Immortal Empire

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Immortal Empire on Steam

MSRP: Free to play with in-game purchasing / premium currency

Platforms: Windows

Release: 12/3/15 (Steam release, previously browser-based)


Let’s be real: the majority of free to play games exist not because of some altruism on the part of the developers, but to make money. Maybe that seems counter-intuitive to some folks.  Of course, free to play is most common to large multiplayer games where having a larger community (even if some of them never spend a dime) is beneficial. Still, I always start free to play games with very low expectations.

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Immortal Empire surprised me, in a good way. Not because there weren’t a million ways to spend your money in the game – because there are.  Not even because they managed to avoid looking like a pay to win game – I don’t know that there’s anything game changing exclusively available through their premium currency, but it definitely looks like spending to avoid grinding is very much a thing.  No, what surprised me most was that Immortal Empire offers the option to play it like a single player title, and that it actually works as such.

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What we have here is a turn-based RPG, complete with quests and story. You start earning radiance (the game’s premium currency) almost immediately after the tutorial segment, but not in any meaningful quantity. While it’s theoretically possible to buy things like character class unlocks as a free player, don’t expect it to happen in anything even resembling a timely manner.  Personally, I have no issue with this – I’m a firm believer that if you’re really enjoying a free to play title, you should throw some money at it, but it’s definitely the kind of thing that will tend to grate if you’re expecting the full experience with no investment whatsoever.

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For some, Immortal Empire is likely to turn into a black hole of spendiness.  For others, it probably won’t be too difficult to spend what you think the game is worth and get a satisfying (if not terribly deep) single-player or co-op experience from it.  There are two set class unlock packages that are available for $12 in game (or $15 if you buy them as DLC from Steam, although you get 500 radiance that way as well), or you can spend $15 on the first time radiance pack, which will give you enough radiance to unlock 4 classes of your choice, with 450 left over.

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Although I feel like there are some questionable design decisions going on here (having to level up members of your party separately, for example), so far, for me, Immortal Empire is an engaging but low stress diversion.  Daily quests reward frequent play, and in-game achievements award radiance, which I think is a nice touch. If you can tolerate the retro-esque graphics, it’s worth the download.

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