By Martin Toney
Before you read this, make sure you understand that this Demo is the Pre-Alpha Build of Super Roman Conquest. Got it? Sweet, let’s move on.
I love the Roman Empire, the Empire is my single historical fascination and I’ve written many articles directly related to it. The Roman Empire, though loved by many gets a bit of a raw deal when it comes to its portrayal in video games, especially the Legions of Rome.
Sure, there are the Creative Assembly’s Rome Total War games, but the first game is a bit dated (even with mods) and the latest entry is riddled with problems that I won’t list here. Tactical combat was indeed a major component of the Legions, hence their many glorious victories and horrid defeats when poorly led (such was the importance of a tactical deployment, see The Battle of Cannae). But perhaps it’s time to take tactical combat from a different perspective. Literally.
Super Roman Conquest is a game currently in development by SeaCliff Interactive that was successfully funded on November 23rd. Now when I said taking a new perspective in a literal sense, I meant it. Super Roman Conquest is a 3D Sider Scrolling Strategy Game that puts you in control of the Roman Army. Using your units, you must do battle in the name of Rome and lay your foes low. You achieve this by marching on the enemy across a 2D plane. The twist is that these 2D plane movements are locked to 3D environments that you will move through. As well as being three dimensional, the stages also have various levels of depth that you move in and out off, meaning that your battles and strategic manoeuvres are spread across varying stages of the environment. You could have archers engaged in a pitched battle in the background whilst your Centurion leads the Auxilia against Barbarians in the foreground. Granted, the accuracy of the game is questionable (Centurions were never fielded as a unit of soldiers or individual fighters, they were a cadre of professional officers/soldiers to grossly over simplify their role in the Roman war machine) but given the cartoon-ish/Pixelated style of the game it’s hard to bring historical accuracy into things and sound serious. Although, there is one historically accurate function I’m glad was included because without it, the Legions wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful as they were.
The Testudo. Legionaries would lock their Scutum (Roman Shields) together to form a defensive formation that protects the unit as a whole from incoming projectile fire while still offering a measure of movement.
Speaking of the style of the game, it’s amazing looking already and we’ve only really seen place holder assets at the moment. So one can only hope that things either stay how they look now, or improve. Environments are bright and attractive, but still convey the feel of the area. Grassy villages on the out skirts of Rome, dusty and dry marble buildings that dwarf your units as they fight through the streets. It’s all so appealing!
This is what fans of the Roman Legions have wanted for quite some time. A break from the strictures of hardcore RTS Roman Combat, which is all well and good but sometimes a change from the norm is good. I for one can’t wait for this game to finish its development cycle because it’s rare that I get genuinely excited over something as simple as a side scroller. I’ll keep you up to date with fresh information regarding Super Roman Conquest as and when I can. Until such a time, ROMA INVICTA!
Game : Super Roman Conquest
Platforms : Win / Mac / Linux / Ouya
See our previous Super Roman Conquest coverage right here.