Chariots Of War
[ Review Comments | Screenshots ]Chariots Of War Review
Category : Strategy
Publisher : Strategy First
Developer : Slitherine Strategies
Release : 03/18/2003
MSRP (US): $19.99
300 MHz or faster
OS: Windows 98/ME/2K/XP
RAM: 64MB RAM
Video: 16 MB RAM DirectX®/Direct3D compatible video
Hard Drive Space: 300 MB
years ago in the Cradle of Civilization, mighty Empires fought for water,
resources and the arable land in the Fertile Crescent. Play as the Egyptians,
the Babylonians, screaming Nubian warriors, or the Assyrians. Develop
your country by producing commodities and selling them to your neighbors.
Raise glorious armies and wage wars of conquest.
A few years back Slitherine was making a
game called T-Tex, a First-Person Shooter for the Game Boy Color.
The problem was that it couldn't get a publisher. The game would have
required the maximum amount of space a Game Boy Color cartridge could
be produced at, as well as battery save. That would mean the most expensive
kind of cart to develop. While virtually all the publishers who played
the game loved it (especially its multiplayer) they weren't willing to
risk publishing such an expensive game, unless it carried a license to
give some assurance that it would sell well. The game was never released.
Slitherine could have tried making a First-Person Shooter for the Game
Boy Advance, which probably would have been very impressive given what
they pulled off on the Game Boy Color, or they could take a different
route, like turn-based strategies on the PC. They decided to take a different
They probably should have gone for the Game
Chariots of War is a single player
turn-based strategy game by Slitherine Strategies. There is no story,
aside from having you control an ancient civilization from 4000 years
ago. The only thing to qualify as a story is a bit of background given
before you start one of the game's campaigns. After that it's nothing
but gameplay. A game which has no story had better have good gameplay
to make up for it (entirely doable, of course,) so let's see how this
game fares in that department.
game involves you building and managing cities and fighting battles. That's
the basic premise of most similar games, but the thing is that there isn't
much else to this game. Sure there are a few other features, like a trade
system, but they don't play near as large a role as they could. The gameplay
is mostly geared towards raising armies for fighting battles, with just
about nothing else to do. It's just raising armies and fighting until
you win or lose, without much variety. There are different unit types,
but there's rarely a noticeable difference, and you may become too bored
to continue before you get to anything remotely interesting.
The battles themselves had a lot of promise,
but failed in many areas. Unlike other turn-based games where a battle
would simply have its outcome decided once one army is moved onto another,
this game lets you position your armies on a battlefield, give them some
orders, and watch the resulting battle. The problem is that this limited
control makes almost no difference in the outcome of a battle. Any attempt
to surround the opposing army won't do much good simply because the battle
field is tiny. It also really doesn't matter how you arrange your army
because you usually can't see much of the opposing army before the battle,
and thus it's random how effective your arrangement will be. This system
had lots of promise and potential to be great, but it is so limited that
the game may as well have just gone for the normal approach of picking
a winning army and giving nothing more than a dialog box to say who won.
There are a few other aspects to the game,
but they're so insignificant they don't need much coverage. There's a
bit of a diplomacy system, for instance, but given as there's no way to
become allies with a different civilization (at least, not that I know
of,) it can't be used for much except revealing what's at a different
town. It may not even be worth the effort of sending diplomats out. Just
focus on building your endless wave of armies.
graphics are a bit mixed. The overworld is beautiful, the towns are pretty
good, and the battles are pretty painful to look at. The world map looks
very nice, very much like an actual map. It has a very illustrated feel,
rather than a tiled map that is in many other 2D games. The towns aren't
as good, but they aren't awful to look at. The different buildings blend
well onto the town, making the towns look very natural and real. The battles,
on the other hand, are rather poor. The battle fields look ok, and the
individual units look reasonable... in screenshots. When playing the actual
game many units look like they're sliding along the ground, rather than
walking. There is only one type of sprite per unit, which is standard
in these games, however this game does nothing to even try to give the
units an individual feel. You'll often see armies going into battle with
completely synchronized walking animations. The graphics have high points,
but have some major weaknesses that keep them from being anywhere near
The sound is perhaps even more mixed. Much
of the music is quite good. I actually left the game on the title screen
for awhile just to listen to the music it played. I really don't have
any complaints about the music at all. The sound, on the other hand, was
pretty awful. You'll have heard essentially all the sound effects in the
game by the end of the first battle. There's probably just one sound effect
for every sound effect except dying. Some of them seem to be of fairly
low quality, with a bit of fuzz playing during the sound effect (the sword
clash sound stands out with this.) There was also one death sound effect
which I will probably never be able to forget, just because it stood out
so much and played so often.
wanted this game to be good. I really did. T-Tex looked to be
such a good game, and I know the company is capable of far more than what
they churned out with Chariots of War. This game was just so
bland and generic that it bored me quickly. I'm certainly not bored by
the genre, I've spent hours on the likes of Alpha Centauri. I
just literally had to force myself to play every second of this game.
The game does have its strong points to keep it from being absolutely
intolerable, like its overworld graphics and music, but it simply wasn't
fun for me. I really can't honestly recommend this game to many people.
Die-hard fans of the genre may enjoy it, but it's lacking in so many areas
that even they may be bored of it. Multiplayer would have helped, at least
then you could make alliances over a chat system, but it's sadly missing.
Slitherine is capable of great games, but this isn't one of them.
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