Rome: Total War, review by Uber-Pig

Amazing Strategy Title.

Main Overview: The game ROME: Total war is the sequel to the Highly successful game strategy title Medieval: Total war. This game as implied by the title takes you back to the day of the Roman Empire. You will command massive armies in the games real time battle mode as well as conquer vast expanses of land in the civilization-esqe Campaign Map.

Game play: The Game Rome total has two distinct modes, Battle and Campaign.
Battle: To simply state it. The battles in Rome: total war is truly masterpieces of strategy gaming. You begin a battle by organizing and deploying your troops on the battlefield to your wishes. However, your troops will begin in a logical formation with spearmen covering the flanks and center and Calvary on the sides etc. So if you donít feel like doing too much managing before the battle itself starts you can jump right in. Itís when the battles begin though that things truly start to get interesting. The level of real-life strategy you can use in this game. Chances are if it can work in real-life it works here. An out-numbered and outclassed army can still achieve victory by superior strategy, by using flanking maneuvers, and using terrain (woods and hills) you your advantage. In all comes into play and can have an affect on the outcome. Also unlike many strategy games soldiers will not simply blindly fight to the death (except for maybe some of your crack troops). Troops have morale and can get tired. Troops who have had to run across a field or up a hill to reach your men may be exhausted by the time they get to your men. Morale is also a crucial point in winning battles. Has your leading general been killed in battle or ran away from the battle. Your troops may feel dismayed or hopeless. Are Calvary crushing the flanks of your army and washing over them like a wave? The rest of your army may feel its time to hightail it out of there. The AI doses a reasonable job and can really teach you some lessons on higher difficulties. Your owns menís AI is also solid and they do a great job of keeping in formation and fighting intelligently. During siege battles certain troops may get confused however, but it doesnít happen too often to be very distracting. Overall these battles are simply great. Not to mention the variety of units and sides always keeps things fresh and exciting.

The second portion of the game is the civilization like campaign mode. At the begging of this you may choose from 3 factions of the Roman Empire. Jullii,Scipii, and Brutii(others become playable after you conquer them other sides include Carthage,Egypt,Greek cities,macedon,Germania,gaul and more.) You command your faction over a 3D map of Europe and North Africa. The map is Nicely detailed and easy to use. It is split into many regions which you conquer one at a time by defeating enemy armies in battle (or quick-fight) mode. You can also use very-in-depth diplomacy to forge allicees, trade rights, or maybe just to bully your enemies into handing over a city or some cash. Handling your economy and taking care of your people is just as important as conquering land howver. Training (and maintaining) too many troops can lead to debts for your faction or over-building. Also you have to keep your citizens and their cities which you can zoom in and take a look at any time) content. If you neglect a city and do not expand its living space. Build roads and markets to improve the economy or have low sanitation ratings and high taxes. Citizens may riot or stage a full-scale rebellion. All these factors such as allicens, trade and taxation can all add much realism and depth to the game. During the game the Roman Senate will give you missions, which you can either take or neglect. Itís not advisable to do so however, as they have some good money and popularity (with the senate and the people) benefits and disregarding them can have some annoying consequences. In battle mode where your troops meet on the map is what the terrain will be like when they fight in battle, this is a really awesome future that adds some great realism to the battles. Seasons and weather also change as years go on.
Still though the campaign in Rome is one of the most engrossing and amazing Strategies game campaigns ever made and will easily suck out hours upon hours of your life. Great stuff.

Graphics: In short they like the rest of the game are excellent. Seeing thousands of detailed 3D troops marching to battle is a sight to behold. The units of very well animated and as they walk huge plumes of dirt blow up behind them. When they get into battle the soldiers animate very well and just get better looking the closer you zoom in. Also there are no prefabricated battle loops. While they can be a little off sometimes you will se troops react to a hit and block when attacked. Or when a group of swordsmen is charged by Calvary they will fly through the air. In campaign the map is nicely mapped and looks nice. The Battle environments in the game while not jaw-dropping like the units are still quite nice looking and the cities are nicely detailed.

Sound: The sound surprising is a great future of this game. For one the music is very solid. While on the campaign map the music is soft and relaxing. While in battle itís exciting well made and gets your blood pumping. It also reacts to what is going on in the battle, with something tense as your troops approach each other and something exciting as your men charge forward. You will also hear commanders yell commands as they march forward. Men yelling, ďRUN!!Ē as the elephants approach. And your troops cheering and celebrating as the enemy runs away. Its obvious a lot of work was put into this part of the game and it shows.

Overall: Rome Total war is simply one of the best strategy games of all time in my opinion. Its great battles deep campaign and roaring sound design make it a game no strategy gamer or PC gamer period should miss.
I give it a 9.75 out of 10.
Posted on 11/05/2006 13:06
9.6 perfect