|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Perpetual||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SONY Platform Publishing||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Q3 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: Multiplayer (MMO)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jwan Jordan
If you're a gamer then at some point you've, more than likely, played a MMORPG before. Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising is one, but takes place during the early days of the Roman Empire. The young Italian colossus is just beginning its rise to power and the player plays a Roman citizen, the son or daughter of an Olympian god pledged to defend the new nation. This Rome, however, exists on an Earth in which the classic Greco/Roman myths are, unfortunately, very real, and some of these powers are conspiring to strangle Rome.
The Telchine are a group of outcast gods who were exiled because of their alliance with the Titans who fought against the Olympian gods. Being the sore losers they are, the Telchine are back, and they're working on a plan to free the Titans from the Underworld and destroy the Olympians.
Thus the epic adventure of Gods & Heroes begins. As the son, daughter, or Cheat Code Central writer of Rome (yes we existed back then too) it is up to you to lead your troops in the never ending battle to protect your homeland and earn the protection of the gods. Of course, this task will not be easy as you must face not only invading nations but mythological creatures that could only come from roman fantasy.
Perpetual is proudly describing Gods and Heroes as an MMO action adventure set in mythological Rome. You'll have six different classes to choose from including gladiators, mystics, priest, and soldiers, of course. Gods and Heroes will let you command an army of minions, or hired goons as I call them, that accompany you in battle. Conveniently titled the "minion" system, this lets you commission player characters for their own squad of followers that have tagged along on the adventure. As you go on missions your following squad will level up with you, though the soldiers in your camp will remain the same until you bring them along. Developer Perpetual boasts that this will add another whole level to strategic and tactical combat not available in an MMO game. To avoid a lot of massive multiple confusion, you won't need to check through hundreds of individual stats, instead there will be a specific set of unique squads. Thus, a character like Rufus, one of your first hired soldiers, will always look like Rufus. This allows players to talk to each other sensibly about their minions. A player can literally tell you to bring Rufus along because the next level needs some muscle. This makes things a lot easier for players like me who get easily frustrated by stats. Your minions aren't just brainless swordsman either; they have intelligence that will aid you accordingly and at the same time can be commanded by you at will. To make things easier for us, the simple folks at Perpetual won't have you going through bags of equipment for your squad, so you will not need to bother with keeping track of that one legendary fire/ice sword you found. This way you focus more on the tactical aspect of the squad. Don't worry you massive collecting guru gamers out there, you will need to purchase equipment from the squad outfitter who resides in your camp.
A large kudos goes to Perpetual for some of the most realistic combat to date on a MMO game. When engaged in combat, a swing of the sword will actually make physical contact unlike other games where a sword swing could make abstract contact from several feet away. Not only does the combat look real, but you can go on missions alone or hire a squad to come with you. While you're traveling the land and come across a battle you can go all "Boyz in the Hood" on them or tell your squad to sit back and enjoy your solo battle. Yet, your comrades won't leave you out to dry even if you tell them to stand back. Your spell casters will constantly support you with heals and buff spells. So you see, Romans really do have love for the fellow brethren.
When you want to take your squad into battle, you can give orders to your fighters, spellcasters, and skirmishers or your squad as a whole. The fighters are your front line melee attackers, the skirmishers are ranged attackers armed with bows and spears, and the spellcasters will heal you. When you engage in combat, your troops will find an enemy to attack of his own free will. As you look throughout the battlefield you can see lots of one on one battles and know your squad is doing their best to serve you. Considering the fact that the hit animations are dead on, it is pretty amazing to see arrows flying into the hearts of your enemies and the reeling back animations of enemies being hit. You'll even spot an occasional finishing move such as a soldier leaping onto the back of another and strangling him to death.
Overall, this game is coming along great. The detailed combat animations are a very nice touch and the control and independence of your squads makes for not only reliable team mates but also fantastic fight sequences. Keep an eye for this game coming out sometime this year.
CCC Freelance Writer