This is my first ever try at game review, I will appreciate any comments, tips and corrections. Thank you.
It is the middle of the day, it just started raining and you can feel the stress, rage and uncertainty in the air. The barely noticable wind is blowing in the mens hair. The crows are getting ready for the feast of their lifetime. Battlecries ecoing from the woods that give shivers and fear, while the rain is ever so calming and is just pouring down the thousands of blades, spears and arrows. The general has given it's speach, men are filling themselves with anger, courage and rage. Signal is given to march out and so they do. They can see the enemy in the middle of the field as they emerge from the woods. A couple of units are sent to attack and for most of them that is their last attack as the falling enemies arrows are killing the men. They reach the enemy and start a bloody swordfight, men fall like dominos on both sides. They are ordered back, they retreat and the whole enemy army charges. When the enemy has reached the main army group, out of the woods come heavy cavalry and kills off a good amount of them leaving them no option but to retreat, but we don't give mercy to no one and these deserters and fearful men do not deserve to see another summer so a light cavalry is sent out to chase them down and kill them all. In the end, we emerge - bloodied, wounded and a lot of good men lying dead on the ground, but victorious. We have finally won the last of them, the Gauls are no more.
This is what I am thinking playing the epic battles of Rome: Total War, it can be intense, demanding and still a lot of fun and place for this kind of imagination. As a kid I always wanted to be a general or a king. Rome: Total War gives me this option, well so does a lot of other games, but this game has made the experiance so good it is hard to forget this game, it is hard to put it away for ever. It is old and I was 13 years old when I first played it and it, I did play Medieval: Total War and Shogun: Total War, but Rome: Total War was the one that made me a fan of Total War series, I have played and enjoyed all of them, there have been a lot of cons for others and it is good to see that the developer is learning from their mistakes that he did in Empire: Total War, which was not that good, it was fun, but it wasn't what I expected. But now back to the Rome: Total War that falls short of being the ideal game for me (and I still haven't found one yet, when I do, I will give it a 10). For me, as a 13 year old, the most amazing part was ofcourse the battles and I really did not care for the Turne based part of the game which in Campaign is very important. I played custom battles and historic battles and I loved every bit of them, for that time, the graphics were amazing and for my rig then I was not able to play it with "huge" units and could play with about 1500 men on the battlefield, but now I can max it out and enjoy the epicness of them, but still even with a little amount of men on the field it is a great, great game. I tried hard to find something I didn't like about the battles but those are quite minor in my view and for that time. Yes, the units all look like clones and there is barely any animation on their fighting which came in Medieval 2: Total War, but for the time it was made (2004) it is great. Now that I am older (I am soon to be 21, so 20 now) I really enjoy ALL of what the game has to offer, yet I do have a few things that bug me.
The setting is ofcourse the times of Ancient Roman Empire. If you play the game for the first time you are give the choise of playing the main campaign as one of the three factions which are allies and allies to Rome (S.P.Q.R.) - House of Julii (in the North Italy), House of Scipii (South Italy) or the House of Brutii (East Italy)- and believe it or not but it will affect how you can play and how you can use your starting location for better purposes. I will not indulge myself in the variety of units and troops as there are a lot of them, each nation has their own units + there are mercenery units. Infantry - light, spear, missile and heve. Cavalry - light, heave and missile. Siege equipment. It is all there for you to utilize to destroy anything and anyone that stands in your way to ownership of Rome. Wait, what? Owning Rome, but I said that we are allies. Yes! Althou you are allies with Rome and other allies Rome has, you even get mission from them that will, if done, give you rewards - units, money, appreciation from Senate etc.. But still in the end the goal is to conquer Rome, which is not as easy as it might be, but still not as hard as some may think.
I love the way politics are used, bribes, gifts and other things that will grant you more power, allies that will aid you and also money. Alliances can be canceled and you can attack whoever you want. But remember, it will be a bit harder to get alliances with them if you betray them. It not possible to be in alliance with someone who is enemy of your ally. Getting map information and keeping everything under surveilence can be time consuming, but there were no plains and no cars back then, nope, not even trains.But there were ships and they are a good way of not only destroying other ships, but also transportation as they can make greater distances over sea. That I like and should be that way. Spies and diplomats can be used for surveilence and making peace, trade agreements and other agreements as well as giving tribute, asking to give reagions, giving regions and so on. A spy will give you the information but it will not kill, thats where assassins come in and I would suggest everyone to make a few really good ones as they can dispose of those who you deem to be dangerous to you. The family members are important and you should use them for maintaining the towns, but sometimes they are a good commander and you should use them for battles, your choice really, but one of the biggest problems in this game is that it takes the controle of your family breeding completely out of control, well love is love and it is all normal, but I would like to atleast suggest a 40 year old man to make children as his life expectancy in my type of leadership. It is illogical how a family member can create offspring while being completely away from home as I would not believe that he would bring his wife to a conquest trip for a couple of years and it seems that the game is randomly deciding when they make offspring, but althou one of the biggest cons of the game, it is not that big of a deal and I can look past that. Ofcourse another thing that comes out of the ruling a family and a soon to be empire is money. And I have mentioned money a lot of times by now I think. It is important and do not underestimate the power and importance it plays. There are three things you need for war - money, money and money. This comes as one of the quotas of Total War series and I love that they made that. But relly thou. Setting taxes, building something that will generate income, closing trading agreements with other factions are just as important as winning a battle. As a person who went to school where they tought specialty in economy, booking, finances etc. (long story about my education), I would love to see that they would atleast put in an option where I can manipulate the many different types of taxes, trading prices etc. (as in Sim City or close to it). Althou the game gives you a lot of controle over your faction, I would love to see the options for it to become more involving and you, as a supreme leader of your faction could controle everything. The politics and trading system is still underdeveloped, but let us all remember why we love this game and it hides in it's name. Rome: Total War. The Total War experiance is still something that has not been surpassed by any other games on the epic scale of a combat that could be thousands upon thousands of men all driven to kill. That is why I love it, that is why it ranks so high and that is why it has become a must play game for all the strategy enthusiasts out there.
I do recommend this game for those who love strategy, may not have the rigs to support the most recent Total War series games, like Shogun: Total War, which also I am hoping of doing a review soon.
In conclusion I would like to say that it is a legend of a strategy games, it gives you epic battles, thirst for more towns to supply your ever growing armies, uniqe units for each faction and the chance to play the game as you like it. There is no obligation to manualy fight a battle, you can just click the auto button and it is done, battle is over, this comes in very handy when you have little time, want to build something or recruit some units and you don't have the time, it would be really annoying to involve in every single battle the game gives you and would result in a great loss of time. There is still no naval battles that come in later in Empire: Total War, there are no options for you to choose for taxes and money management and the low, normal, high, very high is not really what I would like to see in an empire building, but this is only my complaint as a lot of people don't really need that. For what this game is made, it does excellent job. It was mad for epic battles and conquest, and both of these they deliver.
I hope you liked my review, I hope it helped and give tips and hints on what I should improve on my gaming reviews as this really is my first :)