Storyline & Game-Play(cont)
On top of the campaign mode Rome Total War includes both a quick battle and multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode does not include the turn based, city management portion of the game. Instead it allows you to play against others in massive historical or custom battles but there isnt much new innovation there. I would have liked to have seen an option to play as the Greeks against another player as the Roman in a conquest for ancient Eurasia. The Quick Battle mode allows players to skip the strategy management portion and go straight in to the battles. Similar to multiplayer battles it contains historical battles as well as the option to create custom battles.
One pitfall I must mention is the games AI in quick battles and campaign mode battles. The game allows you to select more than one difficulty level, for each of the 2 distinct phases of the game, the turn based campaign phase and the battle phase. I found that when I had the battle phase on its highest setting, the AI was just ok. I still found both my units and enemy units performing some questionable moves. As I lowered the difficulty level it the battles did get easier, at times for me, almost too easy.
Graphics & Audio
Graphics & Sound The shear size of Rome Total War is amazing with huge battlefields that hold tens of thousands of men and more than 100 different units. The attention to detail in the graphics can be see to detail can be seen immediately. The new graphics engine can render thousands of units on screen in stunning detail at even the lowest graphics setting. The game and battles functioned nicely at low-medium graphic settings while the high graphics settings was a little choppy at times, but can be due to the somewhat older machine I had it running on.
Both the real time and turn based strategy portions of the game are render in full 3D and brings a life-like quality to the battles which can be managed and watched from virtually any angle.
The musical score and sound is also very fitting with music that fits the flow of the battles and realistic battle cries, metal crashes and other battle sounds.
Im a strategy game buff and loved both Shogun Total War and Medieval Total War, with this in mind my expectations for Rome Total War were high. Kudos to the developers at Creative Assembly for listening to user feedback and making a terrific game that is both fun and addictive while teaching you a little history along the way. Rome Total War was the best strategy game as well as one of the best overall games of 2004.