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Sivosten webZine :: Europa Universalis: Rome
Europa Universalis: Rome

Author: Ivan G. Atanasov, Monday, 22 September 2008.

In Articles :: Games

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Like most of the Europa Universalis games, Rome is not meant for the common player. It\'s for the one, who enjoys the purely political aspect and the art of strategy; who likes playing a game on a higher level - the choosing and manipulation of his friends and foes, the decision, even military, but not by commanding on the battlefield. And if you\'re one of them, and if you\'re tired of the Modern Times, \"Europa Universalis: Rome\" is your game.

The beginning of the game is some time during the Roman history, and it\'s of your choice. Well, not exactly, since it must encompass the period between the Punic wars and the establishment of the Roman Empire. Normally, it places Cartage and Rome at the political top, but you\'re not limited to that choice, you can choose almost every organized nation of the era. Of course, if you choose a small one, your primary and main struggle would be to hold onto your territory, but anyways the choice is yours.

In a purely historic momentum, EU: Rome is quite polished, and that\'s to be expected from Paradox. Whatever you do, history tries to develop as it was meant to be when it comes to its foundations, though it doesn\'t ignore your efforts of establishment as a leader or your successes. As a ruler, you\'re as free to act as any ruler of the Antiquity could be, including trade, the signing of treaties; the choosing of generals, conquering barbarians, the blockades, and almost anything you can think of. So, when it comes to realism, it\'s Europa Universalis - one of the best in the genre.

We could add the escapees and the small number of casualties to that realism. If the opposing army feels like losing the battle, it\'s more than logical to run away, and you might just follow - province by province. But you should keep an eye upon your generals, especially their loyalty. And don\'t forget your loyal subjects if you don\'t want a civil war on your hands. It\'s not uncommon to see the rise of a new nation under a popular military leader. And it means an endless war, until one of the sides is completely destroyed.

So take care and leave the inner developments for your neighbors, and let\'s take a look upon the technical advancement. And it\'s good. Thank you, Paradox - the micromanagement is so simple, that it\'s almost non-existent. Instead of upgrading troops or something else each generation, you just get bonuses.

But it\'s not only honey; there should be some tar and feathers. Some small stuff like the regular pop-up spam is fixed since the last game. Paradox seem to have changed it with a rather intelligent system. So you wont battle the menus for it to stop. But other problems are still here: you\'ll have to count your troops by yourself, until you enter a real battle, as if it matters then. Theoretically, you can choose your troops. Actually, you can\'t. And so on.

As a diplomat, youd also find some difficulties. There\'s almost no way to influence the diplomatic relations between your country and another one, together with the strangely growing hostility between your dominion and some places on the other side of the continent. Moreover, if you lead an alliance, signing a peace treaty is almost impossible because of your allies. And even if the first one doesn\'t show a lot of logic, but there might be some nonetheless, the latter lacks any.

Also, there are dozens of small but annoying problems during the organization of the military units, especially during invasion. You can\'t change the movement rate of your units at all, and it\'s a giant loss of time*, though one could find some logic in that if he wants.

But such a small thing can\'t spoil the good impression from EU: Rome. Playing in the Antiquity is quite of a challenge and pleasure for the player who likes this kind of games. I would, personally, like some more graphic, but thats just me, I guess. The soundtrack got me a little nervous from time to time, but it\'s something you could live with: as a political strategy game, Europa Universalis is definitely the sole leader, and Rome is just the next pearl in its crown.

Commentary topic: http://www.sivosten.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=208397#208397

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