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Old 11-05-2009, 04:11 PM   #1
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Please rate this review: Civ City Rome

EDIT: Some douchebag systematically rated all of the reviews I uploaded 1*. I know this because I rated them 5 star (ever heard the story about the guy who's petition failed because he didn't sign it) and after another rating it came to three. So if you are going to rate it, actually appreciate the hard work that goes into this.

Civ City Rome

High Intricate attention to detail

LOW Pathetic combat

WTF People run faster with bare feet on stone roads, than on soft ground

If youíre a fan of Sid Miers classic Civilisation games, and Fireflyís Stronghold series then youíll most likley have been eagerly anticipating the release of a merger between the two studios; Civ: City Rome. Any RTS fan would have been looking forward to, what promised to redefine the genre. Unfortunately Rome leaves allot to be desired.

The gameplay is on par with that of a standard city builder, with combat and a sense of global economy through the use of the Empire map. Itís through this map that youíll trade with neighbouring cities, build extended road networks, and assess your threat relative to the location of your enemies. You can send your legions to intercept enemy armies, and level Barbarian towns. Itís an interesting concept, executed terribly. While an over world map seen in the Total War games would be just what this game needed, we are thrown a poorly made mechanic with a minimal impact on gameplay. Youíll rarely need to use it, and on the occasion that you do itíll be for no more than a minute or so.

The combat employs a unit based system much like the Total War games, albeit on a much smaller scale. You have two unit types at your disposal, legionnaires and welitays who will auto-train once a weapon production network is primed and your forts are constructed. There are no tactics of so to speak. When enemies arrive itís just a matter of clicking on the enemies. Your unitís animations are wooden and in some hideous design decision, your troops walk incredibly fast, leading to a situation which is near comical. Even worse is the fact your walls can be destroyed with a few arrows and enemies just stroll through your gates. Your citizens make no attempt at reacting, and just carry on with their jobs as barbarians run around town.
This mechanic may feel overtly basic to some, but to those who are gripped in the economic pursuits of the game, itís both accessible and easy to manage and will provide a good sense of pace. Those who revel in extensive slaughter and epic tactical battles will feel sorely disappointed.

The foremost portion of the game is the city building. You attract new citizens to your town by maintaining the popularity metre which is governed by rations, wages, work hours, external events, entertainment, technology and a number of other variables. Itís an exceptionally deep system, and youíll spend allot of your time fine tuning a sustainable balance. Youíll have to keep your citizens happy with theatres, gladiator battles, healthcare, barber shops, inns, and all manner of buildings. In addition to this you have a ďcivilisation ratingĒ which is a representation of...Well your cities civilisation. Youíll have to reach a certain target as a requisite for some of the missions and this is nicely linked back to the popularity metre, as youíll have to meet your citizenís needs before they can upgrade their households and subsequently improve your cities ranking.

A noticeable step up from the standard formula is the incredible level of depth the game allows for, something Firefly always nails. Zoom into your city and watch your citizens go about their daily lives, watch your gladiators duke it out in your ampi-theatre, lumberjacks fell trees, and laugh at your vagrants as they wander the streets. It gives a sense of depth and insight into your citizenís lives, and it humanizes the populace, so youíll think twice about raising those taxes, or halving the rations which is something that games of this nature seldom achieve. In fact, the level of detail extends to the individual citizens, selecting them will reveal some insight into their lives, and itís this touch which gives the game its distinct Roman flavour.

The game out of the box comes with a surprisingly small amount of content. The main campaign spans over a dozen missions, although in truth it plays out like a glorified tutorial. I felt patronised by the easy missions, lack of building availability and the mandatory condescending narrator telling you how to build a house, so instead I took to the individual missions of which there are about ten.
These vary from military missions to peaceful building, and you can spend hours engrossed into developing a huge town with grand aqueducts, hippodromes and temples. Though there is no doubt it was an enjoyable experience, I did like the game, at no point however, did it do anything new.

Iíd played this game five times before, albeit with a different setting and developer, but it was fundamentally more of the same. Though playing a game is essentially about enjoying yourself, and this game is most certainly enjoyable, I knew I could just be playing Ceaser 3 and having a much better experience.

A potentially redeeming feature however, is the inclusion of a map editor. Now, I say potentially because whoever the retard was that designed the editor forgot to, or maybe blatantly disregarded to include building placements. A map editor without building placements is a shallow one at best and as such feels like a last minute inclusion to support the games duration.

There are a horrific number of technical bugs, allot of which can stop you advancing through the game, and when you encounter one youíll most likely put Civ City in your ďusedĒ pile. Rome is a disappointment given the experience of the developers.

The core gameplay is akin to the Stronghold games, and with only a hint of Civilisations involvement, and then it feels like a redundant re-tread of the past five years. 6/10 a bargin bin buy at best.

Last edited by FalloutMazza; 11-05-2009 at 04:33 PM.
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