Totally Fantasy War: Empyrean Rule Announced

I started watching trailer the announcing the existence of Empyrean Rule – Rise of the Ancients without a huge amount of excitement. “I get the idea, this is going to be an indie Total War” I thought to myself. Then, I saw a troll stroll into a human army’s battle formation and stopped to take notice. It’s slightly rough-looking early alpha footage, but Empyrean Rule knows how to press my buttons. That’s some cool-looking enemy armour designs right there for those undead and that wizard-looking guy has some eye-catching style.

So, Empyrean Rule is apparently an MMORTS of sorts coming from Innofame, a development team who has spent the last few years making Facebook and online RTS games for other studios. You build your army of humans, goblins, undead, and various other fantasy staples before being dropped into a large persistent open world to pit your armies against each other. I like that in concept, the idea of potential persistent infamy if I’m good enough always catches my eye. I’ll never be that good, but I can dream.

“But what modes can I play this in?” I hear you ask. Well, it has singleplayer, co-op, and six-on-six PvP. So, probably something in there for you regardless of if you’re a lone wolf kind of general, or one who wants to go marching into battle with some friends you made outside of the battlefield.

Apparently the game supports thousands of troops on screen at once, some interesting sounding list of battle mechanics, large-scale diplomacy mechanics, and Oculus Rift support. Right now we have no idea if any of that will pan out or not, but I’m excited to see more of those cool character models at the very least.

22 Comments

  1. DarkFenix says:

    Depending on how multiplayer-centric it is, this may or may not interest me. Still, it already looks better than the awful mess that was Rome 2.

    • Cinek says:

      I just wanted to pop in and say that it looks by far worse than Rome 2 – and that is saying something – but I think someone already has an opposite opinion….

  2. HyenaGrin says:

    Graphics/animations are pretty rough, looks pretty much on par with Medieval 2: Total War, but that’s not a dealbreaker and there’s time to clean that up. Plus, CA has had years and years to iterate upon their technology so one can’t expect a miracle. As long as the game is good and innovative I am going to be interested; people have been taking the Total War games and modding them into fantasy games for a while now, it’s surprising it took this long for someone to realize that there would be an appeal for a Total War style game built from the ground up for fantasy content.

  3. Pan Vidla says:

    This is possibly the most generic fantasy RTS I’ve ever seen. Aside from the deal with MMO, that is, but since I’m not such a big fan of multiplayer games in general, I get the impression that the developers couldn’t have done anything more to make me less interested.

  4. Meneldil says:

    This look pretty bad, doesn’t it?

    Get King Arthur: the ROle playing wargame for 5€ and save your money from that bland, generic MMO thing

    • mattevansc3 says:

      KA:TRPG is a good game but only really for the first two thirds. The final third gets a bit to grindy as you are far too powerful for the AI and the game just throws more of the same at you instead of anything new and interesting.

      It was a huge shame that it’s DLC and sequel were so flawed because the premise, factions and lore were some of the more interesting ones I’ve seen for a while. It straddles the line between generically accessible and having it’s own identity quite well.

  5. Wulfram says:

    Hmm, I should go find my copy of Warhammer: Dark Omen.

    Though Empyrean is a cool word we should see more of. Even if it doesn’t seem to fit especially well with the tone we see so far.

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    Harlander says:

    It looks like a Mount and Blade mod, albeit with higher-res unit textures.

    Also, that necromancer had the sassiest pose.

  7. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Oh, looks.. okay. Strange that they want to make an MMO out of it, though. I mean, I suppose that could work and that may not be as reliant on good AI as your regular Total War game, but I remain sceptical.

  8. Regnok says:

    Interesting concept. I like how they are trying to create a persistent world combining elements of empire building and Total War like battles. If I will be able to create armies choosing from a pool of different races with distinctive abilities and heroes, then I’m all in! I wonder whether there will be an in depth progression system for each unit and hero. Their site says that units/heroes have different abilities and spells, but I wonder whether there is any progression whatsoever. Also, the premise of playing in a persistent world along with other people, where we fight for land and resources makes the whole experience not just a “Fight one battle after the other” without any significance to the game world. Gaining ranks in games is OK, I guess, but it just doesn’t do it for me. Now, give me Warhammer: Dark Omen battles in 3D which will affect the game world in real time…? I’m sold! I will be keeping my eye on this and hope that I’m not merely dreaming!

  9. Premium User Badge

    FhnuZoag says:

    I’m not sold on the art direction.

    1. Man, could they not have all the guys move in perfect sync? That makes things look very artificial.
    2. It runs into the standard problem with the 3D era Total War games – the models all look kinda indistinct when zoomed out. Shiny metal knights and shiny metal skeletons just look about the same, at the scale your normally play the game. It’s also hard to see which units belong to whom.

  10. mattevansc3 says:

    6v6 sounds interesting but why not really push the boat out and have 4v4v4 or 3v3v3v3? Most normal battles can be a bit boring as its two opposing armies (6v6 is still just two large armies) at opposing ends of a battle field protecting the flanks and preventing their opponent from getting at their rear ranks with the winner being the first one to successfully outflank their opponent.

    Having more than two armies fighting on more than two sides of the battlefield wind own up everyone’s flanks and thus throw out the old strategy books.

  11. FurryLippedSquid says:

    What are Creative Assembly doing with the Warhammer license, that’s what I’d like to know.

  12. Empyrean Rule says:

    Hi all! I am the designer and Project Leader of Empyrean Rule and I would like to thank you all for your comments and try to provide some answers to what has been said above. First of all though, allow me to thank Laura publicly for the article!
    We have been working on the game for a few months now and currently we are in Pre-Alpha, so what you watched in the teaser is well…just a teaser of what will come. It is actual gameplay footage, just without the GUI, banners and other aspects of the game, in order to look like a movie. This is of course a very early build of the game, so a lot of polishing will come after. We will be feeding the internet and of course RPS with more videos (actual gameplay) and more information, so you can get an idea of what this is about. You can of course visit our site (empyreanrule.com) to understand the scope of the game, but in a few words what we want to achieve is an online persistent world where players can customize armies choosing from a variety of fantasy units (Humans, Orcs, Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, etc.) and forge its history. Many different types of units with special abilities and spells and of course powerful heroes! Imagine a massive open world map with regions, borders, free roaming, and in depth mechanics which allow players to conquer, manage and upgrade regions creating empires. I could write hundreds of lines explaining the mechanics of the game in detail, but I have to respect the space given here, so I will just say that as vivid gamers ourselves we are influenced by great games such as Warhammer, Total War, Civilization and Eve Online. We are no Creative Assembly, that is a certainty, so allow us in the following weeks to show you what Empyrean Rule is all about, and how it will try to become unique, by combining interesting elements from several genres with original ideas. Thank you all for your attention!

    • Chalky says:

      A very interesting concept. A little feedback on the trailer, in case it’s useful to you:

      The game is based around large scale combat, but the trailer seems to focus on shots of close up combat between fairly basic characters with very simple animations. I imagine this is because of the nature of large scale combat means super detailed units and animations are not possible, but it does make the graphics look rather rough.

      Perhaps more shots that illustrate the scale of the combat would make the game look better.

      I guess maybe you’re not at the stage where such footage is possible, which is understandable if it’s only been a few months as you say. I’ll certainly keep an eye out for the game in the future to see where it progresses to! :)

      • Empyrean Rule says:

        Thank you for your feedback Chalky! Visit the official site of Empyrean Rule to see some in-game screenshots and you will see the epic scale there. ; ) We will soon upload a gameplay video as well, so that people can understand what the battle is all about. This is of course one of the gameplay layers of the game, that is being the General of an army during a battle. The other layer is WHAT you do with your army in a persistent world with players from all over the world and how your actions shape the world map and the history of the game itself.

        Thank you again for your feedback!

  13. Nat be at says:

    In my opinion this is all SEGA’s fault for sitting on their ass when they have a perfectly good warhammer license. I mean they announced they had it over 3 years ago right? I think people are fed up with companies like that holding a license just to f—ing hold the bloody thing.

    So my deepest hope is this gets SEGA to get off their fat lazy asses and make something better than Rome. Even if its just aethstecally because we spent the last 17 years before it playing warhammer titles and the fact that theyre just doing f—all with the property is the most dishonerable and disrespectful thing they could do so I applaud this guy for trying. Its more than they do.And they have the money to doit and they just sit there.

    • gmillar says:

      With any luck they’re just making sure it’s finished, unlike Rome 2.

  14. trooperwally says:

    To paraphrase Chekov:

    If you sayshow in the first chapterscreenshot that there is a rifle troll hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off smash something.

    Besides this quibble with the trailer it doesn’t look quite interesting.

  15. vsa08 says:

    I for one am actually really looking forward to this game, considering it is coming from the same team that made battle conquest its exciting. That game was really engaging, largely due to how involved the devs were, and I see they’re trying to take this to the next level, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with.best of luck!