Empire Earth II, like all the other RTS games before it, is another attempt by the game developer, Rockstar, to try and give us another well-conceptualized "immersive" map-based strategy game, albeit one that they have attempted very unsuccessfully in the past. Empire Earth II is part of the remaking of their older franchise, and as many people are no doubt aware, they have chosen to take a step backwards instead of moving forward. With the original Earth series' maps being quite well-received, I feel that it is important to talk about why I feel this way.
As most people are aware, Empire Earth was a grand adventure through the red planet on a mission to save the Earth from an impending third world war. Unfortunately, all the special scenarios, time periods, and storyline events were ripped out and dumped into a generic and overcrowded version of Grand Theft Auto IV, making the actual play experience quite poor. After trying out several other RTS games that were released at the time (including a beta version I played a couple of weeks ago), I decided that I would rather try out something new. That is why I am so disappointed with Empire Earth II, and its clearly inferior gameplay compared to the previous games. I also noticed that they decided to remove one of the best elements of the original Empire Earth games: the regional powers & power struggles.
Now, let me explain. The problem with the first two installments of the series is that they were quite clearly rip-offs of the classic Space Invaders andsectoroids games that we all are so used to. And, even though I had loved those games, Empire Earth II tries to combine all the good parts of those games into a single, uninteresting game. And worse, the special scenarios, which were some of the highlights of the first game, were totally eradicated and replaced by random generation menus. The bad news is that you can't enjoy any of the special scenarios in this game, you just have to go through the story and find out how to win the game.