There is a lot of potential in this game, some interesting concepts, but poorly executed. I hope the developers see this. I want this game to be better. Don't pay full price, wait until its on special!!
- Unified strategic-tactical zoom. I like using the mouse wheel to get a bigger picture.
- Capturing enemy troops and making them slaves, and getting them to work/produce resources.
- Storyboard and voice acting of Caeser
- History lessons, fun facts in the tool tip pop ups.
- Supply system and logistics. Its interesting to have to factor in the constant need for food. If only this was done better.
- Supply: Getting resources around the map, rather than a phantom stockpile like in AOE2.
- Supply lines, and interrupting them.
- Morale of troops and enemies, routing. Idea done very well in Rome2: Total War, but half done here.
- Taking hostages and sending them to other towns to guarantee public order.
- Building camps at strategic points is good idea, but these are poorly done.
- Seiging concepts are good - starve them out, drop their morale to zero and they surrender, or reduce the fortifications and overwhelm. I understandthe concepts but these are not clearly presented.
Cons/Negatives/Feedback to Devs:
- Confusion with the colour scheme. Zoomed in the Romans have green unit icons, but zoomed out, they are red figurines, and vice versa for the enemy/other factions. The faction colours are too similar.
- There needs to be unique sounds to indicate an action happened. Unless you are closely watching everything in real time, the various drum beats mean nothing and blend in with the sound track.
- There is no clear delineation between who is friend or foe until they start attacking you. There should be some colour system to indicate what your current diplomatic status is.
- There is no clear indication of garrison or garrison strength. There is stacking under figurines on strategic map but these are not clear. Something better is needed, such as a flag.
- "Camp" look fortified when built but are too easy to capture. There needs to be some visual cue that the camp is unguarded.
- Supply lines are not clearly articulated. I want to hover mouse over line and see what the flow is, and what the rate of change is. I want to know the network, of where supplies are going, and how long to get there.
- Diplomacy to way too simplistic. How is it can chose what treaty to have... can't the other side have a say?
-How do I know the stats of an enemy asset? Wouldnt this be a mystery?
- Faction flags are poorly done. These should clearly different from each other. Suggest and Icon.
The use of figurines in general is poorly done. Its like trying recreate a board game, The figurines lack detail, need more colour differentiation and better indication of what their strength is.
- Zoomed in Icons are too similar/ not easy enough to distinguish between unit types. More details needed on icons.
- Resource problems... all the time... starving troops... swarming enemy... undefended settlements... no guidance from the tutorial, or manual. Its poorly presented.
- No visual cues on stockpiles of resources at a settlement.
- The icons indicating no food, poor morale, not in supply line, whatever the lightening symbol is etcare not clearly explained. Need a sound cue on whats going on. If voice acting is used some variety in expressions would be needed to avoid repitition (We're hungry!" We haven't been paid!" I cant get my goods to market!" etc)
- Needs clearer indication of when towns are requisitioned (rented!), who they are native to and that they are now under Roman control... otherwise it all looks Roman.
- Requisitioning resources from allies means all workers in it disapear. Why can't I rent the resource and hire the workers too?
The panels are too big and say too little.
The figurines are too big and lack detail. Cities look the same zoomed out, but quite different zoomed in. Why do Gallic villages look like the Greek Acropolis??
Combat system leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe I've been spoilt with RTW2... but seeing figures throwing javeline the wrong way in a seige is silly. No use of shield against missles.
- Seeing slingers shoot through mountains to troops on a road on other side.
- Castles look medieval... Gauls did not build such massive fortresses.
- The range of units indication reticle is outrageously huge. A low key indication is needed.
- Selecting units is too tricky. Suggest following conventions in other RTS.
- Not enough detail in zoomed in unit icons. An inidcator bar on the left for something and on the right for something else would really help. This infor is on the unit detail panel but could better presented.
- NSome features that could really improve gameplay: a technology system, unique resources,trade between factions, alliances where allies help, senate politics, disease/plague, civilians.
If you get this, your patience will be tried, the learning curve steep, and the lack of expected niceties/features very fustrating. So much potential but it fell short by too far.This ambitious game has features that remind me of a number of games:
- Morale like Total War,
- Food like Caeser 3,
- Zoom out like Supreme Commander,
- Empire building like Civilisation,
- Resource and supply like Knights and Merchants (and Settlers),
- Building forts in strategic locations like AOE2,
- Capturing forts/cities by attrition like 7 Kingdoms
- Seasons and day/night like Empire Earth,
- City capture like Rise of Nations,
- Fog of war and figurines like Shogun Total War...
...but all of them did each of these concepts much much better, including games from 2001 (13 years ago) Its an ambitious game but it needs the budget and technical wizardry of the big gaming developer publishers. It especially needs sounds and visual cues, and to improve icon differentiation.
Overall, 4/10. I'm glad I only bought this on a 75% off special. In its unrefined state, its not ready for full price. However if some changes were made, along with my feedback, this could be an excellent game. Don't pay full price. If you get it, prepare to be disapointed, but maybe you'll see the good side too. Its no-where near as good as the premium product of Rome 2 Total War, and is quite a different style of game, but it has some different features to keep you coming back.
I hope the developers see this. I want this game to be better!