The History Channel: Great Battles of Rome - PC

Release Date:

08 June 2007

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Viewing UK:

Also on USA.


The History Channel: Great Battles of Rome allows gamers to relive 100 famous battles during Roman history. Narrated by Marcus Aurelius, gamers listen as they work their way through 14 Roman and ten Celtic campaigns that include 35 fantasy battles in the Cult of Mithras. To complete each mission successfully, players must customize and arm their 12 different units, and then use excellent strategy and skill on the battlefield to defeat the enemy. The game also includes almost 30 movies created from original documentary footage from The History Channel. Players will take command of the legendary Roman army and wage war on every terrain, locking swords with the Greeks, Gauls and more. Foes await on every front and powerful enemies lurk within.

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The historical battles were great platforms but the technical production just soured in the worst way. Legion is a game that focuses on the Roman Legion that carved history with their short swords and technical knowledge. This is the platform that has made its developers, Slitherine Software, successful. Unfortunately, this is one recycle attempt that not only failed, but it soured the fans away from it.

Great Battles of Rome is a real-time strategy game that tells of the Roman Legion battles in history. The battles that affected how the world is today should have been a great theme for this would mean battles galore with a lot of barbarians, Carthaginians, Greeks and Persians. Unfortunately, the high tech interface does not meld well with the stale and seemingly unwashed togas that the Romans were well known for.

One of the worst of the problems is the lack of depth in the presentation. The Roman campaigns were wrought with strategy, politics and gory battles, but this game just failed, plainly and simply put. The campaigns here are very shallow and has the feel of a history documentary. Although the battles were supposedly based on real accounts, there is nothing much to see or experience here.

The gamer has to work their way steadily through the whole of history and then sporadically get entangled in a battle. There are details from history that pop up time and again like the assaults against the Gauls, Persians and others in history.

After the first of the scenarios, another campaign gets unlocked and here the Celts are involved but when the ultimate comes in, there is not much to look forward to. The battle scenes are uninspired, even if they should be and worse of all, the soldiers all look alike. Supposed to be the enemy are composed of different tribes and such but they all look alike. Take for example the Celts that were well known in history to wear blue battle paint and no clothes. Battling them looked like battling the Persians that did wear clothes and such.

Now the battles of history were really action packed, but somehow Great Battles of Rome lacked the concept of greatness. They are too simple and they are basically alike, no matter who or what is being fought. Even the historical dates that supposedly should have made a difference on how the battles were fought and won are basically the same. In short, the game is obviously a recycle of the previous games. What makes this doubly disappointing and disgusting is that the battle scenes are also recycled. Basically, it felt like a 'one battle fits all' thing.

The only thing I can honestly recommend to the gamers all over is: do not bother with Great Battles of Rome. There is more excitement and learning to be had if one were to go on over to the History Channel. For an edutainment game this definitely does not fit the picture, failed in history and definitely failed in its entirety. Save your money.

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