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‘Etherium’ – A Sci-Fi RTS Game Review

Developed by Tindalos Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive, Etherium is a sci-fi real-time strategy (RTS) game that offers a blend of massive battles, dynamic environments, and strategic campaigns. The game revolves around the quest to acquire etherium, a precious resource that sparks conflict among three distinct factions vying for supremacy in the universe.

Factions and Gameplay

Players can align themselves with one of three factions in the game: the ruthless corporate humans of the Consortium, the etherium-driven zealots known as the Intar, and the enigmatic culture of the Vectides, born from the very essence of etherium. Each faction boasts a unique set of units and bonuses, contributing to a well-balanced gameplay experience.

Combat in Etherium takes place on six diverse planets, each with its own environmental hazards that impact strategic decisions. From sandstorms to frozen lakes, these environmental effects add an element of unpredictability to battles, keeping players on their toes.

Building and Expansion

The game’s maps are divided into sectors, requiring players to strategically deploy communication teams to establish structures that expand their influence. These buildings can be upgraded to provide various bonuses such as increased unit capacity, enhanced income, and access to advanced technologies. Protecting these structures is crucial, as losing them means forfeiting the associated benefits.

Conquest Mode and Challenges

In the conquest mode, players embark on lengthy campaigns where research points allow for the unlocking of new units and technologies. However, the initial stages of the game can feel repetitive, as players are limited to basic infantry units until they progress further in the technology tree. Overcoming this early-game challenge requires patience and strategic planning to transition into more diverse and engaging gameplay.

While Etherium offers a rich and immersive sci-fi RTS experience with its varied factions, dynamic environments, and strategic depth, the game does face some shortcomings, particularly in its early-game pacing. Despite these challenges, enthusiasts of the genre may find Etherium to be a worthwhile addition to their RTS gaming collection.

## Review: “Etherium” – A Mixed Bag for RTS Enthusiasts

“Etherium,” a real-time strategy (RTS) game by Tindalos Interactive, offers a blend of innovative concepts and familiar gameplay elements. However, while it has its moments of brilliance, the overall experience falls short of standing out in the competitive RTS market.

### Galactic Conquest Mode
The galactic map screen, a unique feature in the conquest mode, falls short with its limited gameplay and awkward design. The addition of a ‘card game’ gimmick adds unnecessary randomness to the campaign, making it feel disjointed from the core gameplay. Fleet-to-fleet combat in this mode is engaging but lacks depth, leaving players feeling like the conquest mode is a mere distraction from the main gameplay.

### Skirmish Mode
On the other hand, the skirmish mode shines with its entertaining action and flexibility in allowing both 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2 gameplay. However, the reuse of maps from the conquest mode can lead to repetition, and the predictability of AI opponents diminishes the overall challenge after prolonged play. The lack of a compelling plot or detailed backstory also hampers player engagement with the game’s narrative.

### Potential for Improvement
While “Etherium” introduces innovative features like secondary factions and dynamic map weather scenarios, these elements don’t always come together seamlessly to create a cohesive gameplay experience. The game shows promise in offering fresh experiences for RTS enthusiasts, but it fails to make a lasting impression among its more established competitors like “Supreme Commander” and “Total Annihilation.”

### Final Thoughts
In conclusion, “Etherium” has the foundation for something greater, but it falls short of fully realizing its potential. With further refinement and polish, Tindalos Interactive could elevate “Etherium” to be a standout title in the RTS genre. For now, the game offers some enjoyable moments for players hungry for new RTS experiences but ultimately lacks the depth and polish to truly compete in the crowded RTS market.

“Etherium” is available for PC, providing an opportunity for players to dive into its unique take on the RTS genre.