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Standard historical strategy fare
Elysium takes players down the well worn path of the historical strategy genre, one which has seen the likes of Rome: Total War and Civilization, and plunges them into the equally well used period that is defined by the expansion of the Roman Empire. As such, the game is difficult to recommend unreservedly, as it simply doesn't do anything that we haven't seen done better elsewhere, but for dedicated strategy buffs who have played them all, this might prove diverting. In this case, players take control of a province that is seeking to break away from Rome and have three main goals in order to be considered successful, these being survive long enough to see the fall of the Empire, to turn your land into a new haven and optionally to expand your own dominion by conquering neighbouring provinces. As usual, you must maintain your borders by building up armies, making sure your people have enough food and shelter and creating a healthy and prosperous economy. It's all pretty standard stuff to be honest, with the usual array of options on display here, from different forms of trading to consideration of taxes and various ways to keep the masses happy. However, if you can get past the lack of originality, Elysium scores a few points thanks to its fairly straightforward interface, clean, uncluttered visuals and reasonable amount of depth. The game is perhaps more suited to armchair politicians than generals but the flexibility of the game does allow for those of a more military bent to stretch their war-mongering muscles with regularity, providing some much needed excitement. Elysium is certainly no classic of the genre but if you've seen and played the best, it might amuse for a few hours. Just don't expect to be blown away.