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Etherium – First Look

by Danny Vittore

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It’s starting to seem as if 2015 is going to be the year where dormant genres rebound. First we’re having the city-building games from the more normal like Cities: Skylines and Cities XXL to the far less conventional in Project Aura. Now we’re having the old-school real-time strategies making a comeback with Act of Aggression and now Etherium.

In Etherium, you play as one of three factions, vying for supremacy over 6 different planets and the valuable resource known as Etherium. This will no doubt bring those familiar with RTS memories of games like Command & Conquer with talk of tiberium or Supreme Commander with the design of the units. However, the game that it is most reminiscent of would be Petroglyph’s Star Wars Empire at War as it involves calling down units from your space fleets to reinforce your armies as well as what appears to be space combat between your fleets. Smaller units in general also seem to be commanded in built-in squads not too dissimilar to how infantry were treated in Empire at War.

The three factions form a standard trinity made popular by Starcraft. For the Terran-like faction, there is the human faction known as the Consortium, which is interested in Etherium for its profit-making capabilities. Then there are the Intari, sort of the Protoss here, with their faith necessitating more Etherium and the Vectides, the Zerg-ish faction except that instead of being a hive-mind animalistic faction, it is more of a hivemind high-tech faction based off of Etherium. The Consortium relies on stealth, sabotage and cunning as its strength, while the Intari use their precognitive abilities to predict and control weather events to their advantage. And the Vectides? Pure numbers. Vectide rush anyone?

Another interesting aspect of Etherium is the existence of smaller, secondary factions that you will encounter on planets, namely Raiders, Parasites and Guardians who you will have to fight and conquer them, in addition to your normal enemies. However, if you play it smart, with enough coaxing, you might even be able to bring them over to your cause to increase the power of your faction significantly using their powers and units to your advantage.

Etherium is set to release sometime in early 2015 for PC.

Are you looking forward to playing Etherium? Let us know in the comments below!

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