Empires rise and empires fall, and soon, it is only the memories of them that linger.
Few empires have been able to equate the might, power and prestige of Ancient Rome. At its zenith, the length of the Imperium Romanum stretched from northern Britain to the frontier between Egypt and Sudan, its breadth spanning from Portugal, Europe’s gateway to the Atlantic, all the way to Babylon in Iraq, and to the mouth of the Arabian Gulf.
Rome’s legendary legions, in their famed red uniforms, shod in iron armour, bearing their spears over their shoulders, hefting their rectangle shields aloft, and swords strapped to their sides, marched forth to lands yet unexplored and undiscovered, bringing what they claimed to be ‘civilisation’ and ‘democracy’ to the harsh deserts of Nubia and the forests of Germania.
Other storied civilisations also raised troops and marched forth in the name of empire. The Parthians, for example, during their zenith, held lands that stretched from the borders of Greece, all the way to the western approaches of India. Their successors, the Persians, also started from humble beginnings, and went on to become the dominant empire of their era. Let’s not forget the ancient Egyptians either, who made tremendous progress in science and technology in the ancient world, another of the civilisations available to players in Rome II Total War.
A vast strategy game created by SEGA in collaboration with Creative Assembly, Rome II Total War offers gamers the chance to create an ancient empire that will stand the test of time. It is available to play and download on PC and Mac.
Players choose from one of 117 ancient factions, which also includes civilisations such as the Nabateans from Jordan and the Saba people of Yemen, and expand their humble holdings until they span bigger and bigger swathes of the entire ancient world.
Also present are the the Greeks, the inventors of democracy, theatre, astronomy, physics and so much more that forms an integral part of life today. They once had several competing empires of their own, but did not hesitate to unite in the face of foreign opposition. Yes, Athens and Sparta might’ve been rivals that did not see eye-to-eye, but knowing that they had much to lose when foreign feet touched desecrated sacred Greek soil, they united to face their common foe.
But while Rome was forever expanding its boundaries and looking to add more and more to its ever-growing, ever expanding empire, the red borders of map, the same red as the blood of those who stood in her way, a hundred other fledgling kingdoms vied for supremacy in the ancient world.
While in the western reaches of Europe, Celtic tribes from Britannica, warriors from Gaul and Goths from Germania all fought Rome’s armies, not for dreams of empire, but to keep their lands their own, other city-states banded together to stand toe-to-toe with Rome.
Doing so, however, requires the raising of armies that costs plenty of gold to maintain. Gold that is procured from levying taxes, setting up trade routes, and exporting your wares to other kingdoms that will have them. Bear in mind, however, that upsetting your trade partners (by invading them, for example, seldom a nice thing to do) could lead them to put elsewhere vital gold that is required to fund your soldiers, improve your markets and build better farms so that your army and your people do not run out of food.
Reading this, you are sure to wonder why we prattle on about grain and gold. But the truth is that both are required to see your way through to victory, as of course, is patience. It is not easy to conquer the world after all. Just ask the Romans. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will your empire, but it will last far longer.
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The Short and Skinny
Name: Rome II Total War
Genre: Real-time strategy
Produced by: SEGA and Creative Assembly
What it’s about: Before the world as we know it took shape, hundreds of fledgling kingdoms fought for global supremacy. Rome II Total War gives you the chance to build your own empire and reign supreme.
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Where to buy: Steam, Humble Bundle, Amazon
IGN Rating: 8.8/10