Sub-par historical sim
Those in need of a historical strategy game might find Chariots of War to be an intriguing proposition, mixing as it does real-time strategy and combat with a multitude of playable civilisations. Unfortunately however, the game fails to live up to the lofty standards of Medieval: Total War or Civilization and is instead a strictly average experience. On paper, the game promises much: over 50 historical cultures including Egyptians, Hittities and Numerians; a large map on which to engage in epic battles; campaign and non-campaign modes of play; and large amounts of resource management, trade and diplomacy. Gameplay is fairly typical for the genre, with players choosing their civilisation and then collecting resources, building their armies and expanding their empire through conquest, with a fair number of unique troop types and random events also thrown into the mix to keep you on your toes. So, if all these features and more are included, what's wrong with Chariots of War then? Well, the game lacks the depth and complexity of the best historical strategy games, like the Europa Universalis series, with its focus on combat as a means of achieving victory taking away from other more tactical options. This in itself isn't necessarily a problem but the combat system removes control from the player, making them a viewer rather than a participant, while the enemy AI is over-powered and makes things more of a challenge than they should be. The game also lacks visual and audio flair, seeming dated and rather cheap, with minimal effects and poor animation. Chariots of War isn't a disaster, but you are better off checking out one of the previously mentioned titles if you are interested in the genre.