Review by DarthMuffin
"What about hundreds of legionnaires?"
Praetorians isn't an ordinary RTS (real time strategy). It puts much more emphasis on strategies themselves. In fact, there is no resource gathering. You can control 3 armies : Roman Empire, Egyptians and Barbarians (germans and gallic tribes). In the campaigns, however, you get only to control the romans.
I was really surprised by the gameplay. ''Normal'' RTSs usually let you control a small number of units (200 in age of empires etc.). However, in Praetorians, you can actually control hundreds of units (I'm talking 600+ here). To make things easier, units are grouped into ''Troops'', so you don't actually control each unit individually, which makes the game much easier to play. During a fight, you can always spot your troops and the enemy's troops, since there are banners on top of each one. You can just click the enemy's banner to make your troop attack it. You can, of course, put your troops on control groups (ctrl + 1-9). To make things different from other strategy games, there is no resource gathering, and I think it's great. To create more troops, all you have to do is to capture a village... and recruit! Note that villages have a certain amount of population. However, a village naturally grows with more people with time. Some special troops need ''honor points'' to be recruited. Those points are really easy to get, one good battle will give you a couple of points. This ''honor points'' business is not meant to piss you off, it prevents rush with too powerful units. Most of the troops also have some special abilities (I like the roman turtle!)
The graphics are superb. Each unit was carefully modeled, and you can see many details. The environment is well done, and there are some weather effects, like rain and snow. There are also cut scenes throughout the campaigns.
Here comes the bad part... Actually, it's not really bad, but there is only one ''quote set'' for each civilization, which is not much... The fighting sounds are getting repetitive after some time. The music isn't great, but not bad either.
The story is Rome's story. You can't say it sucks; if you have some basic knowledge of the great Roman history, you will enjoy this game very much.
Replay Value 8
The campaigns itself will keep you busy for a long time. Each chapter takes a long time to beat (excluding the tutorials).
Buy or Rent?
If you like RTSs and roman times, this game is a MUST. I still recommend it to anybody; this is one of the best game I ever played.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/25/03, Updated 04/25/03
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