by Sergio Brinkhuis
reviewed on PC
Buildings and resources (cntd)
One thing worthy of note is that, except for money, the game does not allow you to accumulate resources. Instead, resources are seen as constant streams that are being fed into your economy and used accordingly. Building a stone wall for instance, will cost you cash but no stone. Instead, it will ‘consume’ stone for maintenance for as long as it is standing, lowering your supply by two. As long as your stream of stones is flowing, it will remain standing. Most buildings can not be built unless you have the resources to support their maintenance. This may sound restrictive, but it actually works fairly well.
Improved, really means improved
Combat and army management have always been a problem for the series, but it looks like we can finally put these issues behind us. The military branch of the research tree makes sense and so does its ‘production’ path. The silly ‘one unit per building’ limitation has been replaced by a unit support limitation that is based on the number of Equite houses in your settlement. This means that any military building can now support as many units as your city can support. Every building produces different unit types but only one is available without having to offer additional resources to its doorstep. Building a Weaponsmith near your barracks will enable it to build Archers and stables will bring Equestri horsemen to your army.
Fighting enemies is mostly still a matter of pointing your units into the right direction, but each unit type also has a special ‘move’ that, when used correctly, can turn the battle in your favor. Triarii for instance, can change into a Testudo (turtle) formation, holding their shields above and in front of them so that arrows are deflected without doing any harm.
Oddly enough, Haemimont is advertising the game as a 4X strategy game, telling those who are interested that the game offers ‘detailed RTS combat’ and that you can ‘raise massive armies’. I am not sure why they would want to do this. Not only is it not true (there is no exploration in the game, you will never need more than 8 squads and combat is too simplistic to be called detailed) but I really believe that gamers interested in Grand Ages: Rome are looking for a City Builder, not a RTS game.
It would be wise if both developer and publisher would focus on the game’s city builder aspects as there is a lot to like about Grand Ages: Rome. Its charming looks set the stage for a wholly engaging campaign that will keep you playing right into the wee hours of the night. When you are done with the campaign, you can start over and choose to back a different Roman faction, or play in the Free Build mode. Even hardcore gamers do not need to shy away from this game. True, you will not find a whole lot of depth in Grand Ages: Rome, but if you are looking for a diversion from your normal heavier fare, it will not disappoint.
No Pros and Cons at this time