Developer: Haemimont Games
Genre: Empire Building Sim
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone 10 and older
Release Date: June 26, 2006
"Glory of the Roman Empire is one out of 3 empire/city building sims (the others are "CivCity: Rome" and "Caesar IV") based on Ancient Rome that is coming out this year. "Glory of the Roman Empire" is the first, with it being released on June 26. If youve played "Emperor Rise of the Middle Kingdom," "Children of the Nile," or even "Caesar III" the gameplay mechanics will be familiar to you.
As governor of Roman cities, youll have to build all of the services and homes that youre citizens need. Each building that is constructed will be hand-picked and placed. The game eases you into campaign mode with a series of quests that teach you the ropes. Moving around the screen and placing the buildings were the main lessons.
The camera controls are operated like many other games. One thing I thought was awakward (but handy at the same time) was that to get to the build menu you have to right click. In many other 3D games, right click plus moving the mouse is used for rotating the view. Instead to rotate the view, the shift key has to be held down. After getting into the game, I found the right-click to the build options convenient, I just didnt rotate the view much. A minor issue overall.
Choosing and placing buildings is easy. Right-click to go to the build options, and browse through to find what you want to build. There are choices for food production, mining, farms, gardens, roads, houses, town buildings, alters. Even in the early stages, there are a good number of buildings the town will need. For construction, you do not need to have enough money, its all about having the resources (like timber and stone) for construction. If you have the resources, slaves will bring and build for you. Buildings arent built in an instant after all.
Slaves keep the city running. They arent just there for moving timber and stone around the city. They also move materials from one building to where they are needed (like from the pig farm to the butcher). The game recommended at one point, that every city needs one slave for every citizen.
Houses and Services
Back to houses and city services Dont think for you can just place buildings anywhere you want and have them run properly. Buildings will only service other buildings that are within a certain radius (70 meters is mentioned). Not only will citizens not get services from buildings, but they wont work there either. Even if they are plenty of free workers, if the job site is on the other side of town, they refuse to walk that far. Understandably so, no one wants to walk 5 miles to work, especially when the day job consists of walking around and picking flax. On the same token, some jobs are for men, some are for women. In large cities (the cities I played were quite small), I imagine juggling the factors of distance, available workers to available jobs, and who works what type of buildings, gets interesting.
Houses are upgraded by buildings that are around. Placing an alter near by, with upgrade the houses to the second level. Once they each this level, theyll have more demands of course. Theyll want bread and sausage. So be ready to build a bakery and butcher in the vicinity.
"Glory of the Roman Empire" Gameplay Modes
There is a campaign mode and a free mode to "Glory of the Roman Empire." The preview version I had only had the first few of the campaign mode available. After completing the learning quests, you move from city to city, helping out the citizens in specific ways. One quest involved saving a small town from the plague. It wasnt as difficult as it sounded. To save them, only one herbalist needed to be built to reach all the houses. Later campaigns have to be harder, otherwise it would get boring quickly.
While playing "Glory of the Roman Empire," it wasnt the gameplay (managing resources, putting down buildings, all things I expected from a city builder) that surprised. It was the graphics. The cities have night and day, rain and sunshine, running water, and trees move in the wind. Yes, I did say rain. With the rain came thunder that literally made me jump.
I zoomed in to get a close look at the city at night. I looked towards the top of the screen, and to my amazement, there were stars. Stars - something so simple, yet unexpected. The views from the streets of the city are beautiful, with the mountains set in the background. Incredible.
The preview shows me that the developers are on the right track for "Glory of the Roman Empire." Itll be interested to see how it lines up with the other Roman themed city buildings coming out this year.