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Impire Review

Impire Review

It's been awhile since there has been a game with the potential to re-imagine the concept behind games like Dungeon Keeper, but that's exactly what Cyanide's Impire attempts to do. Now, to say that Impire attempts to emulate the Dungeon Keeper model is perhaps unfair, but it's clearly been inspired by it and there are quite a few things it does right when trying to bring it into the modern age - there are just quite a few things it does wrong too.

Starting out, you have a choice of participating in the campaign alone or with up to four other players online. This really comes down to personal preference, as the experience found in both is identical at least when looking at the objective/story format.

Once you've selected to go it alone or with some campaigns, you're ready to start, at which point, you're given a plot of land either underground, or inside a hill. Each level is split into three areas, the dungeon space that you can build on, a tunnel out to the overworld map whereby players can acquire extra resources through a 'raid' system and the gateway to a larger area outside their dungeon where the main quest takes place. The first half of each level involves creating a dungeon, establishing a strong squad, taking over several additional rooms that have enemies in them and acquiring the various treasures they hold, before you can even tackle the main objectives.

Before going into details about that, let's discuss the reasoning behind it, the story. Essentially, you are Baal, a minion of indescribable power (or rather were), who has been summoned from his realm by a rather obnoxious character called Oscar van Fairweather. For the most part this starts out as a rather insignificant role for Baal, as his thoughts are often ignored and it seems he doesn't have much of a say in anything.


Oscar van Fairweather on the other hand, never stops talking. This actually interferes with gameplay, as it happens even during levels. The interruptions of cutscenes can take place at the most inconvenient moments and can be somewhat unfortunate in their timing. As such they drag on a little bit and dialogue, which does have its moments, becomes a little stale. The animation also leaves nothing to be desired during these segments.

Anyway, back to the gameplay. Once taking control of Baal, you will be able to make use of a regenerating mana pool to cast several spells. Early on, the most useful spell allows you to summon workers, which are then sent to repair rooms, operate rooms, the general storage of materials and the construction process. By either pulling out to the furthest zoom point or by selecting dungeon management, you can construct dungeons, mostly with an element of freedom as corridors and adjoining hallways can be constructed free of charge.

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