Alexander the Great and I have many things in common. We have nine letters in our first names, we like world travel and we have a weird desire to conquer stuff. As for the latter, I play videogames. When For the Glory: A Europe Universalis Game gave me the opportunity to play out my Alexander-inspired fantasies and conquer the world from the comfort of my PC, I was more than thrilled. All those years of studying politics seemed to finally be worth the tuition money.
For the Glory is a real-time strategy game of epic proportions. Players choose a nation from more than 100 available nations to rule. Players make decisions regarding economy, military, advancement and stability. A plethora of historic event notifications occur throughout the campaigns, creating a challenge for players to survive the trials of history. Victory points are earned through implementing strategies to achieve goals. Final success is determined by the accumulation of victory points.
The screen is filled with messages during the game. These messages let a player know about the latest game events. Some events require a decision from the ruler, and some are simply informative. Every message sent to a player is heralded by a very loud trumpet sound. Due to the sheer number of messages, this sound effect becomes something of an irritant. Thankfully, sound effects can be controlled in the Menu screen. They can be turned off for individual message types or completely muted.
As for the other sounds, the soundtrack is what can be expected of a world strategy game. It is epic and melodramatic. No other soundtrack would be appropriate for becoming the best ruler in the world! Other sound effects are fairly typical.
I was impressed with the number of historic events offered in game. Many of them are factual! The game experience gains points for immersing players in time periods through these historic events. There is really no downtime between events. As I micromanaged my little nation, I was drawn into the game through these messages.
The graphics are disappointing. They are considerably better for the Europa game series but still lack a modern look. Armies are small men waving flags, and cities are tiny castles on the map. No additional screens are added for battle sequences. Those players familiar with RTSs will find nothing new as far as graphics. New players may have a poor first impression from the underwhelming visual elements.
The design of the user interface is a conundrum for me. For the Glory’s “grand” strategy style demands for a UI that provides both information and functionality in many areas. I feel like it is an improvement over other Europa games. However, navigating across the map is still awkward. Finding the correct screens for making adjustments demands a considerable learning curve for newcomers. The UI seems cumbersome for players who have never played games in this series. A tutorial is available for new players or players who feel they need a walkthrough. It is a little long, but there’s much to learn.
Many of the game’s quirks are forgivable. Games like these are always fun for strategy enthusiasts. This one also has considerable appeal for history buffs. However, For the Glory has a tendency to crash. For me, this is pretty unforgivable. Initially I downloaded this game to my Vista x64 PC. The single-player mode crashes were intermittent. I saved the game frequently to be sure I did not encounter a detrimental crash. I eventually became frustrated with the crashing and downloaded it to my Vista x32 PC. I encountered the same intermittent crashing issue. I do not have any issues playing any other PC games. I did attempt to troubleshoot the issue with no real luck.
For the Glory offers a multiplayer mode. Due to the game crashes, I was unable to get this to work. It comes packaged with two mods — Alternative Grand Campaign/Event Exchange Project and The Age of Timur — that add historical events and content to the game. Also, the game can be user-modified.
For the Glory: A Europe Universalis Game is available for download at GamersGate.com for $19.95. Sadly, I can’t recommend purchasing this game due to my experience with game crashes. Other games in the Europa Universalis series offer a better experience, especially Europa Universalis III. If you’re a collector and you must have this game, it’s possible that your PC and your experience will be different. Hope for the best, and expect the worst!
Personally, I was let down by For the Glory because I had such high hopes. I was really looking forward to conquering the world. I was shocked to learn that even simulated conquest was impossible for me. After all, it was Alexander the Great who said, “There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” Fortunately for him, Alexander never had to deal with the phenomenon of game crashes.