The Senate And People Of Rome (updated)
Posted on 12/16/03 @ 12:00 AM (updated 05/11/05
The era of the great expansion of Roman power and civilization is the era of the Republic, in which Rome is ruled by the Senate. The history of the Republic is a history of continuous warfare, and all of the stories of Roman virtue and value date from this tumultuous period of defense and invasion.
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This campaign spans from 497 BC to 39 BC and features 8 scenarios. You will start in Italy, fighting for supremacy against the Etruscans and the Latin League. After a short visit to Greece you'll be called to face Hannibal and the hated Carthaginian enemy, leading Rome through three tiresome Punic Wars and meeting the great general Scipio. Far beyond the Alps, Gaul awaits you, and Julius Caesar needs you in his struggle to bring Rome to its apogee. If Gaul wasn't enough, get ready to sail with Caesar toward Egypt to rescue Cleopatra and restore her reign, before undertaking your final task among undiscovered territories.
Andrea Rosa, Cittiglio ITALY
"The Senate And People Of Rome" was my first campaign. Originally released in December 2003, this campaign has been re-released in May 2005 with improved gameplay and map design. The original version is no longer available to the wide public, however if you wish to have it for a comparison feel free to mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org). The list of changes and additions is very long, starting from a completely redesigned scenario to the addition of an edited language.dll and new bitmaps. Many of these changes have been made following users impressions and feedback. I hope you will enjoy the overall lifting and the new features.
* Despite the subject, this campaign was designed to be played with the original Age of Empires, not its expansion pack Rise of Rome.
* The suggested difficulty setting range from "Easy" to "Hard", please avoid playing on "Easiest" and "Hardest" or some parts of this campaign might not work.
* Carefully read the Hints before playing a scenario, because loss conditions are usually stored there.
Optionally you can install this file into your AoE main folder (remember to make a temporary back-up of the original language.dll) This modified language.dll renames the heroes in the game, try it for a more realistic gaming experience.
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Well. The least you can say about this campaign is its damn fun and its a fun way to learn about the romans during the republic age. This has review now been upadted for the 2005 version of this campagin.
Playability: Well. Its fun. You have to use you head to figure out some stuff. Its not just play killing. Got original goals.
Creativity: Bucket loads of it. The maps were nicely done in a strategic way. The intro maps were gorgeous.
Balance: Nothing done wrong here. Nicely done. Nothing to hard or easy.
Map Design: Good,Good, GOOD. The maps were done very well. Twist and turns. Its got eye candy now since andrea has updated it.
Story/Instr: Writer had done their homework. Has a History in brief about what happened then. Nice instructions. Lovely bitmaps. :)
Overall: You must download this campagin now. So that means I loved it. Keep up the good work. ;)
[Edited on 11/21/05 @ 04:11 PM]
THE SENATE AND PEOPLE OF ROME
Once again I come to the end of another great Andrea Rosa campaign. This campaign was his first, but after the remake the map design and creativity have reached the levels of his best works, and the campaign is a wonderful mix of new and vintage Andrea Rosa.
Andrea is a great level designer, able to put one hell of a mission together for any game. The small idiosyncrasies that sometimes reduced playability in the original version are gone, and every level will be a long and enjoyable challenge. One such objective was stockpiling a certain resource – a good designer realizes this type of objective can be boring though, so Andrea removed it.
The game begins with a reworked version of the original without Hero Jason to convert, and up an Age to add realism. At first I thought the map was just the old one with a few eye candies thrown in, and I missed the hero converting part a little, even though it was an awkward loss condition at times. I found it very difficult at first, but once I explored more I realized it was a great level, with a different approach, and a little harder, but very enjoyable.
The campaign is an epic journey – one of the longest campaigns ever made of this quality. You are swept from the beginnings of Rome, through the Punic Wars and battles with Hannibal, and into the reign of Julius Caesar and beyond. The campaign has the same levels as before, with new maps, updated objectives and gameplay. The only ‘new’ level is the Julius Caesar/Siege of Alesia scenario, where the map is now a remake of the same level that I played long ago in the ES RoR campaigns. The final level is a winding puzzle of superb design, culminating in a siege where your resources and exploration in the early stages will decide whether you can get out with a transport and across to the sea.
The difficulty of this campaign has gone up a little, being challenging in most aspects, especially in the AI area. In the second level I had to use all my resources skipping from island to island, and finally achieving my objective with my last resources and men. Typical of the campaign, 2 levels later in “Hannibal at Portas” I found Hannibal’s war elephants attacking in massive groups and throughout the level – in one instance I was converting furiously one after another and more were pouring in – I finally thought I had stopped them when the last one got past my wall. The balance of this level is much improved and it plays more naturally – previously the elephants didn’t really attack much, and the defense objective was easy to accomplish. Now you really must upgrade those walls and towers immediately.
The overall difficulty has gone up a bit, and some puzzles are added as well. One which I found quite hard was in Delenda Carthago Est. At the beginning you will have to solve a tricky puzzle that will require a bit of luck as well as some puzzle solving. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me the balance was a lot better, close to perfection.
The creativity is improved as well – some creative gameplay elements and objectives are seen in every level, while the maps are a constant source of ideas for new eye candies, with much time going into every screen. Although the levels are very recognizable as the classic Senate and People of Rome, the level of creativity is up there with Andrea’s newer campaigns, and there are new challenges packed into every new scenario, so you certainly can’t rely on experience alone.
Map Design: 5
Maps are packed with eye candy, depicting the trees, mountains and deserts of Rome, Gaul or Palmyra. Any map designer wishing to become an expert need only study the works of this artist to reach the top – study the way each forest has its own personality, how berry bushes are tucked away behind that beech tree, or how that Gaia unit is in that tiny niche that you haven’t quite explored. The levels have been constructed nicely for the progression through the map and to enhance gameplay and tactics – it isn’t just about eye candy, although it can be easy to forget that looking into those dreamy green forests.
Starting with map-like but still appealing bitmaps, instructions are laid out in the trademark AR fashion, with the story and instructions fitting inside one screen with no scrolling (unless you play on baby resolution :-). It’s surprising how much detail Andrea packs into often just one paragraph, where I would probably take up all the hints and lose the players interest! The history is packed with interesting info for us geeks, and the hints provide valuable info for the weaker players, while keeping even the loss conditions to a slight puzzle for the best. And story even develops in the missions sometimes, with subtle things like “Pompey defeated” or the Palmyrans offering an alliance for a generous tribute. You learn a lot from this campaign, which is always better than a campaign where you learn nothing.
Remember, this campaign is a remake – on a scale never seen before. Andrea continues to not only inspire us to make great levels or become a better player, but also proves it’s possible to take your own rookie scenarios to a higher level. An improvement of 0.2 in my review doesn’t show my appreciation for all this effort, so I hope the words of my review will.
Nothing short of a classic, Senate and People of Rome is a compilation of all the best levels like Imhotep’s wonderful Scipio campaign and Gordon Farrell’s Eagle of Rome scenario. And let’s not forget those awful ES campaigns ;)
[Edited on 10/11/05 @ 03:59 AM]