Start out as a governor and end the game as an Emperor. Tilted Mill took the Caesar franchise and did something I didn't think was possible
Start out as a governor and end the game as an Emperor. Tilted Mill took the Caesar franchise and did something I didn't think was possible — they made it better. Like the old saying goes: "Sometimes a change is just what you need to light a fire in your pants." There are many Sim titles on the market, and too be quite honest, many haven't changed over the years. This isn't the case with Caesar 4; the good folks at Tilted Mill have breathed new life into this franchise.
This is not your average Sim game. Unlike Simcity, which can be quite linear, Caesar 4 focuses heavily on economics and really becomes an exercise in supply and demand. Your citizens are much more intelligent than in previous Caesar games, and your society relies heavily on the "economic dance." Managing over 45 commodities is quite a task unto itself, but when you factor in the intricate relationship between commodities and how this affects the happiness and productivity of your population, you realize you're in for one hell of lesson in supply and demand.
Build them (houses) and they will come; this is pretty much how Caesar 4 starts. Once your houses are built, people move in, and it's up to you to keep them clothed, fed and safe, with enough change in their pockets to keep them happy with good wine. There are three classes of people in the game including: the lowly plebe (labor pool), equites (middle class aka soccer moms) and patricians. Patricians are the upper crust of Rome and typically sit in the senate.
As the people grow and prosper, their homes and families become larger. This is a relatively easy task in the beginning, but as with all sims, the more you grow the more challenging things become.
In the beginning you mainly focus on establishing a basic economy, making sure your plebes and equites have all the basics and are doing well. You will need to start producing goods, store them in warehouses and distribute them right away. You can worry about the patricians later; focus on the basics first and you'll go far in the game. Don't try and do too much right away. If you do, chances are your society will be doomed to fail. Once you have established a solid base, you can start to build luxury goods and items.
Keeping your citizenry happy is key in this game; religion, festivals, events and holidays all combine to keep your people happy and productive. Choosing the right god will help your "Global Profile," and since most holidays are religion based, you might as well throw in a couple of long weekends.
Both graphics and sound are well done. It's hard to get overly excited about either when it comes to sim games as we are more concerned about the "score." That being said, I found the graphics very appealing and the sound to be quite encompassing.
You probably noticed I haven't mentioned the words battle and fighting yet. This game focuses primarily on economics. In fact, you'll probably win your battles if your troops outnumber your enemies. If you're looking to pillage and destroy, then this game is not for you.
The overall interface is pretty good, but there are a couple of problems I noticed. Placing buildings, houses, docks etc., can be quite tricky and takes some getting used too since the controls seem a bit "chunky." You get used to the chunkiness the more you play, but it's annoying in the beginning. Accessing advisors is not done via a hot key but by the keyboard, another "ism" that I didn't particularly enjoy.
Multiplayer mode has a new twist, instead of mano e mano its score vs. score. A sim game can go on for days and weeks and really doesn't lend itself well to the online multiplayer gaming world. I've played a few sim games online and believe me, they are quite boring. Caesar 4 offers a new twist; rather than playing head-to-head, you are competing for score. As you play a scenario your score is tallied and recorded allowing you to compare your score against other players.
If you're looking for a break from all the shooter games and want to exercise your cerebellum instead of your libido, then Caesar 4 is must have game. It has all the right components (quality gameplay, strong graphics and sound). Move over Civilization, there's a new emperor in town and his name Caesar 4.