I bought this game just recently and thought I'd give a run-down on the good points and bad points of this latest game from the Kalypso stable. It's along the line of Age of Empires based obviously on Ancient Rome, however the major emphasis is on city building more than anything.
Graphically the game is fantastic and the rendering engine does a good job with the blooms, lighting, shadows and models. However that said,there seems to be a problem whereby when you choose a high AA and ansiotropic setting in-game it often locks up and that seems to happen regardless of what high spec system you're using. That bug aside it runs well, with occasional stutter in-game when the auto-save function is operating.
The ability to create your own ancient version of many major ancient cities with a Roman flair is the major selling point of this game and it's this function that it does quite well in this genre of empire builders. You are able to build your city with most of the finer micro-management done for you, allowing you to procede with other tasks, however I find that the incessant prompts from the narrator annoying at times, particularly when you've already fixed the actual event causing the problem.
The area where this game falls down in is combat, which like it or not, was an important part of ancient times, that sadly seems to have been glossed over with this title. You only get one squad of troop type, Infantry (Hastati), archers or cavalry (Equites) per structure you build, which to me if flawed in itself. This means that often you have to build a ridiculous amount of military structures just to get a sizeable force together to smite your enemies with.
Attacking is also a big, 'What the ? ' in that you send your troops near your enemy and just let them attack, often with disastrous results. You can also only send them in two formations, block and wedge and don't get me started on the inaccurate models depicting late imperial infantry as pre-Republican Hastati ?
You also only have one enemy to attack and they are always Barbarians. How hard would it have been to included other competing civilisations to wage war against...not very.
Overall a good game, solid in being an ancient city builder, combat management is too simplified, but I can't help feeling that after buying this title that it does'nt live up to expectations promised and seems to be yet another rushed title. This game could and should be so much more than it is, I'm afraid.