Glory of the Roman Empire Preview

From the folks over at Haemimont Games comes a new city builder, Glory of the Roman Empire, set, of course, in the height of the Rome’s influence in the known world. Players must assume the role of Governor and take on all of the tasks involved in running a living, breathing metropolis. The game features 40 citizen professions, over 20 resources to gather and trade, and more than 30 missions in a continuous campaign. We risked disastrous fires and rebellious slaves in the new, playable demo to bring you this preview.

The demo of Glory of the Roman Empire takes the player through several tutorial missions which outline some of the key skills needed to be a successful ruler. You will learn how to build structures, manage your population, appease your slaves, and fulfill the needs of your people. Each of these tasks isn’t daunting in itself, but it takes a skillful mastery of all of them to be successful.

The game begins like many city building games: build houses to increase your population. Houses hold one adult male and female as well as a child and senior citizen. Each person has a distinct identity, as he or she will go out and find a job to do. If there are no available jobs, the citizen remains unemployed. It is up to you, as governor, to create enough jobs for the people; however, if there are too many jobs, your economy may suffer when services go unfulfilled.

The game takes a minimalist approach with the interface. Right clicking on the terrain will bring up the build menu where you can select structures, roads, ornaments, foliage, or other building options. There are also several information windows you can pull up to quickly assess your town,s economy. Other than that, your city functions on its own. As Governor, you must observe your townspeople,s actions and make decisions to guide your puny village into a thriving capital. Fortunately, the learning curve is gradual enough that beginners will find it easy to learn, but veterans won,t find it patronizing.

You will spend most of your time fulfilling the specific needs of your people. If they want bread, you must build a wheat farm and a bakery to turn that flour into bread. You,ll also need to make sure there are enough citizens to fill those jobs. Each building only serves a certain radius around it, so you will need to keep that in mind when planning your city. Gone are the days of laying down dozens of houses in a large clump of land. The placement of houses, services, wells, altars, statues, decorations, and even roads will have a direct effect on the efficiency of your city.

While the demo only features a few tutorial missions, it gives you a small taste of the campaign structure. A guide will appear with messages about your town or messages from other cities nearby. The nearby city of Pompeii, for instance, may ask for your assistance with their flour shortage. Once you finish your objectives at your current mission, you can move to another city using the mission chooser. When you return to a previous town later, it will be in the state you left it. This gives the impression that you are shaping the entire connected Roman Empire, as opposed to playing separate, linear missions.

Glory of the Roman Empire is primarily a city planning game, but it does feature some militaristic aspects. While not seen in the demo, there are barbarians tribes that you can trade or wage war with. Training an army to protect your town will be a vital part of the game. Micromanaging other services, like fire-fighting prefects, also add a bit more spice to the sometimes mundane moments of city-life.

The environment is in full 3D, so you have the ability to get almost any possible angle on your city. You may find yourself craning the camera to watch your butchers make sausage or your woodcutters harvest timber. Every citizen goes about his or her day in great detail, showing the pains of their labor from morning till night. When buildings are being erected, for instance, you can watch slaves carrying materials to and from sites and actually building the structure, unlike other games where you see a generic graphic with a progress bar. The natural surroundings are also beautifully detailed. The camera can be moved in such a way that you can see your entire city out to the horizon, as well as the mountainous Italian landscape, or Mount Vesuvius of Pompeii. Anyone interested in Roman history will get a kick out of the attention to detail Haemimont Games has paid in regards to historical geography and architecture.

Haemimont Games has produced a captivating city builder that leaves out the boring, structured, game play typical of the genre. You will feel like you are shaping a real ancient civilization as you guide your people through each conquest and victory. The game is just ambitious enough to provide something new and exciting for sim-lovers but not too revolutionary to over-shoot its audience.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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