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Rome: Total War - Alexander (2006)



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Another Epic Conflict
19 May 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Rome Total War - Alexander gives you the opportunity to attempt to match the feats of one of the greatest generals in history, Alexander the Great. You command the Macedonians who are in a tough financial position as well as being surrounded by numerically superior enemies including the mighty Persian fleet to the south.

This is more based on the real-time battles than on the empire building of the original game. Your budget limitations as well as the 100 turn deadline (very short in comparison to Rome or Barbarian Invasion) mean an almost constant attacking policy against the Persians, barbarians and Indian rebels to succeed. Sacking or exterminating captured settlements is almost always necessary to pay for reinforcements - often mercenaries since shipping them from Greece will nearly always take too long. Men must be conserved which is no easy feat in the face of such heavy opposition.

New units such as the the elite Phalangists and the heavy Companion cavalry give the Macedonians the edge over their opponents. The faction plays similarly to the Greeks in the original except that the cavalry is far superior and the missile units are limited to javelin-throwers that are out-ranged by Persian archers. The infantry hop-lites are still extremely tough to break by frontal assault so the importance of not being out-flanked can not be overstated. There is no artillery, but this would be too cumbersome and therefore slow on the campaign map in any case and so sieges must be resolved with assault or starvation.

Alexander has less replay value since the in the main campaign only the Macedonians are a playable faction and there is no choice but to attack everybody to fulfil the objectives. There are different ways of approaching the campaign however, especially with the aid of the the difficulty settings. Alexander and his bodyguard are an essential key to success though failure will result if the leader himself dies.

There is a tough series of historical battles presented by the quality voice acting of renowned British actor Brian Blessed which is a definite bonus.

The game will appeal to those who prefer the real-time battles which can be fought between thousands of troops over the other aspects - diplomacy is not even an option since there are no diplomats. It still feels a little like a stop-gap measure for fans eager for Medieval II: Total War, but the cheap release price and the easy accessibility make it worthwhile.

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