Author Topic: Caesar IV....  (Read 2810 times)

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Offline Flipside

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Got this a couple of days ago. Frankly, I'm dissapointed.

The game isn't finished. The frame rates are poor, the buttons unresponsive, the editor is buggy as hell and the information panels are unhelpful. The series has certainly gone downhill in my opinion, for all the pretty graphics (which aren't actually all that if you turn off the inevitable bloom shader).

If anyone is into city builders, I still stand by my previous opinion, stick with the isometrics. They may not be as 'visual' as the more modern ones, but when a game starts losing variety and enjoyability for the sake of Hardware accelerated lighting and shadows as your buildings burn down, you know there's something very very wrong.

Stick with Caesar 3, it's 5 times the game.

 

Offline Kaboodles

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I played Caesar 3 and tried the demo for this.  I had honestly hoped that they'd fix the framerate, as the lowest detail settings run horribly on my relatively powerful laptop.  I was also appalled that they removed click-and-drag housing in this one.

 

Offline Ferret

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Never played 3 but was addicted to Caesar 2 when it came out. I have huge problems getting it run 100% these days.

 

Offline Flipside

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Well, this game suffers from undescriptive scenario descriptions, early levels that are so small you have almost no flexibility in the way you build or operate the city, if you put one building in the wrong place, you may very well find out later on that you have to restart the entire level, rather than simply clear the land in that area.

Enemies leap out on you with almost no warning, importing is too expensive to be worthwhile, not that there ever seems to be more than 3-4 trade routes available to scenario and the goods available are very limited. Exporting is possible, but still very difficult to make a profit from.

Probably the most annoying part is the advisors, who constantly see-saw between complaining that you don't have enough workers and complaining you have too many jobs. And only seem to tell you that the Gods are annoyed after Jupiters' fried a couple of buildings, as if that wasn't hint enough. It's difficult to keep track of resources and it appears that 1 unit of resources in a warehouse turns into a seemingly random amount when it reaches the houses, so there's no real way of guesstimating what you need to work on as far as raw materials are concerned. The same applies to foodstuffs as well.

Basically, you have to set up almost the entire city in pause mode at the start of the game and hope for the best, there's no feel of 'growth' to it at all.

 

Offline Shade

  • 211
Meh. I had high hopes for this one after the greatness that was Caesar III.
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<Cobra|> You play this mission too intelligently.

 

Offline Flipside

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I'll agree with what someone said earlier about zoning rather than just plonking houses down.

Basically, if you put a house too close to a factory, a message will pop up saying 'Desirability too low', and that's it, nobody will move into the house unless you do something about it. I much preferred the idea of placing housing zones and letting those zones develop naturally according to what resources/goods are locally available. The whole idea of a city building game, in my opinion, is to set up a basic infra-structure and enjoy watching the city develop, then tweak slowly, not try to do everything at once, which this game more or less demands :(

 

Offline Kaboodles

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  • Kill the meat. Save the metal.
Meh. I had high hopes for this one after the greatness that was Caesar III.

One complaint I have against Caesar III was that they removed the Province and Battle screens and basically plonked everything down on one map.  I liked the battling stuff in Caesar II.

I had lots of fun with III, although I was rather disappointed with the lack of interaction with barbarians.  You can't destroy their buildings, and the best you could do is either leave them alone or plonk a missionary building down and trade with them.  One hilarious thing I did with the mission editor was create a huge barbarian metropolis on the Western half of the map.  I built a fairly large city on my half of the map (There was a large river seperating the two of us.  I decided to try expanding to their half of the map, building some walls for protection and a few armies. 

Then I tried befriending those guys by putting some missionary places here and there.  It worked for the most part, so I started building some stuff over in their area.  Problem was, I sorta missed a spot and built in a place where my missionaries had no influence.

What resulted was the hugest, most massive barbarian attack I had ever seen.  I swear, the amount of blue pants just swarming out of their huts was just insane.  They had more troops running attacking than I had citizens traveling my streets.  It was like hurricane Katrina over there, except I had smelly barbarians instead of water.  Needless to say, my city to the west of the river got pwned, and to my dismay a few of them were already on the bridges by the time I got the sense to destroy them. 

 

Offline Flipside

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I'm growing slowly used to it now, but there are still some problems that really get on my nerves. One example is the fact you are told to start a city around shipping timber to Rome for shipbuilding. You're asked to supply a shipment of 50 timber for around a year later. However, a few weeks later, you are also asked to supply a shipment of 20 weapons. Weapons require Timber and Iron to build, you cannot spare the timber because you are too busy saving it for the other requirement. Not only that, but you need a large number of weapon factories because they build so slowly.

By this point you already have an unskilled-labour intensive city that is literally leaking money from every seam for wages, and the moment a building evolves, you suddenly get a huge glut of unemployed labour, which leads to civil unrest. You suddenly find yourself not even able to think about such things as reservoirs or entertainment because you need a higher citizen class and you have too many factories around to find desireable land for their houses. Exporting in the scenario is pretty pointless because the only stuff you can export to other cities is.... Iron or Timber.

Just to add to the fun, you also get told that a Gaulish army is approaching (about 2 months before they arrive) and that you need to build defences and a Light Infantry legion which requires..... Weapons, and you don't stand a chance of arming then with the amount of warning you are given, so you have to set up your Weapons construction and Legions before you are told that there are enemies around, and somehow come up with enough to supply both Rome and yourself.

Basically, it all boils down to the fact you have to play the scenario through once to find out what is going to happen, and then, when it inevitably all goes pear shaped, restart with a fore-knowledge of what is going to happen. I'm quite willing to sacrifice favour for the sake of expediency, but the program seems to require a certain level of Telepathy because rather than merely having to act fast to deal with a shortfall in a requirement, it is more or less impossible.

I think one thing that could be done to improve it is slightly increase the factories turnover time. I had 3 Pottery factories running at full tilt, and one clay pit, and the warehouses were still filling up with clay so that nothing else could get in.

In fact, I'm going to suggest that on the Caesar 4 Forums tomorrow.