Rome total war is a strategy game in which you as the player command a Roman army and have to win both historical and fictional battles. This is all set during the changeover between the Roman Republic and Roman Empire.
~Rome : Total War (original)~
In campaign mode you pick one of the 3 opposing noble family; Brutii, Scipii or Julii and play along trying to achieve varying objectives. The gameplay consist of a main map view, in which you can see the different provinces you control and any units or settlements you may have there. Every time it is 'your turn' you may move your units around the map to either attack or defend a different location. You can play out each battle yourself, directly controlling each unit of men with varying positions and formations or you can let the computer statistically play it for you for an instant result.
One thing I particularly like about this game is that you can view the family tree of the family you are playing as. And as the game progress over a long period of (in-game) time, you get the see marriages, deaths and various other events. Any male character over the age of 16 is playable and you can use them to govern settlements and on the battlefield for different bonuses depending on their experience and specialities.
After completing the campaign mode with one of the Roman families more factions become available for you to play such as: Egypt, Carthage, Germania, Gaul, Britannia, Parthia, The Greek Cities, and the Seleucid Empire.
In the expansions the gameplay is essential the same only the requiments for winning, maps and factions change:-
~Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion~
Based 350 years after the first campaign, Barbarian Invasion is based upon the 3 major religions of the time; Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Paganism. After completing the campaign more factions become unlocked for you to play.
~Rome: Total War - Alexander~
Only Macedon is playable in compain mode and the aim is to concore 30 provinces. In timescale, set before the other 2 games.
I personally find the graphics adequate to enjoy playing, and although now are nothing special, at the time of release, 2004, were impressive. Individual units are viewable and easily controllable with the standard left and right clicking in the genre. Rome: Total war has kept me amused for a while now and with the open-ended play provides endless possibly for creating different battles and playing them out using different tactics.
Also if any one remembers 'Time Commanders' on BB2, a fair few years back now, it was the Total War software they used during the series but slightly modified for better historical accuracy!
So basically if you're into your history or strategy gaming, this just could be for you!