Review by TheLastAvatar05
"What? Why was this even created?"
Rise of Rome is a weak attempt of trying to either improve Age of Empires or try and spam random expansions to milk the series as much as possible. Luckily, Ensemble Studios has realized their mistakes with this one by making better quality expansions after Age of Kings. So where do we begin in terms of this expansion pack? This has to do with Rome since it is entitled, "Rise of Rome" with an Age of Empires tag line right? Oh, how you wished you spent your money on something else...
Gameplay: (5/10): Truly remarkable that nothing has changed in terms of gameplay. The addition of Roman as a playable civilization is somewhat lukewarm at most. There are three other civilizations that are playable and they are the Carthaginian, Macedonian, and Palmyran. Each civ plays like their respectable real life counterpart. Though you might think that this is awesome or cool that they are included, it's not really considering how low the new civilization count is for an expansion. If I wanted to play as any of the civilizations listed above, I could have downloaded a mod patch created by fans alike for free. Noticeably, Roman architectural is the significant change compared to previous civilization architectural in Rise of Rome. However, the gameplay at best, is exactly the same as Age of Empires. A few larger maps and balancing issues with units such as the catapults, doesn't really add anything in terms of changed gameplay. You kind of expected them to add a lot more in terms of upgrade diversity for each civilization or new and exciting units along with better quality maps.
Sound (5/10): Again, generic and uninspiring to listen to during gameplay. Somewhat the same chatter and respectable language speaking civilizations when compared to their real life counterparts. However, it just sounds awkward and reused material from Age of Empires slapped over with extra voice dubbing's.
New Features (4/10): Wow, that's all I could ever say about my respect and love for Ensemble Studios. The problem of releasing an expansion so shortly within a year is that it feels rushed and lacks decent quality. In terms of units are the Armored Elephant, Camel Rider, Scythed Chariot, Fire Galley, and Stinger. Five new units for four civilizations compared to Age of Empires 2's 13 brand new civilizations with dozens of new units included. You would think that with a low amount of civilizations in Rise of Rome, they would add as much new content in terms of units to make up for it, but no. Ensemble Studios decides to cheaply add a unit or so each for four civs and slap it as a high quality Age of Empires expansion pack with somewhat unnoticeable differences.
Closing Comments: Generally speaking, this is the type of expansion that you would normally obtain if you were the poor sap that couldn't get Age of Empires at your local store. I personally regret buying this expansion for the because it lacks quality and feels somewhat rushed after Age of Empires was released. If you really want to experience Rome, watch the T.V. show of it or just read a book instead of buying this poorly executed expansion.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 07/19/07
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