Vivendi this morning announced the sequel to Empire Earth, currently in development at Mad Doc Software for release in the first half of 2005, which promises to build on the first game by adding all sorts of features requested by fans of the original.
Amongst a myriad improvements announced this morning, players can look forward to trading cities, territories and borders like resources amongst the game's 14 different civilisations, having to adapt tactics to fit in with seasons and weather like snowfall and fog, and a host of new options geared towards making the game more approachable.
Most notable amongst those are the new intelligent formation system (allowing for easier navigation), the citizen manager (to simplify assignment of citizens to movement/harvesting tasks), and a streamlined research system (alleviating excess micromanagement).
The single-player will also benefit from improved AI (there's a shock), which will be more reactive and dynamic than in the first game, changing its approach so it best counters your own. Or so they're saying - we're always sceptical about this sort of thing until we see it in the flesh...
On the multiplayer front, Mad Doc is implementing various new modes (like a capture-and-hold variant called "Hot Spots"), recorded games, tournament support, co-operative scenarios, advanced stat reporting, a war planning screen to help team-mates coordinate their efforts on a big world map, and a Crown System, which will provide temporary rewards for players demonstrating a particular aptitude for military, economic, imperialistic or cultural matters.