- Resigned EA CEO Says "Gamers Will Learn to Love" Always-Online
- Final Fantasy XIV Marches to August 27th Re-Release
- Nintendo Schedules Next Direct Presentation on First Day of E3
- New Saints Row Hail to the Chief Video Series
- Grand Theft Auto 5 CE & SE Detailed
- EA Supporting Current-Gen Consoles Until 2017
- Mornin '13
- Xbox Live Marketplace Update: May 21st, 2013
- Metro: Last Light Gets 4 DLC Packs Planned, Season Pass Available
- Ryse Confirmed as Xbox One Exclusive
- Battlefield 4 Will Be Available this Holiday for Next-Gen
- Call of Duty: Ghosts Xbox One Media
- Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One Screens & Trailer
- Xbox One Specs
Caesar 4 Preview
developer: Tilted Mill Entertainment
PIV 1600, 512MB RAM, 2GB HDD, 64MB video card
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Sep 26, 06
|» All About Caesar 4 on ActionTrip|
Oh, to be Caesar. It is a dream of mine. To have the Empire at my fingertips, to sleep with the knowledge that millions of people live or die on my command, to be able to get totally hammered on the finest wine in the land and pass out on the cold marble floor of my palace, this is what I wish to accomplish in life. Alas, I was born a few thousand years too late. Or was I?
It is quite important for a city to raise monuments next to the aqueduct.
This looks neatly planned out.
Caesar IV aims to give you this experience, although with fewer orgies and binge drinking, and more city planning and tax collection. The game puts you in the toga of a regional governor, and gives you the task of building cities to certain specifications. These specifications include things such as prosperity, population, culture and the like, which is fairly accurate to building an empire. After all, while some cities are going to be industrial powerhouses, others are going to be cultural Mecca's.
From the graphical perspective, the game looks pretty good. There's a nice 3D perspective that you can alter, as opposed to the isometric view that the older renditions of the series used. Cities do look quite animated and alive. You get to see steam coming off of the bathing houses, little people running around performing their jobs and daily duties and the sun rise and set everyday.
The game also sounds nice, with decent sound effects, good voiceovers and plenty to hear. You can also click on those little citizens running around and listen to what they have to say. This can be useful for finding out what is wrong with your city if you're tired of going to the advisor's screen.
The advisor's screen contains tons of information about your city, such as what you're doing right, and what you're doing wrong, as well as requests and demands from Caesar and how far along you've come towards whatever it is you need to do to complete the scenario. Looking at the advisor's screen is a good way to adjust all the little nuts and bolts of your city, and is really where most of the management is done. Some managed features are pretty interesting, like the ability to set your own salary, which allows you to buy more gifts for Rome, but also may cause you to lose favor with Rome if you begin to set your salary too high.
Building the cities themselves takes some planning. I botched a couple of scenarios by simply building as I went. Things flowed much smoother after I paused the game at the beginning of the mission and built the city before anyone got there. The only trouble was that in the scenarios I played, I usually only had so much room, and things could get crowded pretty quick. You really have to make use of all the room you have, so it's a good idea to build well planned cities, particularly around an aqueduct system or road network.
The cities also have an interesting desirability function. This system causes people to only want to live in certain neighborhoods. No one wants to live next to a farm, or pottery workshop, or a tax office. Oh, but the only reason to have the patricians is because of the taxes. After all, the rich and wealthy Romans are too good for work.
Hail Caesar, your conspirators salute you!
I like the mini-map. Pretty intuitive.
And this talk of Patricians brings us to another interesting part of the game: the class system. Quite like our own society, but with far greater regulation, Rome was limited to a three caste society. There were the blue-collar types, the Plebeians (Plebs), the middle class, service working chaps, the Equites, and lastly, the fat cats, the Patricians. These are all portrayed in Caesar IV, as only certain classes can hold certain jobs, and each class lives in different housing. Appeasing each of the three classes, with homes, jobs and things to do is the key to a happy city, as a city without people isn't much of a city.
The game also maintains an interesting trade aspect, as you have to harvest raw materials, then turn them into things like pots or furniture and then sell those at the marketplaces. Houses need goods to buy in order to upgrade into larger houses and thus hold more people so your city can grow. A good governor taxes the sales of goods at the market, as well as the property people live on, and uses this money to pay for most everything in the game.
So far Caesar IV looks pretty good, the version I played wasn't yet complete, but most of the game seemed there, which isn't surprising as the release date is near the end of the month. I look forward to playing the completed product.
BACK TO TOP