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Appeared on: Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Rome: Total War Review


1. Page 1

Rome: Total War Review - Page 1

Rome Total War was constructed by Creative Assembly in collaboration with Activision. It's the third on the road game of the Total War series along with Shogun and Medieval.

click to enlargeShogun's contribution to Strategy games was multifacited: new ideas and real time strategy methods. Medieval on the other hand, was clearly more mature than its predecessor, having many more units and a more sophisticated and functional strategy map.

"Rome" (which according to creative Assembly was meant to be the first of the series) is considered the best among the 3, since it is based on the successful recipes of its predecessor and in addition presents an impressive graphics machine along with an improved strategy map.

Some Rome: Total War screenshots

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2. Page 2

Rome: Total War Review - Page 2

To represent and reflect a battle in a 3D invironment is, undisputably, not a piece of cake!

click to enlargeNevertheless, Rome Total War seems to have successfully faced the challenge and the outcome reminds the player of scenes from films such as Braveheart, the Gladiator and the Lord Of The Rings, where innumerable hoards engage in battle, roaring and screaming.

Directx 9 is used for the graphics with realistic effects of dust and smoke, reflections on the water and much more.

click to enlargeThe strategy map is remarkable as well. It's no longer flat (like the well known Risk board game). On the contrary, it is a 3D map with mountains, forests, rivers etc, which is continually changing according the seasons of the year.

 

Borders are constantly being violated and the battle begins when a town is besieged or when the army is attacked upon by the enemy on its way. Whatever is visible on the strategy map, will also remain visible during the battle on the battle map, including any change of seasons.

click to enlargeThe buildings and the trees of the battle map are impressively realistic and can play an important role during the battle as they can be used as a suitable place from which to launch an ambush. Be careful though, because your army can also be just as easily easily entrapped.

 

Some Rome: Total War screenshots

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3. Page 3

Rome: Total War Review- Page 3

click to enlargeStarting the game, there are many modes for the player to choose from: Prologue, Campaign, Custom Battle, Quick Battle and of course Multiplayer. Basically, Prologue is the Tutorial for the game, which provides explanations of the strategy and the battle map.

By starting off with any mode in the game, the player has the option to choose "Arcade Battle" which is an option where the morale of the units or the weather conditions are not taken into consideration. Another option when starting a game, is to choose between Long or Short Campaigns. In order to win the Long Campaign, the player has to conquer 50 regions as well as Rome. Alternatively, to win the Short Campaign, you have to conquer 15 regions plus one or two opponent functions.main menu

In the beginning, the player chooses one of three Roman Functions and in the process "unlocks" the rest. Of course, the most interesting are the Romans (Julli, Scipii, Brutii) to whom the Senate occasionally assigns the task of conquering a town or assassinating enemy leaders.

Furthermore, the Historical Battles are quite fascinating. They consisted of 10 historical combats of the time, including Sparta, River Trebia, Battle of Lake, Siege of Georgia and more.

click to enlargeIf the player chooses Custom Battle, they have the opportunity to set up the battle in any way they pleases using 35 different maps, all functions, money and many other options. In Quick Battle, the game takes care of all the arrangements automatically.

Finally, by choosing Multiplayer mode, you can enjoy all of the above along with 8 of your buddies. The only disadvantage is that the strategy map is disabled in Multiplayer mode.

Some Rome: Total War screenshots

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4. Page 4

Rome: Total War Review- Page 4

click to enlargeThe units of the game are carefully designed and each one has unique characteristics according to the function.

More specifically, the Romans and the Gauls have some powerful infantry, while the Macedonians, the Parthians and the People of Pontus have better cavalry.

The Egyptian army is comprised of excellent archers and spearmen. Unlike the Egyptians, the Seleacids army has powerful elephants and heavy Cataphracts. The Carthaginians have many varying skillful units and the Germans capable axemen.

click to enlargeThe Britons and the Dacians have very passionate and fanatic troops while the Armenian's advantage lies in their cavalry. The Scythian's infantry is less in number but their army is balanced by the presence of very skillful archers.

The Numidian army is reinforced by camels, the Greeks have a capable infantry and the Spanish varied but with coherent units. Finally, the Thracian cavalry is inferior to that of others but have a considerable infantry, very capable in man to man battles.

Some Rome: Total War screenshots

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5. Page 5

Rome: Total War Review- Page 5

click to enlargeThe game is very detailed and there are many parameters that have to be arranged, such as economy and diplomacy. Of course, if you're too bored to deal with stuff like that, you can always choose the "Auto" option and skip the procedure altogether.

click to enlargeThe game also has some details that spice up the story. For example, you can send a spy into a town and check out the town's supplies, defense strategy and he can even open doors for you in case of a siege.

Now if you want my opinion of the game... it's great! I very much like the music and graphics and I enjoy the oppoprtunity to simulate being a General commanding a huge army. There are some problems with handling the camera in the battle map, but you will soon overcome this. Rome Total War is a strategy game, but even if you don't like that kind of game, you will still love it.

Some Rome: Total War screenshots

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6. Page 6

Rome: Total War Review- Page 6

And here is some unofficial information... the game cheats:

Press the tilde (~) key to bring down the console, and input one of the following:

bestbuy : Units are 10% cheaper.

jericho : Walls will crumble.

add_money X : Adds money. X = amount.

add_population Y X : Adds population, where Y is the settlement name and X the amount.

auto_win attacker/defender : Attacker or defender automatically wins the next auto resolved battle.

create_unit settlement/charactername unit_ID amount exp/armour/weapon : Creates a unit in the selected settlement or characters army with the stats you input

toggle_fow : Toggles Fog of War

give_trait characternname traitname level : Gives the character the trait at the chosen level.

process_cq settlement : Finished the building queue in the settlement

list_traits : Lists all traits

move_character Z X,Y : Moves character to location, where Z is character name and X Y are coordinates.

give_trait_points charactername traitname points : Gives points for the character’s trait.

force_diplomacy accept/decline/off : Forces opponent to accept diplomatic proposal

invulnerable_general charactername : General is invulnerable in combat

date year : Changes date

kill_character charactername : Kills selected character

season summer/winter : changes season

capture_settlement settlementname : Captures settlement



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