Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom brings city builders inside the Great Wall of China. Leaving the Mediterranean behind, the city-building series makes its first foray into the Orient and immerses the player in brand new surroundings. China has existed for over 4,000 years, but its 4,000 year history has been marked with new technologies and ideas replacing – or enhancing – the old. This is the world in which the player will take the reigns of leadership and take their cities through the twists and turns of Chinese history.
- Beautiful surroundings. A flock of pheasants with brilliantly colored feathers flies away in fear of the hunter's sharp arrows. Buddhist monks leave their strikingly beautiful pagodas to enlighten the city's residents. Entertainers in richly decorated costumes march down the street to celebrate the New Year. These are but a few of the sights upon which the player will feast his eyes in Emperor.
- For the first time, multiplayer gameplay. Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom offers gamers their first opportunity to play a city building game with their friends, online via the Internet. A great variety of both collaborative and competitive multiplay games will be offered. Players may need to collaborate in building one of China's engineering marvels, or there may be a common goal for all cities to attain a certain affluence. In competitive multiplay, players take sides – or may be a side unto themselves – and fight for sole power over China.
- Familiar concepts, ancient beliefs. Both the Chinese zodiac and the concept of Feng Shui play a role in Emperor. Players choose an animal to represent themselves while they play, and receive benefits based on that animal's role in the Chinese zodiac. In addition, the concept of Feng Shui, the harmonious arrangement of objects in relation to their environment, must be taken into consideration when designing cities. The player achieves a high level of Feng Shui when his city is designed efficiently and when people are surrounded by beautiful structures.
- Changing times. As the player progresses through time in Emperor, many of the goods and resources he depends on in one era are replaced by better resources in the next era. As advancements are discovered, efficiency increases. For example, a soldier armed with a steel sword is much more powerful than one armed with a bronze weapon, and paper money can be printed faster than metal coins can be struck.
- Monuments. In Emperor, the player can build many of the edifices for which China is well known, including The Great Wall of China, the Grand Canal, the Hall of Light, and Su Sung's astronomical clock tower.
- Diplomacy and trade. Players can employ emissaries to help establish trading relationships with other cities, or use spies to gather information that will help plan attacks on rivals.
Official fact sheet from BreakAway Games.