Originally Posted by SaintVezner
I personally think that the RTS games this year haven't been any better or worse than any other year. I mean really, EaW is a pretty good RTS. You can use any number of tactics in both space and land battles, which is pretty impressive IMO. BFME2 is also a fairly good RTS, though I agree that it does lack the depth that EaW has. Be that as it may, BFME2 is still a fun RTS nonetheless.
As for Civ 4, it's good but I don't get as interested in strategy games that aren't RTS. I played the Civ 4 demo and realized it really just wasn't for me.
One last comment, I'm also not much of an AoE fan. The gameplay is just too slow paced, the buildings sometimes take FOREVER to destroy, and the graphics have never been worth bragging about. I'll take a WarCraft, C&C, EaW, or BFME game any day over the AoE series. IMHO.
First off, I agree with you concerning AoE. I never
understood what the fuss was all about when AoE2 came out. It's a fine game, but it does not deserve all the attention it got.
The reason why I believe that this was a poor year for RTSs is that there were no groundbreaking titles. BFME2 is basically BFME1 (i.e. C&C Generals) with a few extra things. AoE3 is uneventful, and the few changes they made did not seem to bring recognition from players. EaW is definitely the "best" of the listed titles, but it's not that great. Space combat is nice, but it's basically in 2D. Ground combat is more realistic than in previous RTSs (it's a tad weird to build up a huge base just to win a battle, when you think of it; landing troops does make more sense) but it's too superficial. The Galactic mode is basically a toned-down version of Rebellion. And of course the multiplayer part didn't help. EaW is Rebellion with better graphics and ground battles, but stripped from all the galactic strategic value. The mix remains unique, but there is a serious lack of depth. I'd take Total War over it any day.
As far as RTSs are concerned, I strongly believe that we will need to wait for the possible StarCraft 2 to have a really unique and interesting title (or perhaps Medieval 2, but the TW games rely mostly on the cinematic experience). The other companies simply don't seem to have enough guts to change the system in place.
Turn-based games are usually labelled as being more for adults. That's a common misconception, since many children/teens enjoy those games. But many people do think that they are boring, and that might be why Civ 4 was eclipsed from the contest.
I mean, just look at the titles : Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Age of Empires (basically MicroSoft in italic characters) and Fire Emblem. These are all big sellers. Fire Emblem is probably less known to PC gamers, but I heard it is very popular on the Nintendo consoles. Those games all used the franchise to which they belong to sell, not necessarily their gameplay value.