Great War Nations: The Spartans Review

I'm not sure what inspires developers to keep producing knock-offs of Age of Empires, especially ones that pale in comparison to the original. If you've ever thought that the battles in Age of Empires required too much thought and that the unit production was too abstracted for your tastes, then maybe you should give some thought to Great War Nations: The Spartans. Otherwise you're far better off just spending some more time with Age of Empires.

The Spartans suffers from many of the same problems found in Age of Empires knock-offs produced by developers who think "hey, I could do that" when they really, really can't. You get factions that are for all intents and purposes identical to each other, brain-dead AI that thinks that sending one or two units at you every five minutes is a winning strategy, and path-finding problems that make herding cats seem easy by comparison. Dealing with these problems in one generic "destroy the enemy" campaign mission after another would seem like torture enough, but the game's designers apparently felt that it wasn't.

All strategy games rely on a number of abstractions in order to make the game more playable and to focus on what really matters. Sure, it's not really realistic to dump some gold and wood at a stable and have a cavalry man come charging out a few minutes later, but do you really want to be forced to raise and train a horse, make a saddle, forge weapons, train a rider, etc. every time you need to make a cavalryman? It's not quite that bad in The Spartans, but it's not that far off. You must research forging techniques at one building, build weapons at another, take the weapons to the barracks and set the weapon loadouts for your troops, train a soldier, and then if you want a cavalryman, create a horse at the stables and then mount your soldier. This level of micromanagement is ridiculous; especially when the payoff for all that work just simply isn't there. This is a build a lot of troops and overwhelm the enemy kind of game. There's absolutely no need to spend so much time creating units that are essentially shock troops.

Why should you play The Spartans? I can't think of any reason why you would want to. It's formulaic and it can't even do a good job at reproducing the formula. Spend some extra time with a strategy game that you already own and enjoy instead.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 40%. Been there, done that, and it's been done a lot better.


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