Rome: Total War

This game has taken up more of my spare time than any other and rightly so. Rome: Total War is not the newest game and there's been another Total War game since , but no matter how many turn based strategy titles come and go I cant kick the habit and stop playing Rome.

In this shooting games, as with most TBS's, there is no storyline to speak of, instead at the start of any campaign in order to beat the game and be declared the supreme ruler of the known world. Before you begin the game you will be given a choice of three roman factions and a variety of others , provided you unlock them. You will also be able to chose from both short and long campaigns, if you select short you will have to take at least fifteen provinces and a couple of specific provinces, if you select long you will have to take at least fifty provinces including Rome, true domination. Also, you will be given a choice of difficulty ranging from very easy to very hard, if its your first time playing medium is the best setting, the lower settings take all challenge and fun out of the game. There is also the option to play historical battles, at the start of every historical battle you will be given a brief explanation of how and why the battle came about and why your victory is important, these battles have no bearing on your campaign, there more a way to get some practise in.

Rome: Total War is the most well presented game on the P.C, I have absolutely no doubt about that. The menus, unlike most strategy games, are very easy to navigate, witch is helpful when you just want to jump in and slay some barbarians. The graphics depend on the power of you P.C, as with all games on the platform, so I will judge them by what I can see on mine ( a mid-range Dell, 2006), so by no means do you need a supercomputer like for Crysis. The graphics are still impressive four years on and the animations still hold up, but when you zoom in to the centre of the fight hit detection is non-existent, one soldier will swing and the opposing one will take damage. The game map consists of Europe, the near east and north Africa, each of your armies and fleets will have a set distance they can travel each turn, as do diplomats, spy and assassins, so you can forget conquering the known world in five minuets. There are two turns in a year, summer and winter, the only real difference being that if you are fighting north of Italy odds are you will be fighting in the snow, witch will mean missiles are less affective and some units will get a fighting bonus.

The gameplay is the absolute best of any TBS and the sole reason you wont be able to stop playing. The way the map works is complex and requires allot of strategy to ensure you can expand your empire and increase your economic power, whilst at the same time keeping your home land defended. When the inevitable happens and conflict dose arise you will be given three options, retreat, fight yourself or let the AI do the fighting for you, my advice be a man and fight the majority of the battles yourself as the AI can be unpredictable at times. If you do decide to fight yourself you are given the chance to put your army in a formation of your choice. When the battle begins you will have to quickly decide the way you want to fight, do you want to push forward aggressively of find some high ground and fight defensively, no matter what you do always try to hide some cavalry for a surprise attack in to the back of a engaged enemy unit. Every unit you command will have some strengths and weaknesses, its good to know them and change your tactics accordingly, for example its helpful to know no to charge a unit of horses in to a unit of phalanx. At the end of the fight you will be shown a screen of statistics just how well or bad the battle has gone. If through your victory you taken a settlement you will be given the option to either enslave or exterminate the population, you can also occupy the all decisions have there advantages so chose wisely.

Finally, the online play, not why you buy a game like this, but a good feature none the less. I have only played a few times, but I have never experienced any lag or problems and its good to be able to settle any arguments between friends over who the true Caesar is. As is the norm with P.C games there is a range of mods and as far as I know the only one worth downloading is Napoleonic: Total War.

This is one of the best and most addictive games of all time, but because it requires allot of patience and thought it wont be for everyone. Long time strategy fans will love this fighting games and its not to difficult for newcomers to the genre to get in to.