Written by  :  James Kirk (168)
Written on  :  Jan 14, 2005
Platform  :  Windows

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Rome: Total Uber-age

The Good

I've always loved the Roman Empire. I read Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". It was always just so interesting, so when I heard of RTW, I was excited and, as I will show here, rightly so.

First of all, the graphics are simply incredible. You can literally have THOUSANDS of men in a single battle, all perfectly animated with realistic animations and excellent textures.

The single player mission is extremely large and has tons of replay value. You will begin with a gigantic map that goes from North Africa, Easter and Western Europe, the British Isles, and the Middle East. The entire map is divided up into provinces just like the classic game "Risk".

Each province generates income etc. and allows you to build a slew of armies, fortifications and improvements which enhance your income. When you build armies, they can be moved and combined on the world map, just like Risk. You move them from area to area etc. until the inevitable happens, a BATTLE!

The battles are incredible and can be divided into two categories, sieges and field battles. The sieges are very fun and allow you to use up to four siege weapons in fairly realistic ways. Like on real-life, you need significantly more powerful forces to take a besieged city by storm.

The field battles are also excellent. Throughout all the battles, advanced battle tactics such as flanks, charges, and fighting on a hill apply, which add much more depth and strategy to the game beyond that of most other RTS's.

The single player game is mostly a gigantic campaign in which you basically attempt to take over the world. As you play, you can unlock other factions like the Greeks, Egyptians etc. This adds much replay value.

The various factions are also very unique, with a variety of strengths and weaknesses along with different looks for basically the same type of unit.

Playing as the Romans, you will be given various missions from the senate. Accomplishing these missions will either grant you rewards or keep the senate from penalizing you.

The Bad

Unfortunately, even though the diplomacy is much enhanced from previous "Total War" games, it still isn't much. The diplomacy, except for war\peace isn't particularly vital and is mostly for show.

The requirements to run the game are also extremely steep, which is somewhat disappointing, but not surprising given the quality of the graphics.

The Bottom Line

Buy this game. Period.