Monday, July 18, 2005

Rome:Total War

Rome: Total War
Platform: PC
Rating: 12+
Type: RTS+TBS(real time strategy and turn based strategy)
Graphics: 8/10
Story: 8/10
Gameplay: 8.5/10
Multiplayer: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Overall: 9/10

This game was released early October, where there was a huge amount of tension. The predecessors, Shougun: total war and Medieval: Total war, where amazing, this one is no let down, as is often the case with anticipated games.

You start the campaign as one of three roman families, each one starts off in different areas of the map. You then have to command your empire to become powerful and eventually become the senate. Once you have completed the game you unlock many factions.

As rts's go the graphics are stunning, as computer games go they are awesome, and as console games go, there pretty damned good. You can zoom in and see each of the troops charge around, smashing into the enemy and sending them flying. Being a 12+, there is a lack of blood or real gore but when the horses smash into the side of a pack of troops, sending them flying, and the elephants crush hundreds of troops and the gauls jump heroically over the enemy troops into the middle, then you know how cool it is and the lack of blood dosen't matter. And I haven't even got started on the sieges. The sieges are truly spectacular. Stones smashing into walls, buildings burning, and oil pouring onto screaming troops. All this and more. Tower assault is cool. The fire is amazing, it looks really good, esspecailly when you start zooming from one side of the battle towards the city. But more about that in the gameplay section.

The story line is fairly accurate if you play it how it actually went in roman times. But of course if you want to be a evil Dictator then obviously it will be different. Because of this there isn't much of the story to talk about. There are a few historical battles which, although I don't know much about historical battles, i checked a couple of them out and they actually happened.

The gameplay section I am splitting into two paragrapahs. One for the campaign and one for the battles.

The campaign is a top down view of the world where you command your forces on a much grander scale, sending troops across Italy rather than across a small hill. You have to manage your towns, although if it all gets too much then you can turn the govenor. You can manage taxes and what troops you train. Who to trade with to where to hide your troops in ambush. You manage the politics of your empire. Occasional you are given missions by the senate which are very similar, block a port; take a base; move your troops; ally with someone. Ultimately you don't have to do them but this will cause the senates distress which will lead to you not becoming senate. On some missions there are much serious punishments, but most of them just cause displeasure to the senate.

The battles are AWESOME. Sieges are intense, the way you charge the elephants at the enemy and you literally see them flying. Of course, if your boring you can automatically resolve the battle in the campaign, but really, this is the best bit of the game. Let me give you a description of a siege. Your defending. You line spearmen up by the door, have some archers on the wall a couple of standard troops on the wall to protect against towers. The enemy have battering rams, onagers, lots of horses and many men. The onagers open fire on our walls and on a building. The battering ram moves forward along with the towers. As the battering ram hits the door then the oil pours on to the poor soldiers below. Your archers and towers pick off troops and the walls start falling down. suddenly the building catches fire and your troops start to loose moral. Then the gate crashes down and your spearmen run into action. I will leave the rest to your imagination. The AI is normally quite good but sometimes if you destroy a key unit to there plan, the whole army just stands still. For instance, I wiped out all of there battering rams, and although they had towers and onagers, they just stood still.

The multiplayer is pretty damn good. It can only have 8 people, and although it is nothing new for a RTS multiplayer wise it is still fun. FFAs are the most enjoyable, especially with 8 people. I have yet to try out the sieges, but I think there maybe a lot of lag as there is a fair share normally.

I think the game is amazing and it is no wonder Microsoft are working really hard on the graphics on AoE 3 as other wise there will be no competition. The main downside of this game is you need a very powerful machine and a massive broadband to play(the broad band is only for multiplayer). Buy it if you are looking for something to play until AoE 3 comes out, as it is quite cheap, then this is it.

Also,when my network gets fixed I will post a weekly/biweekly multiplayer report on all games I play Multiplayer on

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