Friday, September 24, 2004

Rome: Total War Impressions

Sometimes it's great to be wrong.

I was totally underwhelmed by the demo for this game. However, I'm very happy to report that the full game is outstanding, based on the first few hours of play. The tutorial does an excellent job of breaking up a very complex game into a series of extremely manageable tasks and also provides a high level of guidance. The graphics are excellent, and the campaign map is razor-sharp. The interface has also been very logically designed, with both actions and information easily available.

This game is not going to advance the genre because of some kind of revolutionary innovation, but very few games do. What it does do is present an extremely high level of refinement in game mechanics in combination with very compelling graphics.

First impressions are often incorrect, but I doubt it this time. This will be a near-lock for game of the year in its genre and will probably receive a large number of Game of the Year nominations.

This is bad news for Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War and Kohan II. I've heard very good things about both of them, and thought that the Warhammer demo was excellent, but why in the world would they ship the same week as this game?

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