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The History Channel: Great Battles Of Rome Extra Quality

Slitherine Software is getting a lot of mileage out of Legion. It's now been five years since the British developer launched this real-time strategy game, yet the company continues to recycle its engine to retell the story of how the Roman Empire conquered the world. This time around, the game is a derivative little number from Black Bean Games called The History Channel: Great Battles of the Roman Empire. The theme, such as it is, is a tactical real-time strategy survey course of battles with the Carthaginians, Greeks, Persians, and loads of pesky barbarians. Although the content adeptly highlights the struggles of the veni, vidi, vici boys through nearly a thousand years of history, the advanced age of the engine and the stale, simplistic battles make this game feel as fresh as Caesar's toga after he was finished with the Gauls.

The History Channel: Great Battles of Rome

Lack of depth is the biggest problem. The Roman campaign is a shallow collection of battles rounded up by historical period and introduced by video-clip cutscenes presumably borrowed from History Channel documentaries. You steadily work your way through virtually all of Roman history, moving from the early years when Rome needed to subdue the Italian peninsula, to the wars against regional powers that characterize the glory days of the Republic and the Empire. However, battles generally seem to be approximations of what actually happened, which means that many engagements are presented without dates or much in the way of historical background. Every now and then you take on a battle rooted in history, such as the betrayal and murder of Coriolanus, but you wage a ton of generic assaults against the Latins, Etruscans, Volsci, Greeks, Gauls, Persians, and the like.

Very little about the battles here is obvious, actually, due to visuals that are a decade out of step with the times. Units of each specific type all look the same and just smash together when they fight. Character models seem hacked together, with few fine details and jagged limbs that you could cut yourself on. The animation is so archaic that horses swivel in place when you redirect cavalry. Likewise, the minimap is an ugly mash-up of great big dots oddly reminiscent of the Commodore 64. Audio is pretty much missing-in-action with the exception of the brash, brassy musical score that also seems like something borrowed from a History Channel documentary. It's just too bad that nobody swiped any of the atmospheric sound effects from those cheesy reenactments that fill up so much time in the average production on the cable channel. There isn't much to be heard during battles at all except for irritating, repetitive bangs and shouts.

(Silver Spring Md.) - This February, Velocity returns on its cross-country road trip to open the garage doors and lift the hoods of four-wheeled treasures that have had a profound effect on American culture. Three-time NASCAR champion crew chief Ray Evernham returns as host of AMERICARNA, scouting the incredible hidden stories of American automotive history that defined our cultural identity. From the last car Elvis Presley drove to the epic memoir of the Ford Mustang, and a tour of prototype cars in the General Motors vault, AMERICARNA presents a look at our national story through the lens of one of its greatest inventions: the automobile. Season two of AMERICARNA world premieres on February 17th with two all-new episodes back-to-back at new 10:00 PM (ET/PT) and 10:30PM (ET/PT).

One of the greatest battles in NASCAR history was Hall of Famer Richie Evans and rival speedster Jerry Cook. Ray is determined to uncover - and revive- the cars that made these men famous.

Both cars will hit the track at Martinsville - site of one of the greatest races in modified history and the tragic death of Richie Evans himself. Legends live again as Ray recreates one the racing world's most celebrated rivalries on a track that has seen it all. 041b061a72


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