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CivCiy: Rome Preview
game: CivCity: Rome
posted by: Blaine Krumpe
publisher: 2K Games
developer: FireFly Studios/Firaxis
date posted: 12:56 AM Mon May 22nd, 2006
last revision: 12:55 AM Mon May 22nd, 2006

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Click to read.Built in collaboration with Firaxis, CivCity: Rome will put a new spin on a tried and true era in history. Starting as a humble farm boy, you may work your way up the ranks of society to fit just about every niche in the Roman Empire. You can even reach Cesar status if you play CivCity: Rome the right way. This top down sim game will introduce you to the lifespan of the Roman Empire and to the lives the people lived down on the street.

Through the 20 different missions available, players of CivCity: Rome will be able to upgrade every aspect of their city and thus control the happiness and well being of their citizens.

Besides providing food and entertainment, the buildings you will build and upgrade will be necessary for mission completion and city growth. Just about everything is included from the old world. There will be a town center, taverns, theaters, wood and wool warehouses, music schools, amphitheaters, coliseums, hospitals, general schools, libraries, temples, watchtowers, gardens, blacksmith, bath houses, trading markets, and the list just goes on. Making money is dependant on the type of building present. The main way you make money is through taxation of these structures and people, so it is in your best interest to upgrade the buildings and arrange them so the flow of people and commerce is at its best.

The way you set up the buildings, how they are situated to other structures, will determine how fast and efficiently goods and products will move to their destinations. Within each building you will need to set up the hierarchy of people working there. Rich tenants will require barbers, slaves, cooks, and other day to day employees to get the jobs done. In the most advanced house, there will be over 30 different items and people you must consider for the house to flow smoothly. Getting all of these variables to work together and result in the happiness of the people will be your main challenge of CivCity: Rome.

Research is a hierarchical tree that advances depending on the amount of money you have to invest. The more you are able to tax your people, the faster you can research and upgrade your structures and unlock new ones. In general, you will see a lot of the old school upgrades that the Civ series was based on, i.e. alphabet, religion, philosophy, math, exploration, and tool making to name a few. Each upgrade will benefit your city and buildings in some way, and in some cases, advance you into obtaining the ability to build a Wonder. In total there will be 70 different research items.

Another cool aspect of CivCity: Rome is the ability to attack surrounding cities. These other Roman and barbarian cites also have the ability to attack you, so be prepared! I like this feature because it puts your city into perspective in relation to the whole of the Roman Empire. These cities may also trade goods and products with you, so if you ally yourself with them, the more tax money you will realize. In order to have an army, you must purchase them and garrison them in forts within your city. From here, attacking and fighting is done through a simple RTS interface.

One of the most unusual and cool features is the ability to tag different people within the community; doing this will create a running history of their lives. You will be able to see who they marry, the different jobs they take, their criminal history, and various other cool attributes that will bring this game even more to life.

Expect CivCity: Rome to offer some really cool and interesting gameplay scenarios when it releases in June for the PC.

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