Expeditions: Review of Rome

The good news is that players who love the Expeditions franchise will love Expeditions: Rome all over again. The turn-based RPG strategy game retains the familiar framework of its predecessors while placing greater emphasis on player choice. The bad news is that anyone who isn’t already a fan of Expeditions might struggle with the old design. The positive notes are worth addressing individually because this game knows its target audience and gives them everything they want. Expeditions: Rome has all the management systems of previous games and, while they can be difficult to balance, conquering a region is much more satisfying when done well. Difficulty is fixed to perfection. In battle, one bad move by the unit leads to death. Players can shoot an object with a 75% chance to kill it but, if they miss, they can have a 75% chance of being killed by the same character. Turn-based games can struggle with intensity, but the stakes are heart-pounding enough that invested players are rarely bored. RELATED: Almost Free: The 20 Best Steam Games You Can Get For $1 (Or Less) Outside of combat, gaming offers plenty to do. Players will need to build their forces while also gathering supplies and upgrading them. All the while, movement will advance the clock and a fight can present itself at an inconvenient time. XCOM fans know and appreciate the work required to balance the two sides of the coin. This is a hardcore strategy game where it may take a few do-overs to get the builds right. Roman Expeditions The Captain's Choice Fate The biggest seller is the increased player choice, which could lead to some interesting developments. Players can pardon individuals only to betray them later or execute traitors who can be repurposed for other missions. These choices change missions in ways that can make them easier or harder, which will undoubtedly save a bad playthrough or derail a promising campaign. Expeditions Rome Army Battle Screen When Besieging A City The music, graphics, and sound effects aren’t revolutionary, but they’re okay. The designers are well aware that the time spent arranging polygons will not be valued by players nearly as much as the time spent adding decisions during combat. RELATED: Best Indie Games of 2021 Because of this, all the big battle scenes with the legions have been replaced by two-dimensional markers with text on the screen. It’s almost comical that the biggest moment is seen with paper cutouts with logos on them attacking each other, but it works well. The effects of blood in standard combat are more than usual, and they are appreciated. Roman Expeditions Speaking to a Character Without a Picture While many of the game’s shortcomings are easy to overlook, others are more glaring. For example, there are named characters without portraits, giving the experience an unfinished feel. The gear in the game only provides incremental upgrades, which takes a lot of the fun out of improving one’s characters. Skills are also frustrating because they don’t feel like useful upgrades. Expeditions Rome Upgrading Spotter Skill For Archer For example, an archer skill allows them to see characters in an area, but at the cost of one turn. On paper, the skill looks useful but usually, enemies will just pop out of a small area and then shoot the archer who fired the shot, potentially killing them. There are a lot of different skills or mission choices that aren’t well thought out or run counter to the benefits it’s trying to present. What should be interesting or difficult choices instead lead to frustration or confusion. RELATED: Best Strategy & Simulation Games Of 2021 A common complaint about 2017’s Expeditions: Viking pointed to a lack of character creation options and sadly no progress on that front. If the player character didn’t matter, this could be glossed over but unfortunately, the game takes more than the developer’s original estimate of 40 hours to beat (our playthrough clocked around of 65). When spending so much time on our avatar, the hope will have more author in their unique appearance. Expeditions: Rome feels more like a mod with Roman themes than a fully fleshed-out game. From customization to design, there are many details that feel unfinished or lack the depth expected in games in the strategy genre. However, there is fun to be had if players are willing to focus exclusively on tactics and strategy. Those looking for more of the same to come in Expeditions: Viking will be pleased enough, though this new title doesn’t feature any major changes. Expeditions: Rome was released on January 18th, 2022, and is available for PC. Today Technology was provided with a code for this review. MORE: Best Games Of The Decade So Far (2020-)

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