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Rome: Total Modding

May 28th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

Rome: Total War is one of the biggest strategy hits in the last five years. Every serious PC gamer I know has played it and, aside from the usual hardcore constituency who play a game for 50 hours straight and wonder why it starts to get easier, the praise is near universal.

It has spawned two very successful mods. The Rome: Total Realism mod tries to make the game more historically accurate by recasting all the factions and redoing the map. There are more cities, historical limitations on barbarian expansion and more realistic recruitment of Roman legions. It is a labor of more than love – it is a serious obsession. It’s a great mod in many ways, and should keep the grognards happy for now.

Historic Battles includes more of the great battles from the period, as created by a modder who goes by the handle of Ninjacool. The battles have huge unit sizes to give them that epic feel, but it does create a bit of slow down on some machines. The battles don’t quite look right all the time, but Rome itself had Trasimene look nothing like Trasimene. So this is not a major problem. All the usual suspects are in the mod. Gaugamela, Cannae and my personal favorite Pharsalus are the highlights.

The latest Rome patch (1.2) included a battle editor, and I think I will soon put my limited modding skills to the test with my own historic battles. The editor itself is not very user friendly, and is even more cumbersome in many ways than the baffling scenario editor that came with the Great Battles series. (That editor, though, spawned some amazing user scenarios, so if you have the Great Battles Collector’s Edition, don’t forget to download some of those at Wargamer’s file depot. )

So, with some time and talent, I think we might see some more professional quality work from all the modders out there. Creative Assembly has been very supportive of the modding community, a trend in gaming that we in the “press” can encourage by getting word of this body of work out.


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