8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Alea Jacta Est!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Rome: Total War (PC) (Video Game)
This is a great step from the excellent Medieval - Total War. The basics are the same - expand, conquer, fight, negotiate etc, but it's all done really well, and obviously with a lot of thought.
You will notice that the AI is actually quite good - it doesn't simply charge forward, but uses cavalry to flank you, light infantry to disrupt your formation with missiles or by charging and then fleeing ahead of your line to draw your units out.
The various temples that you can build have different effects on your cities and units, forcing you to think about what you will need in fifty years time - for example, an underdeveloped town might benefit from a temple of Ceres to increase population growth, a coastal town might be better off with a temple of Neptune to allow the construction of highly advanced fleets, and so-on.
Like the Papacy in MTW, you need to placate the Senate (until you're strong enough - then you can roll in and take over!) Non-Roman factions are just as interesting - from the tribes of northern Europe, to the Alexandrian nations of Greece and Egypt. My only gripe would be that I'd quite like to try out the Falxmen of Thrace or the Charioteers of Scythia - both 'AI' nations, I'm afraid.
However, the Romans are where it's at (obviously). The advisors are a really nice touch, with your battlefield advisor congratulating you on well thought out charges, and bemoaning your lack of attention when you trot your general into the front of a Macedonian phalanx. Your campaign advisor draws yor attention to things going on over the turn, like natural disasters, important events, etc. I particularly like her bloodthirsty attitude when a city revolts!
An exceptional and addictive game, with an unreal amount of replayability. Get it with the Barbarian expansion if you can, but even alone, this is a real investment that will keep you coming back for more. If you have a draconian, megalomaniac streak, you'll love it.