Expeditions: Rome review

Imagine that XCOM was turned inside out. The main idea – a marathon of tactical battles and the parallel development of its military base – is in the same place where it was, but all the secondary elements and all the scenery seem to have been specially replaced with their complete opposites.

Instead of a near future with elements of fantasy, there is a distant past with real historical characters and events. Aliens, flying saucers… Forget it, this clownery was not next to the seething history of Ancient Rome. Well, instead of skirmishes and dashes through shelters – for the most part hand-to-hand fights wall to wall to the last drop of blood. Which, yes, will constantly pour from both sides.

Represented? Fine. In a nutshell, it is precisely this focus that Logic Artists turned with the release of its tactical turn-based strategy Expeditions: Rome.

Did you get the focus? Let’s get a look.

Blood, togas and sand

There is something about ancient aesthetics that every first time turns me away from video games about centurions, patricians and other gladiators. White togas, faded statues before time, eternal sun and sand – the eye grown on hedgehog plumbers lacks acid colors, neon bulbs. You look at the legionnaires and understand that they were beautiful guys, but you want to play with the warriors, chained in some even more elaborate armor.

There is something about ancient aesthetics that

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Taste, I know. I wouldn’t even complain. It’s just that in the prologue, the game at first not only puts our hero on a boring galley in a boring sea under a boring sun, but also immediately pops a banal political conflict under his nose “The enemy family set fire to his native villa”. After that, he demands that we get acquainted with several bobbleheads, which I will absolutely not care about until they prove themselves at least in an introductory battle.

But it immediately becomes clear that the game will have a Story.

As you know, for more than seven hundred years of the history of Ancient Rome, only one interesting event happened, and this event is a civil war, after which Gaius Julius Caesar became the head of Roman buns. Everything else is decay, hedonism and decay, about which nothing can be done except pornography.

Expeditions: Rome is a decent game, so yes, at the very beginning of the first act we will get acquainted with a certain commander Lelik, we will help him return his battle diary, and well, you understand.

Expeditions Rome is a decent game so yes at the very

The inevitable metropolitan disco looms ahead, but for now we are just the new commander of one of the legions, who is faced with the task of planting muddy Greeks on our magnificent empire to the very tonsils.

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After starting acquaintance with the drama club Expeditions: Rome, you involuntarily expect to get the most unprincipled combat system in the world in three minutes.

However, no.Maybe a couple of shotgun lovers. And one badass samurai running cross country with a sword/chainsaw hybrid, just for a change.

Here it’s the other way around. Our main arsenal is swords, poles, spears, knives and other weapons, for the use of which it is desirable to be close to the enemy. Yes, somewhere behind the detachment is supported by an important, but lonely archer. If you really want to, then two archers, however, in this case there is a serious risk that the avant-garde will crumble.

Because conflicts here are resolved in a hardcore way, face to face. I would never have thought in advance, but butting six units on six adjacent cells does not result in an unprincipled exchange of attacks, but a whole science with non-trivial chains of actions.

Because conflicts here are resolved in a hardcore way

Separately, it pleases that each first class and each (well, almost) reception has its own place. A universal algorithm for all tactical battles in life cannot be found. Partly due to the fact that combat puzzles are prepared very different, partly due to the fact that half of the techniques are tied not to the development of characters as such, but to different weapons. It seems like sometimes you want to keep your usual set of actions and live with it until your legionary old age, but the dagger just found on the battlefield is so good in terms of banal damage numbers that you can’t help but be tempted.

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In general, tactical battles were a success. I would just cleanly remove local Molotov cocktails from the game, it hurts that they hit everything in the world and cut down on the room for maneuvers. And so, everything is great.

Crouching Sawmill, Hidden Mine

Breaks between tactical battles are filled with trips around the global map, the usual development of the base (that is, the headquarters of our legion), simple strategic management of this very legion and love-plot dialogues.

Breaks between tactical battles are filled with

Alas, I do not want to praise Expeditions: Rome for any of the above entertainments. There will already be something to scold for, but also not very much.

Least of all, jumps on the global map are pleasing. The first, perhaps ten minutes, spent exploring the region in the style of Heroes of Might and Magic, arouse such, you know, the interest of the pioneer. Then you realize that for some reason the game really wants you to hunt for pixels. In a sense, he peered into the general canvas and pulled out inconspicuous interesting things from it with his eagle eye. Only the most important sights of the map will not be missed, but the rest of the objects – from mines, sawmills, farms to random supply depots – are so skillfully inscribed in the scenery that they can easily never be noticed at all.

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Excuse me, but I’m used to the fact that in strategies, absolutely any pillar of any importance stands out against the general background.During the first campaign, I guessed that somewhere I overlooked several sights, wondering what kind of resources I need to make one of the basic upgrades of the base camp.

Excuse me but Im used to the fact

It can’t be, I thought, that E:R still didn’t give me iron for the very first upgrade of the garrison. It turned out that it really did, I just overlooked two whole mines.

Attack on autopilot

The actual command of a legion, er, is not annoying, but not especially pleasing.

We have a controlled swarm of sword-wielding Romans roaming from checkpoint to checkpoint. Of course, we will not see any epic battles of thousands of doodles on the screen, we do not have that game here. Only numbers of statistics – the number of fighters, their morale, food supplies.

Yes, there is also a certain separate morality of the centurions, which shakes back and forth depending on the player’s actions during the play. But the influence of the mood of the commanders on the game is felt even weaker than the moral dilemmas of Mass Effect 3 on its ending.

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In order to advance further in the campaign, the legion must consistently knock out the same faceless crowds from their strongholds, then capture the aforementioned sawmills, then all over again. Having sprouted n camps and sawmills, we build ourselves new tents in which we forge the best armor, heal staff, chat with party members about life, all the standard things, everything along the well-known circle of the XCOM name, plus a bit of dialogue politics and romance.

In order to advance further in the campaign the legion must consistently knock out

The process of capturing the main control points is represented by touching scenes with the unofficial name “Total War for the little ones.” During the performance, random cubes, rectangles and circles, denoting our brave troops and disgusting enemy hordes, under samples with rattling weapons will compress and unclench like an accordion, float, retreat from each other and pretend that something important is happening on the screen.

They’ll even let us adjust tactics, three times per encounter.

There is no deep meaning in the choice of tactics, nor in the contemplation of the arrows coming to life from school history books. You watch the first battle for sporting interest from and to, already the third one you start scrolling to the choice of stratagems, somewhere by the sixth geometrical disassembly you turn on the autopilot provided and forget that such a thing exists in Expeditions: Rome at all.

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In general, the game succeeds in diluting the main gameplay with all sorts of routine tasks, but in this way, to a minimum, absolutely without a spark.

In general the game succeeds in diluting the main gameplay

We’ve already seen this series.

Finally, all missions, incidents and campaigns are glued together by the same Plot with Heroes.

Again, alas. E:R plays out the most hackneyed plot in popular culture and slips in the most standard companions.The protagonist’s companions include: barbarian gladiators, a veteran legionnaire, an elderly mentor-servant with a rich past, a renegade patrician…

Yes, some people will be able to flirt properly. If desired, of course.

In short, there is a story. A couple of episodes were even interesting. Kudos to Logic Artists for trying to bring deep storytelling to XCOM, and best wishes for the future.

The game has very, very good basic mechanics, this cannot be taken away. Tactical combat, once again, is very good. They pull everything else – not bad, but not particularly interesting – elements of E:R to a score of 7 points out of 10. Make the tasks for the global map more meaningful, and the plot brighter, and everything will be great in general.

The game has very very good basic mechanics this cannot be

In the meantime, like this, we have not excellent, but just a good tactical strategy. But in some century, not about shootouts and not about aliens ..