War, war, war. That's all they ever think about at Pyro Studios. Not content with upsetting us all with realistic re-enactments of World War II in Commandos 1 and 2, the boys and girls from sunny Spain are hoping to do a similar thing with the old Romans.
As you probably know by now, Praetorians is a strategy game along the lines of Shogun: Total War. Essentially it's a 3D troop-based affair focusing on army manoeuvres and tactics rather than resource management. There are a total of 16 missions which take you from the sand and pyramids of Egypt, through the boar-infested heartland of Gaul and finally into the Roman Empire itself. Ultimately, the aim of Praetorians is to kick the Emperor's arse and ascend to the throne where you can loaf away your days eating grapes and fornicating in hot tubs.
Political and economic machinations also play a large part in the proceedings and the player is constantly faced with decisions on how to spend their hard-earned (or rather looted) money. The most obvious way is to blow it all on new units of which there are ten military types including archers, pikemen, centurions and praetorians, as well as more passive roles such as scouts and diplomats. On the other hand you might want to think about spending a few gold coins researching new technologies and abilities in the form of fortifications and siege machines. Despite the fact that there wasn't any working gameplay in the true sense of the word, we witnessed some pretty impressive staged scuffles around the base of a pyramid including flaming arrows arcing through the air, battering rams and the famed giant turtle attack.
Atmospherically the whole thing was a moving experience, with the gurgling screams and groans of the dying still echoing around our heads now. Then again that could be the sound Martin Korda makes in the middle of the night after a few too many at the hotel bar. Anyway, you'd better watch out for it, because like all things Roman, it'll change the way you live.
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Praetorians Screenshots and Media
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