Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising Review (PC)

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.


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. style="">  You pick one of four
classes, and then a God
which determines a special power line and eventually what mythical
beasts you

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. style="">  These squad members style=""> fufill all of the class
roles in the game, and
making soloing an absolute joke in all but the most intense,
situations.  With
healers, tanks, and
damage at your fingertips, who you actually roll as your main really
matter all that much, so the game just feels like a breeze as you quest.

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style="font-style: italic;">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. style="">  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 style="">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.

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href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/100387"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/100387"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 362px; height: 115px;">

style="font-style: italic;">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
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.

Multiplayer - 77 / 100

Perhaps the worst part of the game is
that it’s downright
barren after two weeks.  I
ran into a
total of five people from levels 1-10, and not a single conversation
in any chat channels. 

What's the point of building a
fancy estate when no one else will likely ever see it?

through on the aforementioned city fetch quest, I passed by one player.  I’d love to tell you about
grouping, but between
the total lack of a playerbase, and the squad system fulfilling most
roles of a
party for you, there’s not a lot going on, socially speaking.

Value - 60 / 100

It’s not that Gods
Heroes: Rome Rising
is a bad game, but it is nowhere near
worth the $39.99
price tag (plus monthly subscription after the freebie month) it’s asking.  You’re
getting a
paltry variety of classes and abilities, and nothing particularly
impressive or
original stands out aside from the setting and squad system.

My initial character was the Soldier,
who has an ability that
places a 30 second buff on him that does flat damage on each melee hit,
and can
be sacrificed to do a single target nuke to an enemy. 
I also have an armor aura and fire resistance
aura.  If I wanted to play
a Paladin, I’d play a Paladin.

Lasting Appeal - 45 / 100

The storyline of restoring your character’s estate to its former glory is one of the more original takes on the player storyline. Aside from that, you’ve got the same dull combat that you’ve come to expect from any MMORPG that resembles WoW . If you want to play Vanilla WoW : Rome Edition, you’ve come to the right place. The rest of us will ditch the mediocre grind and class design for greener pastures.

Pros and Cons


  • Cool setting and basic storyline
  • Good armor designs for once
  • Squad system is unique and not nearly as frustrating as you’d think.


  • Looks and sounds quite boring.
  • Some questionable balance, but it'll likely be fixed soon.
  • Where are all the players at?!


It's not that this is a bad game, it's just far too little/late for this point in the market. The setting is wonderful, and there are some cool systems in play here.... it's just marred by yesterday's graphics, too little polish, and some weird design decisions. Wait until it goes on sale before you drop the money on it.

Overall 67/100 - Okay


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