PC

  News 
  Reviews
  Previews
  Hardware
  Interviews
  All Features

Areas

  3DS
  Android
  iPad
  iPhone
  Mac
  PC
  PlayStation 3
  Vita
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Media
  Archives
  Search
  Contests

 

Caesar IV

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: VU Games
Developer: Tilted Mill
Media: CD/3
Players: 1
Genre: Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

The wind screams across a desolate, uncivilized, barren wasteland. I raise my spear and colors, then drive it into the ground as I exclaim "I claim this land in the name of Rome." It scares the hell out of the cat every time I do it, and my wife looks at me funny. But I am here to start an empire, by the Gods. And, so I shall in Caesar IV.

The graphics are pretty advanced for this title. My little video card felt like the little engine that could. I had to turn everything off to enjoy a higher frame rate. The buildings have a high level of detail, which helps to decipher them quickly when you look across the growing spread of your city. There are many unique animations that go along with the hustle and bustle of the city's daily movements. Of course, who can resist checking out the arena for some sport.

The sound was right on the mark for my expectations. The immersion was good, but like any Sim game, you reach a level of repetition of sound as you constantly have to do the same tasks over and over. The city sounds are well recieved as you move across your city to different areas to see what your populace is up to. The theme music is catchy and addictive. You may even find yourself humming it, if you are not careful.


Gameplay:

So, down to the business of building an empire here in Caesar IV. So where do we begin? Well, with wide open space, of course. As you should already assume, you will start with bringing in people to your land, just as shown in the tutorial. What next? Feed the masses, and give them a job to do. You have to set up farming for so many different resources that you may find it a little overwhelming at first. Even as monumental as it initially seemed, there is a very simple, logical order to all that is happening. This game has tons of possible combinations of trade and industry to build a successful and thriving civilization. The only one that is right is the one that survives.

Start out as a simple village and grow your way out of obscurity as you advance around the region to areas like England, Germany, Spain and many others that were under Roman control. Create trade routes and rise up the political ranks to greatness. Pay mind to your advisers, as they will loyally guide you toward your goal.


Difficulty:

This is a deep and immersive game. There are many little nuances that you will need to master in order to be successful in your endeavour to be Caesar. Building trade routes and securing them takes time and needs to be maintained. There are over a hundred structures to know and understand. There are also over 30 tradable goods, 10 industries, 4 markets and foreign trade routes; the economic possibilities are vast. I personally kept hiring too many workers and overextending my workers-to-income ratio. I guess I am just a socialist at heart. It doesn't take much to overextend yourself early in the game and then try to play catch up the rest of the time. A truism in strategy games is still as true today, slow and steady wins the race.

Game Mechanics:

When it comes to game mechanics, and there a lot of them in a huge title like this, it is amazing how truly automated the systems can become. Yes, this is a strategy building game and macromanagment is the key, but I really enjoyed that once my systems had been set up and in place, they didn't mysteriously stop working all of the sudden. There was no magic ghost keeping my citizens from doing the things I sent them to do. Work areas were always filled as long as there were classes to fill them. I didn't have to hunt down wandering citizens and re-task them repeatedly. Now there are, of course, events that happen like most games, but again they aren't mysterious, and a well designed city can deal with them all.

I could easily find myself coming back to this title over and over again. To be quite simple about it, it is clean, beautiful and it just works the way I think it should. I don't know if you can ask for much more. My only ding against it at all was the generic nature of the scenarios. I know that this is a tall order to say, especially as deep as the game is. I just think a few more curve balls would have been fun. This title lives up to its hype and I will purposely have to make time to touch it over and over again. Hail Caesar!


-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

Minimum System Requirements:



Minimum Requirements: Intel® Pentium® 4 1.6 GHz or equivalent AMD® AthlonT processor or higher, Windows® 2000/Windows® XP Home or Professional (including Service Pack 2 or higher), 512 MB of RAM, 64MB video card (with hardware T&L including Pixel Shader 1.1 or higher support), 2.0 GB of free hard disk space, CD-Rom Drive, DirectX® 9.0c.
 

Test System:



Windows XP Pro, 3.2 GHz P4HT CPU, 2 GB Ram, 256 PCIE 16 ATI X300

Sony PlayStation Portable Mercury Meltdown Sony PlayStation 2 NHL 2K7

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated