The Savage Empire
|a game by||Origin Systems|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.0/10 - 2 votes|
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The Savage Empire is the first in a new series of Origin games dubbed Worlds of Ultima. The concept: Take the flexible, elegant, point-and-click interface perfected in the last three Ultima games and apply it to a freewheeling series of role-playing adventures, set in different historical periods. In this case, The Savage Empire was inspired by the lost-world tales that were popular in the great pulp magazines of the 1930s and in such movies as the immortal King Kong. It takes place in a lush, tropical world — a world isolated from all contemporary influences. It's populated with dinosaurs, Stone Age tribes, Aztec-like civilizations, iron-thewed warriors, and voluptuous, scantily clad princesses. There's even a tribe of lizard men who dwell underground.
The story starts with a bang. You are the Avatar, a tenuous link to the original Ultima series. While examining a mysterious moonstone — along with a scientist and an obnoxious but bright whiz-kid reporter—you're suddenly blown into the lost valley of Eodon.
You awaken, suffering from amnesia, in the hut of a friendly witch doctor. Your first task is to reunite your party and locate the laboratory (which was also blown into Eodon, and is handily stocked with weapons and equipment). That done, you embark on a dazzling array of quests.
Some quests are pleasant day-trip excursions you can play at one sitting, while others are of epic proportions indeed. After many hours of play, there's a grand-slam finale that pits the united human tribes against a horde of gigantic man-eating ants. Along the way, you'll interact with a dozen carefully devised tribes — some noble savages, others not entirely human. (You might even meet the party-'til-you-drop Disquiqui tribe, whose members probably won't be sober enough to sustain a conversation.)
The Savage Empire proves once again that Origin's game designers are virtuosos at world-making.
Eodon is a richly detailed, fully believable world that reflects solid anthropological research. The player interface is so friendly it practically wags its tail, and the graphics are spectacular.