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Glory of the Roman Empire is only one of a proliferation of Roman themed titles that includes Caesar IV, Firaxis, and Firefly's CivCity Rome. These popular and challenging games that have proven that the Roman era is a manageable and engaging theme for providing gamers with a high level of entertainment. Glory of the Roman Empire involves you in many aspects of Roman life and times from the point of view of a leader tasked with making sure the people are happy and content.
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The Fun Parts
The game has a very shallow learning curve that allows even a beginner to strategy games to pick up and play all aspects of the game play. It will probably begin to lose its shine very quickly, however, to a veteran of strategy games use to a higher level of complexity.
I loved the campaign mode, and playing as a powerful and influential Roman governor hopping all over the empire putting fires out was fun, engaging and profitable. It's an interesting concept that works well and provides you with a pretty good level of entertainment value.
The pace of the game is pretty good. Wiith no micro-managing to slow it down, it moves along at a fast pace, so you can actually play a game in a reasonable amount of time.
You can also play in a Latin language mode, which was fun, entertaining, informative, challenging, and is a very interesting idea that could open up other areas of interactive entertainment in the future.
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Unfortunately, the game isn't going to challenge a veteran strategy gamer for long. It's probably stripped down in an attempt to rid traditional strategy games of the plodding game pace they often have, but they went too far to the left.
Most aspects that have been included work well, but the detail and depth of many aspects is lacking. The buildings, historical places, and objects also have a superficial layer of coverage. For example, the names of historical buildings are included in the design, but important details within the buildings and other related aspects have been neglected. This takes away from the immersive effect that other games in the genre can have.
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Haemimont Games included a few nice graphical details. For example, candle light or torch light will appear in the windows when the sun goes down, the exteriors of the buildings are very well presented in a historically correct manner. These graphical touches are as detailed and engaging as Caesars IV, Firaxis, and CivCity.
The character animations could be better, however. The details on their faces and bodies are only average and, aside from an occasional grunt, they barely respond when you engage them. It's probably better that they didn't have a zoom-in camera angle, considering the lack of details in many aspects of the graphical presentation.
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Sounds in the Game
The sound track is off in the background all the time, and you will hardly notice it after awhile. Depending on each individual, this could be good or bad. This isn't the most action packed game on the market, so an understated, calm sound playing in the background is probably appropriate.
The sound effects are at least solid, if not outstanding. Birds chirp in the trees, water laps nicely on the seashore, and fire crackles sharply enough to sound authentic.
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The game's story puts you in the toga and sandals of a Roman governor for hire. You will be tasked with various important jobs, such as dealing with the plague in Syracuse, putting out forest fires in Florentia, and repelling barbarians trying to relieve Rome of its riches. You will also need to deal with administrative tasks, like making sure the proper buildings are built to provide the resources the citizens need and making sure the balance between the various needs are account for the geograpy of the populated areas. All the citizens need to be within walking distance of all the requirements of the Roman lifestyle so they can obtain the goods they need to live.
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This is a good game for beginners to strategy games and does have the essential aspects of any good title in the genre. Unfortunately, it will probably become "been there, done that" very quickly for experienced gamers to the genre; it doesn't do anything new that is interesting enough to provide a new level of entertainment.
A city-building game similar to SimCity, Settlers, and the Impressions city games, with a small combat component, Glory of the Roman Empire includes a 30 mission campaign mode, a random challenge mode, and a quick build mode that's excellent if you only have an hour or so to play. It took me 28 hours to play through the game and I took my time and tried everything, so it might not take you as long, especially if you're easily bored.
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The Final Mark
Glory of the Roman Empire is a good, but stripped-down strategy game that isn't very challenging and needs more depth in the historical details included in the Roman theme of the game. The ability to include a storyline in some of the missions that includes details of the historical events that occurred within many of the beautiful buildings in the game would have been excellent. Gladiatorial fights in the Coliseum, the battles of Caesar against the armies of Egypt, interacting in the Roman bath houses are only a few ideas. They really missed an opportunity to really impress there.
- All screenshots taken from Glory of the Roman Empire.
- Review based on author's personal experience.