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Nemesis of the Roman Empire
game: Nemesis of the Roman Empire
four star
posted by: Blaine Krumpe
publisher: Enlight Software
developer: Haeminmont Games
ESRB rating: E (Everyone)
date posted: 12:00 AM Fri Nov 19th, 2004
last revision: 12:00 AM Fri Nov 19th, 2004

Click to read.    Haemimont Games' Nemesis of the Roman Empire blends some very tried and true game play techniques along with a few twists that make it unique from the vast field of RTS games out there.  Features entirely different that the old school norm of AOE that has become the hallmark of just about every RTS in existence.

    Upon starting the game up, you'll notice that the design is very simplistic.  You don't need to worry about building up bases or upgrading them, and there is a minimal amount of resource gathering that needs to be done.  However, once you understand the strategy of the game, you'll come to a better understanding of how important it is to keep up a steady stream of supplies for your troops.  Now, I don't mean a steady supply in order to build your weapons of war, I mean actually bringing food along with your troops into battle.  Each unit consumes a set amount of food that needs to be replenished in order for them to go on living and fighting.  Food is also used to increase the population of your cities and can be sold for gold.  Gold is then used for unit building and upgrades.

    At the beginning of the campaigns and scenarios there are usually only a few villages and outposts available to you.  In order to increase your army and land, you must capture outlying villages and use them for resource production.  Each village produces a set amount of gold and food.  The key strategy of maintaining supply lines to your troops and to your outposts is one of the main fixtures in this game.  In order to have an army out conquering the surrounding territory, you must supply them with pack mules weighed down with food.  Even with soldiers garrisoned in a fort, you must have a supply of food coming to them.  When you first start out playing, the supply lines are sort of overwhelming; you must send, coordinate, and defend them all at the same time.  It's frustrating, that is, until you realize that sending your mules out is as easy as bringing up the main map and right clicking wherever you want them to go.  Speaking of maps, the one presented in Nemesis is by far the best one I've seen in an RTS.  The spacebar brings up a full screen map that has all of the information that you need.  Troop movement is really a breeze in combination with this map scheme.

    Combat and warfare in Nemesis is really easy and entertaining.  The game has no problem in handling dozens of units and countless skirmishes across the map all at the same time.  The four races that you can command -- Iberians, Carthaginians, Romans, or Gauls -- each have the same number of redundant units, however, each race has specific heroes and magical characters.  Up to fifty units can be placed under the control of a hero unit, thus giving them more deadly fighting abilities.  Your hero will organize the troops under his command into formations in order to best attack the enemy.  As your armies fight, they also gain in experience.   However, if you are playing as the Iberians, your magical enchantress has the ability to train fresh troops instantly up to a higher level.  Or if you're playing as the Romans, your priest can call upon the Wrath of Jupiter and send a lightning bolt from the sky into the heart of your enemy.  These magical characters help a lot in battle, healing and in training units; however, I thought that magic for this genre and type of game was a little out of place.

    The computer AI is very?well, intelligent.  Enemy units scout out your boundaries and villages, probing for week spots and easy targets.  If you're caught holding your mouse for too long, you'll notice the enemy's army marching upon your weakest point.  I saw many attempts at flanking and feints that resulted in deaths on my side that I didn't expect.  There's one problem though, many a time I would have units just standing around watching the battle as if nothing was going on.  It's not too big of a complaint; however, launching many different battles across the map requires careful watch of your armies in order for there to be the greatest chance of success.

    The two campaigns in Nemesis offer some varied and interesting gameplay.  The Carthaginian's campaign follows Hannibal Barca's march through Hispania and the neighboring Roman territories.   The other campaign is fought from the perspective of the Romans as they are being invaded.  The story plot of these two battles is set during the Punic Wars; however, there is a lack of any real historical truth within the battles of these two campaigns.  This really won't bother anyone save for the history major in college.

    When it comes down to it, Nemesis of the Roman Empire is a first-rate RTS that incorporates some features that everyone has come to accept in the RTS genre; however there are things that make it unique and more enjoyable then the run of the mill games out there.  My overall opinion of this game is good, but there are things that could have been improved upon.  For one, the graphics are a bit dated.  This game uses the engine that was used by its predecessor, Celtic Kings: Rage of War, released in 2002.  The music also gets old fast; there just isn't enough tracks to this game.  It reminded me of Red Alert 2 for some odd reason?I also missed the lack of building and placing structures in locations of my choosing.  But, that's just part of the game, I guess.  In total, Nemesis is a game that will definitely entertain and engross whoever plays it.

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