East India Company
East India Company
Released n/a
Among all the games at E3 2009, only one stands apart as the single most promising PC strategy game that involves both naval trade and tactical tall-ships combat during the age of the infamous East India Company. That game: East India Company.

Who's Making This Game: Finnish developer Nitro Games is developing this game for publisher Paradox Interactive.

What the Game Looks Like: East India Company has bits and pieces of all the better Age of Sail games we've seen before, such as Sid Meier's Pirates!, Port Royale, and Empire: Total War. Half of the game is trading interface screens and trade route maps; the other half of the game will be 3D real-time battles on the open seas.

What There Is to Do: There are two primary things to do in East India Company: Trade commodities, such as tea, spices, silks, and gold by buying them low and selling them high; and wage war on the open seas in real-time strategy battles that can be switched to direct control of an individual ship at any time.

How the Game Is Played: Throughout the game, you'll choose to play as one nationality's East India Company and chart out the best trade routes to bring in the most in-demand commodities to the neediest ports. Flooding certain ports with low-demand, high-supply commodities will drive the price of that commodity down, while restricting the flow of rare commodities to needy ports will drive the prices up, though market prices will constantly fluctuate. Having better trade routes, as well as access to the most precious commodities and largest naval fleets, will increase your nationality's overall power rating. Having a high power rating will also grant you diplomatic options you might not otherwise have, such as demanding commodity shipments from lower-ranked nationalities under threat of war. Should you find yourself going to war, you'll do so in fully 3D real-time battles where you control your fleet like a squadron of real-time strategy units, drag-selecting them with your mouse and giving general orders. However, as mentioned, you can choose to take direct control of any one of your ships to direct your ship's sail direction, ammo type, and firing.

What They Say: This will be a distinctive strategy game that directly combines economy and military action.

What We Say: We've seen many of this game's elements in other, previous games that did a great job with them, so hopefully, East India Company has learned from its predecessors and will offer an improved experience. We'll find out when the game ships later this year.