March of the Eagles, fondly known as MOTE to its already dedicated players, is a bird’s eye view of Europe where you fight an all out war for power as players engage in grand strategy. If you’ve never played a title like this before you can refer some main principles of gameplay to that of a round in the board game Risk, mind you with a much more complicated system. Anyone can play though, there is no prior required knowledge as you are led through chapters of a tutorial explaining the fundamentals of the game when it starts up for the first time. If you aren’t into the grand strategy genre, now is a great time to get started with March of the Eagles.
Bring a cup of coffee with you though, so you may manage to get by the tutorial with little headache. It may seem at first like the game wants to cram all this info into your brain at once like reading a book for history class with a teacher you don’t even like. After the tutorial you jump right into the campaign. Campaign mode of March of the Eagles takes a couple of minutes of critical thinking and then the violent takeovers begin to steadily flow on the board as you stomp through the 1805 – 1820 Napoleonic Era.
Single player is virtually trying to look for opportunities to take land off your neighbors. In my campaign as Prussia I’d wait until Austria is at war and then I’d hit them from behind. You’ll want to get the objects, which are provinces if you didn’t know, and there’s 2 types of objects which are land and sea dominance provinces. These objects are different for every nation. The A.I. is pretty capable, they can see opportunities pretty well. In the same game I played after I’d been at war with Russia for a while Austria and Sweden attacked me when I was weak.
The fact that the major powers have objects is pretty much a new concept in Paradox’s grand strategy games. Others have been more sandbox-like whereas this one has specific goals. March of the Eagles is pretty much all focused on war. You’re nearly always at war whereas, again, in other games from the genre you could become an economic power house. Graphics are also seen to be pretty robust compared to previous iterations of the concept on various platforms.
What can people expect to experience in terms of what is being showcased here is in the Napoleonic era when France was at the height of its power. You can play as any nation on the map by clicking the country, but there are 8 world powers who obviously have the best chance to win. They’re also the only countries to have objects in the game as they’re virtually the only ones capable of winning on their own.
One of March of the Eagles strengths is its A.I. which actually acts differently every game. For example, while Austria might have been at war with the Ottomans in my game, they could be at war with Russia or Prussian or taking over the tiny nations in central Germany. Any of those decisions would completely change the tactics required to survive and triumph in the game. If you’re playing Prussia and Austria is going for the central German states, that’s a big concern and you might have to go to war with them to stop them. That’ll delay any other plans that you had, and then at the same time Sweden is likely pushing into Denmark and you don’t want that happening either.
The main powers are the UK, France, Spain, Prussia, Austria, Russia, Ottomans and Sweden. What people should expect in this game is all-out war at all times with diplomatic influences woven in. This fast-paced, instant battle mixed with diplomatic action is the reason why the game is very online-oriented.
Where this game really shines is definitely the multiplayer because there you get a whole lot more interaction and backstabbing. As I said before, MOTE (March of the Eagles) can essentially be considered a more advanced, better version of Risk. For those that are new to the Grand Strategy genre, be ready for some intense battles of wit and might.
The replay value of both the single and multiplayer modes of March of the Eagles is great though it might be more limited in single player. While it’s not as big of a sandbox game as other Paradox titles, you’re still able to do things in a lot more driven and focused manner keeping you at attention, not to mention replaying the game you don’t have to play as one country over and over again. In multiplayer replay value is extended a hundredfold because people try new tactics and react differently to yours every time they play the game. In single player the game is also totally different any time you play it because of the many different nations and decisions involved in each gameplay play-through, producing various alternatives.
As far as areas where March of the Eagles can improve, the community agrees an easier way to set up and join online matches is needed. The current system works and there is a healthy supply of players that can easily be found and connected to through Steam forums and gameplay groups. However, for newcomers it can sometimes be difficult to set up and host the actual matches or even join one ongoing, unless they’ve already taken the time to locate the Metaserver through instructions, intuition, or advise. And while the A.I. is very good in this game, there does become a point where you will be able to predict the opponents actions fairly often. Perhaps an update could remedy this issue by using player-generated actions in online matches to add tactics to the A.I.’s capabilities in single player.
On a scale to 0 to 10, I give it an 8.5 out of 10.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review Copy Info: RealGamerNewz.com received four March of the Eagles review codes from the publisher Paradox Entertainment for the purposes of the single and multiplayer sections of this review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130314 and was last modified on 20130314 .