Rome was not built in a day, so it's a good job we have city builder games to help us accomplish that task.Story
Taking many cues from history Grand Ages: Rome is a return to the city builder/conquest RTS that began with Imperium Romanum. There is a non-linear campaign that spans several historical events during the Roman Empire and allows you to tackle them with a character of your own choosing. You will build fledgling trade ports, small empires and eventually administrate over some of the most bustling cities in the empire.Gameplay
What a difference a bit of foresight, planning, GUI polish and a rebuild can make to a game. Grand Ages: Rome is a better game than Imperium Romanum by far and comes with lots of brand new additions to the experience. City building and administration couldn't be easier now, the GUI has been tightened up and the objective panel allows you to see exactly what you need to do in any given map/situation.
You are allowed to create a male or female character from one of the many Roman families; these houses have different abilities/talents that you can choose from during the course of play. You can amass personal wealth to buy estates that unlock bonuses and also talent points to buy special perks as you progress. These can range from the first 5 houses that you build are free, to more soldiers per recruitment in your army.
You have 3 kinds of talents, City, Military and Family. The Family talent tree is unique to one of the five families.
It is essential to play the tutorials to learn how to construct a fledgling and working village in the game, before you try and build a city. To this end there is are a couple of tutorials: a building tutorial that covers the basics of the game and a battle tutorial to help you learn how to recruit, train and control the various units that make up the seamless RTS element.
Once you have a working settlement with a good production you need to keep an eye on your consumed resources compared to the production, running out of a valuable resource like bricks for instance could doom your town before you've even started to build it. You also need to make sure you have a handle on the needs of your people, Plebs for instance require only a small amount of food, entertainment and a little religion whilst Equites and Patricians require varying amounts of all three.
If there is a lack of health and food, your people will start to think about setting fires, moving out of the city or starting a riot and you can quickly lose control of the situation. You are given several tools to help you, for one you can see everything regarding your city state with a click of a button. Once this dialog is open there's a colour coded state for every building based on the tab, clicking health for example will show you from green-yellow-red, each building that has good health.
You can easily see the effect your remedy has on the problem by checking this screen. You are notified quickly by the GUI based on the current event; this could be a riot, an earthquake or even an invasion by a foreign army to your shores. This level of information is vital to managing a prosperous city.
As you progress, building bigger and better cities, you will also notice that you gain various city states - these can be beneficial or detrimental depending on what you've been doing. A town full of Plebs can transform into a Worker Town where buildings only cost %50 for example.