To the developers' credit, this is quite an easy game to get to grips with, and it positively reeks of polish. The stylised graphics and sound convey the action well, and do contribute to the nice, slow build-up of tension before the skirmishes kick off. Even though you only control one character at a time, you are left feeling part of a team fighting against a common enemy. At its maximum capacity, up to 64 humans can take part in any single game and, even with smaller numbers, the online nature of the game is completely compelling. It's an easy recommendation for those who like to fight their battles over the net, and a reasonable, if limited single challenge too.
The Road to Rome is a welcome expansion to EA's action-packed hit. And despite the fact it requires a copy of the original game to function, there's still plenty within the cellophane to justify the asking price. While it's still possible to play the game in single-player mode, even the most ardent fan would acknowledge that despite welcome improvements, the game's charms for the lone player are severely limited. This is a title that lives and breathes through its multi-player focus and when it's being played online, it really is enormous fun.
At the heart of the full game was the range of vehicles; this add-on brings some welcome new additions to the fight. The crux of it all is still a battle being fought out between opposing armies and the action is viewed from a first-person perspective. To succeed, the game requires teamwork and lots of it: a hot-headed blast-and-go approach is rarely rewarded and the game is all the better for it. Where this add-on really scores though is in the design of the extra maps it provides: these offer a better all-round balance and slightly larger playing arenas. --Simon Brew