Grand Ages: Rome Built In A Day

By Jim Rossignol on March 17th, 2009 at 8:29 am.


Somewhat fiddly and annoying city-builder Grand Ages: Rome (previously Imperium Romanum II) is out this week, and while it might not be the smoothest city-building strategy game we’ve ever encountered, it’s certainly one of the most visually impressive, with its lavishly detailed ancient urban systems, and boggling long-zoom. The Roman metropolis you can construct with its aqueducts and villas is eye-soothingly realistic: perfect for an accelerated-time trailer like the one after the jump. Rome built in just a few minutes, in fact. Go take a look.

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19 Comments »

  1. NuZZ says:

    I have been playing this game for a few weeks and it’s impressive. Graphics are good as you say, but it is very fidgety – unless you patch the game. The patches address things like how all your buildings tended to go up in flames when the residents were even slightly displeased. Overall a cool city-builder, but there were a few things that pissed me off… Trying to build so closely together and get water, food, hygiene etc. to everything can be frustrating. Grrr

  2. Kyr says:

    The best Rome-building sim since Caesar series. Haven’t had that amount of puzzling strategic fun for years.

  3. DarkNoghri says:

    rubble rubble rubble HUGE FIFTY FOOT HIGH STRUCTURE.

    Didn’t buildings stop doing this after AOE 2?

  4. Yorick says:

    1) Wasn’t Rome significantly larger than that?
    2) Did Rome have *jumping fountains*?

  5. Ivan-Assen says:

    The jumping fountains are an unfortunate side effect of the accelerated time which we didn’t have the time to fix.

    By the way, the picture you used for this story is from Imperium Romanum, not Grand Ages: Rome.

  6. Therlun says:

    “Trying to build so closely together and get water, food, hygiene etc. to everything can be frustrating.”

    Thats my main gripe with the Demo.
    I can’t just build a city, I have to plan and perfectly execute housing blocks that exploit the game system to the max.

  7. Tei says:

    He… Rome cities where highly plannified. Almost like a militar camp, on a higher scale. Compared to the greek, the romans where barbarians. But manianically power obsesive and control obsesive barbarians. There are like 10 words to convey different concept of “power” in latin. “Imperium” is one of then.
    That worked for then, because the resources where infinitum (relativelly for then). That would not save us from the economic crisis.

    This looks like a awesome game.

  8. Gap Gen says:

    I remember Caesar II with fondness. A little bit of Total War and Sim City mixed in together. I think an updated version of this would work really well – the province-level focus meant that things never sprawled out of control as in Rome: Total War, and it never became too easy because you were always moving between new challenges. Oh, and the “embezzle all your province’s money before you flee the country” feature was great.

  9. Tei says:

    Do you guys think a the real rome was like that?.. so.. where the poor people live on all this impresive city?. Is like a city made of Manhattan skyscrappers. Ok, we suppose we can ignore the “huts” in favour of the interesting bits of the emulation.

  10. Jhoosier says:

    Tei, maybe next they’ll come out with Slumlord: Rome

  11. Agrajg says:

    The music, it hurts. Is there an option bury the city under heaps of lava?

  12. Chris R says:

    Is there a Youtube link of the video above? It won’t even show in my browser for me. Whats the name of the video and how long is it? I can go search for it on my own as well.

  13. Spanish Technophobe says:

    Little-known fact: Cicero was a notorious slumlord who loved it when his tenements burned down because he could charge more for new apartments than for old. And then he said Carthage must be destroyed.

  14. TheModernArdeo says:

    Actually, that was Cato, not Cicero; He usually ended his speeches in this manner.

  15. Spanish Technophobe says:

    Listen to this man; I am a dumbass. Thanks, Ardeo.

  16. Spanish Technophobe says:

    OK, actually did some research: Cato said that Carthage must be destroyed, while Cicero was a notorious slumlord. Sorry for confusing the two.

  17. Petrushka says:

    Yorick wrote: “2) Did Rome have *jumping fountains*?”
    Rome did have fountains, but not ones that pumped water straight up into the air; they weren’t decorative. A Roman water supply would go from aqueduct to a water tower, which would then have pipes going to three water boxes, one for baths, one for the public water supply (public fountains and cisterns, public buildings), and one for domestic consumers (rich people, who had to get permission from the authorities and paid a water tax).
    Tei wrote: “He… Rome cities where highly plannified. Almost like a militar camp, on a higher scale.”
    Cities that evolved out of or modelled on military camps were relatively carefully planned. Older cities, like Rome itself, were a horrid mess and routinely had major fires as a result. (They had fire brigades, but they were more like a protection racket.)
    Tei also wrote: “Do you guys think a the real rome was like that?.. so.. where the poor people live on all this impresive city?”
    Poor people lived in multi-story tenement blocks, roughly similar to the ones shown in the video that don’t have a central open area. (The poorer, the higher up — no lifts, remember.) The buildings that do have a central open area are the rich people’s housing. They’ve got the buildings pretty well, really.
    The main thing I’d pick on in regard to historical accuracy is the roads: they’re all straight, and wide. Only planned cities had straight roads (and they followed a very strict pattern, as Tei wrote), but even they would have only two wide roads, running at right angles. One of the reasons fires were so routine was because there was no way of enforcing regulations on how close buildings could lean in towards one another over the streets (Nero tried, after the “Great Fire”, but mostly unsuccessfully).

  18. Clovis says:

    I enjoyed the demo; it was nice to have different building effect mechanics than COTN or Caesar. I was disappointed that you can’t seem to interact with the people though. Nothing happens when you click on them. I didn’t get the feeling that I could watch a specific person (or family) walk around the city and do stuff. Do you get to follow specific people when Patricians (or whatever) move in? I only played the demo a bit, so maybe I missed this.

    It was very pretty though. I really like the idea of building ledges onto slopes and then putting buildings on top of those. Oh, and the GUI was great! SO much better than the GUI in Caesar that took up like 1/4 of the screen.

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