|Genre: Strategy & War|
|Min OS X: 10.4 CPU: G5 RAM: 512 MB Hard Disk: 700 MB Graphics: 64 MB VRAM|
Europa Universalis: Rome (EU:R) is a new take on an old genre. It combines a clock-based sequence of turns with very simple and efficient tools in order to simulate almost every aspect of Greek nation administration. It doesn't have the depth of Civilization or the instant action of StarCraft, but it does quite well with what it has, simple and balanced gameplay.
GameplayUnlike the games that came before it, EU:R is quite easy to play with no experience at all in the series. It has replaced the micromanaging with very simple controls. You can make armies, disband armies, move armies, attack enemy (or friendly) provinces, construct buildings, assign officials to control of an army or control of a province, choose officials to be in charge of research, and pick government traits. Of course, you'll more than likely have to find all the best techniques yourself, as the tutorial doesn't tell you any real details about governing your country.
Other than that, though, there's only one minor annoyance. if you're using a one-button mouse, you have to order your armies around using the same key combination that rotates the map. This tends to lead towards the map getting yanked due to it not realizing that you've already let up on the buttons. Also, that key combination isn't said anywhere inside the game folder. If you missed the manual in the disk image, you'll probably never find out what that combination is and be stuck with a new mouse.
That's about all that's wrong with Europa Universalis: Rome on the gameplay side. Its gameplay is quite easy to master once you get past the poor tutorial and start experimenting with one of the easier nations. If you aren't familiar with the turn-based genre, though, you'll more than likely just stop playing after being conquered or after your provinces start rising in revolt.
GraphicsThe graphics for EU:R are a contradiction. On the one hand, the world map is quite beautiful and the various icons are well animated. On the other hand, whenever you zoom in close or rotate so you can see more land it slows down significantly. When your computer can run every game released recently for the Macintosh without any significant slowdown, having a game this simple slow down over its world map is quite jarring. This level of detail doesn't justify poor performance, especially when the PC version runs smoothly.
SoundThere's not much to the sound in EU:R. Armies yell and walk across the ground, atmospheric music plays in the background, and gold clinks into the coffers. The sounds are few, and you'll hear them over and over again. Thank goodness you can turn the sound off when they get old.
ValueEuropa Universalis: Rome's value is very conditional. If you like tabletop or sandbox strategy games, you'll more than likely find EU:R worth the $40. However, if you prefer games with a more structured focus or instant gratification, it most definitely is not. Especially if you have a one-button mouse.
Pros• Simple Gameplay
• Classic setting
Cons• Poor performance
• Tutorial isn't helpful