Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising Review (PC)

Game:Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising
Ten Ton Hammer
Ten Ton Hammer Rating
67

For a place as popular in movies, literature, and pop culture as it is, Rome certainly doesn’t have much of a presence in modern gaming. Sure you might have the occasional reference in other games, and of course there are the God of War and Total War series, but for the most part it’s woefully underplayed out.


The time is 2005, and shortly after the wild success of WoW, Perpetual Entertainment began work on Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising. Come 2007 though, the game was put on hold and it wasn’t until early last year that Heatwave Interactive picked up the game and got it prepped for a launch in a hurry. Normally this is a wonderful thing—to see a game come to fruition after delays and developer woes.


Unfortunately, the game hasn’t come very far since the middle of last decade, and the genre has evolved much further during the long lapse of development.

Cautions

Gods and Heroes gets a T for Teen. Rome is dirty and filthy, but it's not about to tarnish your kids.

Gameplay - 75 / 100

The heart of the gameplay isn’t bad.  You pick one of four classes, and then a God which determines a special power line and eventually what mythical beasts you command.

Command, you say?  Yes, this game actually has you controlling squads of minions in most zones, with your capacity and variety rising as you level.  These squad members  fufill all of the class roles in the game, and making soloing an absolute joke in all but the most intense, too-damn-high-level situations.  With healers, tanks, and damage at your fingertips, who you actually roll as your main really doesn’t matter all that much, so the game just feels like a breeze as you quest.

Not exactly your average quest giver.  What's up Minerva?

Quests are abundant and generally fall in a good direction, pushing you through new areas and mobs at a steady pace.  The quest tracker is solid and you’ll never be left wondering where your objectives are.  Unfortunately, some of the quests in this game just have too much goddamn running.  I’ve run from Freeport to Qeynos before back in the day, and one quest had me doing that stretch in just one city.  Imagine yourself running literally 20 legs of fetch quest around a capital city, all with no means of speeding up your character.  Ugh.

The game just feels like it needs more polish or time, despite having been in the making off and on since 2005.  What the hell is going on in my chat window?

One super important thing to note is that the ‘hell curve’ of leveling takes hold incredibly early.  Around level 7-10, you’ll see experience points from quests actually fall for some God forsaken reason.

It looks like WoW and plays like WoW with AI teammates, albeit with some pacing issues, so it’s hard to fault entirely when it was modeled in the image of the industry leader.

Graphics - 55 / 100

The graphics depend entirely on what
you’re looking at.  Characters
are okay looking, even at max
settings, and once you start getting armor that actually looks like
armor, the
heavy mail classes actually look pretty good compared to the random
design of
the Tiers of WoW.  That’s
not to say the
graphics for characters are good, but the art design for the armor is
quite
well done.
The environments are a mixed bag.  Nature and foliage is
abundant and full of
all kinds of things to look at, but the moment you get around
buildings, most
of them are just flat white textures.  Yeah, I guess that was the
design motif of
the time, but, holy crap, does it look ugly and terrible.

Sound - 77 / 100

Some deity quests are voiced, and the voices of the gods are well done. Otherwise, you’ll hear bland combat noises, the occasional grunt of your character jumping… and not much else. This is certainly a game to have your preferred music running in the background as you level.