Pax Romana Review (PC)
Pax Romana is the latest effort from Galilea Multimedia, and the game's designer also worked on the popular Europa Universalis, so this game is vaguely similar to that system. You are presented with two levels of play, a strategic mode in which, as head of a Roman faction, you improve provinces, hammer out trade routes and raise troops, while conducting land and sea operations. The second mode is political, where you attempt to meet senators, win them over to your faction, attempt to raise money and influence in Rome, and try to win elections that will make your faction strong and propel you into the leadership of Rome.
The strategic game is set up in a number of scenarios, starting with the Punic wars, in which you must obtain a specified goal, usually the conquest of provinces and/or the defeat of other nations. Along the way to doing this, you must recruit troops, improve roads, clear land, found trade routes and balance your budget, while Latinizing people and surpressing revolts. The armies in the game are commanded by separate leaders that can be recruited, and have differing ranks and abilities, as well as command spans. As faction leader, you can also play a number of strategies, these are supplied to your faction, that can improve combat ability, as well as other game factors. In the strategic mode, the game plays very much like the Europa Universalis series, but with more complexity and detail, and truly amazing amount of events and information pop-ups. Unfortunately, sub screens cover all four sides of the game map, and since nothing is labeled, you have to run your mouse over the pictures to see what the buttons do, and quite often, important information is covered or presented in a confusing manor. Battles are abstracted, but you can play tactics and pick different types of attacks and defenses, which can influence combat .The game also allows sieges and seige warfare, so critical to Roman warfare
The end result of all of this is a game which could have been a true classic, but isn't. You end up with a product that seems to have been rushed, with a lot of bugs, and frustrating mistakes that hurt game play. The intense difficulty of this game doesn't help it either, I had to go the game's forums to get a grasp of what to do, and there you can download a much better game manual then the useless one that comes in the box. If you are a big fan of extremely complex strategic games, Pax Romana is worth getting, but the average gamer with a passing interest in this era should pass on this one, as it is just a bit of an over-reach by the game designer.
Pax Romana Pax Romana Intro Movie
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