Strategy games have long captivated the imagination of gamers worldwide. From the very first steps the gaming industry took, titles that focus on building your own civilization from scratch, managing resources, going on quests, striking alliances, or waging war, have been among the most successful across a broad base of fans.
But while genres like first-person-shooter rely on one single hero that stands out among hordes of enemies and allies, strategy games revolve around building a great soldier as part of a team. Games developer Plarium showcases this type of soldier as part of their strategy MMO gaming titles, like Sparta: War of Empires.
The Soldier Archetype
The soldier archetype is one that has always inspired pop culture, from video games to movies. On the big screen, the great soldier is perhaps exemplified best by Captain America, a.k.a. Steve Rogers – just like the Black Panther exemplifies the worthy king archetype or Daenerys of Game of Thrones represents the visionary leader. Just like the Cap, the perfect soldier seems always ready to fight for what they believe in and defend their ideals, even if this might bring them before a fight bigger than themselves. This pattern has been a source of inspiration for video games developers worldwide, even though there are some titles that also depict ex-soldiers as warriors that have gone rogue. Even Captain America went through a similar stint in the 2016 Marvel installment Captain America: Civil War.
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The Collective Element of Being a Soldier
By contrast, video games focused on soldiers approach them as part of a group and that collective potential is what makes their fights and plights interesting. Plarium has developed a range of games that focus on soldiers, creating heroes that are true to their cause no matter what. In Sparta: War of Empires, the player takes control of the legendary Ancient Greek city of Sparta, as they face an incoming invasion by the Persian army, led by Emperor Xerxes. The Spartans are fearsome warriors, but in the face of a threat much bigger than their capacity for battle, this game proves that being a soldier is about so much more. In order to defeat Xerxes, they need to gather resources, forge alliances and undergo training, so they can successfully defend their people.
Success at Home Brings Wins at the Battlefield
In this effort, they are led by legendary King Leonidas, who was also the hero of the hit movie 300. Players are invited to join in Coalitions with other rulers – called Archons – and fight together to occupy Cities and increase their reach against other Coalitions. Working together and implementing strategy in battles is an essential element of Sparta: War of Empires, just like how war is waged in the real world. The game even includes drafting agreements with other Cities, which enable the player to unlock new soldier units through training or construct new types of buildings. War is also won at home as much as it is won on the battlefield, so players learn how to manage three main resources, grain, timber, and bronze, through farms, lumberyards and forges.
Only by successfully managing their own City-State, in true Spartan fashion, can players successfully lead their soldiers to victory – and that is what strategy games are all about.