Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Those of you who spent months playing "Caesar III" or "Zeus" can give this game a miss, as it won't bring them anything new at all.
  2. Impressions did a good job of refining the gameplay with this installment.
  3. Computer Games Magazine
    70
    A solid bit of urban planning in an interesting new setting. Period. [Nov 2002, p.88]
  4. Computer Gaming World
    70
    Offers up the delight of "RollerCoaster Tycoon" with a historical bent and a sharp, colorful Asian edge. [Nov 2002, p.126]
  5. Game Informer
    93
    Another great city-builder from a developer that has come to define a niche genre all its own. [Sept 2002, p.93]
  6. Well made, but perhaps not remarkably exceptional. In its craftsmanship, it continues to be one of the best urban planning games, par excellence.
  7. A good single player building game that, although has improvements, lacks long-term gameplay abilities.
  8. A fun and satisfying management game, ... [but] if "Zeus" was two steps forward for the series, Emperor is its one step back.
  9. 85
    It's not all that new and not all that different from the other games in Sierra's classic "City Building" franchise -- but it's loads of fun all the same.
  10. A gorgeous, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable civilization game.
  11. 88
    Sure they added some new things like Ancestors (pretty much like gods), the Chinese zodiac signs, new ways of dealing with farming, and multiplayer options for the first time as well as the obligatory improvements to interface. But there isn't really anything here that we haven't already gone through in ancient Rome, Egypt, or Greece.
  12. An impressive game that reeks of addictive potential. If the despot in you wants some exercising, then this is definitely the way to go.
  13. netjak
    61
    The game was enjoyable for a few levels. Definitely not $40 worth of levels, though.
  14. PC Gamer
    72
    Offers more of the same good stuff, but no real creative innovation. [Nov 2002, p.128]
  15. 60
    Even the addition of online multiplayer gaming doesn't do enough to overcome a sense of sameness, continuing problems with the combat system, and the absence of involving mission goals.
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. May 5, 2012
    9
    I think it's the best city builder published by Sierra Entertainment Inc. It's very similar to Pharaoh and Caesar games (produced byI think it's the best city builder published by Sierra Entertainment Inc. It's very similar to Pharaoh and Caesar games (produced by Impressions Games). Unfortunately there is no tutorial, but unlike Pharaoh and Caesar citizens are able to work at every place (their houses don't need to be built so close to it) and you can also build a special wall around houses which allows them to grow (it prevents the bad influence of work places). Full Review »
  2. T.homasB.
    Dec 26, 2007
    10
    One of the, if not the, best city builder games i have ever tried. beautiful, has a good feel and can make you addicted. this must a must to One of the, if not the, best city builder games i have ever tried. beautiful, has a good feel and can make you addicted. this must a must to every city builder. Full Review »
  3. May 20, 2017
    9
    The best city-building sim I've ever played, hands down, and i'm a huge fan of the genre. It's not without it's issues: there are a number ofThe best city-building sim I've ever played, hands down, and i'm a huge fan of the genre. It's not without it's issues: there are a number of bugs, combat is poorly implemented, and there's often an issue of getting data about your city in a clear and timely manner to prevent disaster. Nonetheless this game is crazy fun; it's one of the few games where after clocking it on normal difficulty I play through again on hard, and then yet again on very hard. It isn't as lengthy as Pharaoh, but the game mechanics have been subtly tweaked and re-balanced for a more engaging and challenging game. Full Review »