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Strategy/3D Real-Time Strategy
TEEN, Blood, Violence
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At first glance, Cossacks: European Wars looks similar to other successful "third generation" 2D real time strategy games. As in the extremely popular Age of Empires or the contemporarily released Fate of the Dragon, Cossacks is set in a historically accurate past, in this case featuring civilizations and technologies based on those of the European Renaissance. Players need to manage several different kinds of resources to build stable economies and militaries that rely on diversity to balance the particular strengths and weaknesses of individual buildings and unit types. Although this basic formula is found in many existing strategy games, Cossacks: European Wars employs subtle nuances that are designed to make its gameplay a unique experience.
One innovation introduced by this game is a factor that makes certain structures increasingly expensive as more of them are produced, for example thus discouraging the player from filling his or her land with one certain type of defensive building. Another difference is that units in Cossacks draw resources as long as they serve the player's empire. Therefore, it is not enough to simply raise the assets needed to conscript an infantry; the player must maintain a vital economy to support his or her soldiers as they continue to serve. If there's not enough food or money at the empire's disposal, a whole platoon may starve or even revolt.
One of the most highly touted aspects of Cossacks: European Wars is the game's ability to stage and play out large-scale conflicts. Some of the title's larger maps measure 36 x 36 game screens and the engine is designed to allow up to 8,000 units to battle at the same time. Considerable effort was also devoted to historical accuracy, as the game features substantial background information to supply context and perhaps even enlighten its participants. Players choose to lead one of 16 civilizations to glory, each nation with its own distinct set of assets and liabilities. Single-player campaigns follow actual historical wars and events. Cossacks also allows up to eight players to compete with one another over a network. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide