warrior: Napoleon I
Hero - Warrior 2: Arthur Wellesley
Atomic - WW1
Hero - Warrior: Manfred von Richthofen
Battleship: HMS Dreadnought
Frigate: HMS Good Hope
Tank - HE: Mark V
Tank - AP: A7V Sturmpanzerwagen
Half-track: M16 MGMC Howitzer
Cannon: Big Bertha
Fighter: Sopwith Camel
Fighter-bomber: Fokker Dr.I
Bomber: Gotha G.V
Atomic - WW2
Hero - Strategist: Erwin Rommel
Frigate: USS Warrington
Carrier: USS Enterprise
Tank - HE: M4 Sherman
Tank - AP: Panzer IV Ausf.
F2 Fighter: Supermarine Spitfire,
Fighter-bomber: Me 109, Me 262
Bomber: He 111, B-17
Atomic Bomber: B-29 Superfortress
Fighter-bomber: Hawker Typhoon Carrier
Fighter-bomber: F4U Corsair
Atomic - Modern
Submarine: USS Nautilus
Missile Sub: Ohio-Class SSBN
Tank - HE: M1 Abrams
Tank - AP: Leopard 2
Fighter: F-15 Eagle
Fighter-Bomber: F-117 Nighthawk
Bomber: B-2 Spirit
Atomic Bomber: B-52 Stratofortress
Fighter-bomber: A-10 Thunderbolt II Carrier
Fighter-bomber: F-14 Tomcat
Helicopter - Transport: CH-47 Chinook or CH-46
Helicopter - AT & Gunship: AH-64 Apache
Helicopter - Anti-Sub: SH-3