Edited by: Jade Swann
Praetorians - HD Remaster is a classic example of the RTS genre. It focuses on the art of war and leaves out the building and resource maintaining, which can distract you from winning your battles. I did have some fun, but it just felt like I was fighting the same strategies every battle.
Set in a time of the emerging Roman Empire, the times of Marcus Licinius Crassus and Julius Caesar (59BC), the title allows you to control different types of armies (the Roman Republic, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, or Barbarians). Taking you to battles set in Gaul, Egypt, and Italy, you do, kind of, get a history lesson. Beware here because some of the events are not in true chronological order. The game concludes after you win the Roman Civil War (45BC).
For anyone who has played RTS games, it’s going to be repetitive, as it is the standard RTS storyline. Command your armies, protect the people who die easily, win the battles (and the war), yadda, yadda, yadda... Although, considering this is a remaster from a game released in 2003, it's not that bad. On the plus side, you get to make AI people do anything you command (out of a preset list of commands).
The tutorial is quite long (five levels) and teaches you, very slowly, all the different letters, and buttons, and mouse clicks you need to do in order to succeed (that’s a lot to learn, trust me). It becomes overwhelming having to remember to assign number keys to each type of unit, then having to move them forward, click by click, for the campaign, and then, finally, making them attack the other armies. Once you do get the hang of things, it’s actually a little fun to play. My favorite part was using the different terrains to my advantage: hiding in the trees, crossing the river, and even lighting the grass on fire.
There are a total of twenty campaigns, split into four sections, and three levels of difficulty you can play. Truthfully, it’s worth the price, if only because it has so many combinations of campaigns to play. When you get bored with campaigning, you can choose the multiplayer option. This allows you to either set up a private game (for co-op play with your friends) or an open game for playing the Praetorian enthusiasts. You can also play the AI in case no one is available. Finally, the game has a skirmish option. You can play up to seven AI troops and choose the difficulty. Multiplayer and skirmish give you even more game time, so you do get the bang for your buck.
CHANGE CAN BE A GOOD THING
I rarely say this, but this game would be better if it were a mobile app. They would have to change some of the features, making the title more player friendly, but the app platform would allow more gamers to play. Of course, true PC gamers would probably be playing the game on a PC, but with the app, it would reach a wider audience; for example, teenagers who were too young to play the original Praetorians, which was released seventeen years ago.
The Verdict: Fair
Praetorians - HD Remaster is definitely worth the money you pay for the game, but it might not be the best use of your time. It’s stuck in the middle and keeps teetering and tottering between worth it and not worth it. If you like history, it’s nice that you get to act out the battles for the Roman Empire, or, if you’re just into RTS games, go for it! If you're not into the history of the Roman Empire or you're not strategic, I would be cautious about purchasing this game.