As a fan of Medieval: Total War, I believe that Rome: Total War lives up to the standard of the previous Total War games, and then some. The battles are 3d-rific, with cool special effects, detailed cities, and realisitic looking soldiers. It's always fun to zoom in and watch individual units hacking away at each other, and particularly amusing to watch my wardogs tear an enemy general to pieces. The campaign map no longer has the appearance of a board game. It's really neat how the landscape is detailed, and how the location of a unit on the campaign map affects where it will appear on the battlefield. THE GOOD: Great graphics. Difference in visuals between this and previous Total War games is like night and day. The battle music in Rome: Total War is great and seemed to fit the theme quite well. The game offers nearly infinite replayablity, just like previous games in the series. I thought it was nice how the diplomacy system was completely changed so that I could choose exactly what conditions and treaties I wanted to negotiate, as opposed to Medieval: Total War, in which there was one pre-defined action for each unit an emissary could be dropped on. It was also nice how easy it was to acquire some of the more powerful units fairly early in the game. Some of the new units are really cool, such as war elephants, attack dogs, and incendiary pigs. What more could you want? Rome: Total War fixes a lot of things that were problems in Medieval: Total War, giving the game a more refined feel. THE BAD: The thing that probably bothers me the most is that I cannot directly control the taxes in a province without a governor. I REALLY hate this, but at least there is a way to adjust the AI management settings. I also found it annoying that a unit without a general of royal blood fights very poorly. This also adds to the problem I mentioned above. Should I commit the family members to the field, or keep them at home? Should I sacrifice tax revenues, or the fighting ability of my armies? I noticed that there seemed to be a sort of glitch with my assassins in which even if the assassination was "successful" sometimes the target would not be removed from the map. The camera in battles can be tough to control sometimes, but it's not a major problem and I'm pretty familiar with it by now. Naval battles can be a problem since it's all decided by the computer. It was also annoying having to defeat a non-Roman faction before they were made available to play as in campaign mode. THE UGLY: Naked fanatics. Nuff' said. Final score: 9.6 Despite my criticisms above, Rome: Total War is a spectacular game that I will play for years to come.
7th December 2003
Nice review, on your bad points: If you start a campaign you can click on a little box that allows you to control all settlements even without governours. Early in the game you should use your generals to fight battles. Later you will have more than enough anyway.