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So much for realism…

April 22nd, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

Sparta: Ancient Wars, which has been selling itself as a realistic approach to ancient warfare – unlike all those other games out there – has released new screenshots. This one, of a scythed chariot manned by a spearman, could undercut their whole realism angle.

Since the game is being set in the high point of Spartan power – the era around the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars – there shouldn’t be any scythed chariots. This was an Eastern weapon designed for the wide plains of Asia. They would of be little use in wooded, hilly Greece and were never used (so far as we know) by any Hellenes before the death of Alexander. The mainland Greeks probably never saw a scythed chariot until the failed attempt to put Cyrus on the throne of Persia (outlined in Xenophon’s Anabasis).

Is this that big a deal? Of course not. Pedantry is not my stock in trade. But if you claim that your game will be more realistic than, say, Rome: Total War, then you lose your high horse of history if you make game choices like this. Now the game will be judged as all games should be – am I entertained?


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