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Rome Total War: The Barbarian Invasion is the first expansion pack for the best strategy game ever created.As you may know that Rome Total War has received the Best Strategy Game reward from IGN.Barbarian Invasion focuses on the early Barbarian tribes and the events after the division of the Roman Empire.In this game the Roman Empire is now divided into Eastern and Western Roman Empire.The Eastern Empire is ruled from Rome and the Western is ruled from Constantinople.The biggest threat it faces in this game is from Persia, the land of the Sassanids.
RTW:Barbarian Invasion a new concept has been introduced called the horde.The horde is a vast barbarian army which can conquer almost any city even if it is fully garrisoned.It comprises multiple armies.A horde is formed when the last city of a Barbarian faction falls.The horde is very difficult to defeat and so far I have not been able to defeat one.There are several new barbarian factions out there namely the Saxoni,the Celts,the Franks,the Goths,Berbers,the Huns,the Alemanni and many more.Rome has become much weaker than it once was.There are also some historical battles to play.
At the start of the game all of the above factions except the Berbers are playable.So far I have really enjoyed this game.This game also does not require much powerful hardware with 512 MB RAM being enough.
Barbarian Invasion continues the tradtion of outstanding Total War expansions. There's so much new content packed into this one CD that it almost feels like a new game. You get 20 new factions, several new gameplay features, improved graphics (especially shadows; you'll notice a distinct improvement while playing in a forest or city), a vastly improved AI, and new campaign with the potential to last you months.
In case you haven't heard, Barbarian Invasion is hard. Very hard. Especially as the Western Roman Empire; it's by far the hardest campaign I've ever played, and I've played some pretty hard mods. I didn't understand how hard until I played it; as the Western Roman Empire bankruptcy and rebellions across half the Empire is a very real possibility, and very few cities start out with public order above 75% (Hell, not even Rome does.) It will take all of your managerial skills to pull the Roman empire out of its death spiral and muster a force strong enough to simply quell rebellions (which WILL flare up, no matter how hard you try) and defeat a small barbarian faction that threatens you at the start of the game. But this isn't nescessarily a bad thing; indeed, I've never played a more fun campaign.
The AI has also changed for the better. The list of improvements is far too long for me to say here, but let me just say, the difference is fairly substantial, and the game only improves because of it. Overall, the patch that is shipped out with the expansion is very good; certainly well above average.
The quality of the graphics, while marginally improved have not changed much; but that's not something you'd expect from an expansion anyway. The sound however, has barely changed at all whatsoever, and while the original game's soundtrack was both excellent and immersive it will leave people who bought the game a while ago wanting something more.
And, if you're into this kind of thing, there are tons of cool mods being released for the expansion, including an Asian fantasy mod (reserve your judgement until you see the absolutely orgasmic screenshots; the mod's name is Blue Lotus), a Medieval mod that should be released in a month or two, and a Lord of the Rings mod. So even if you get sick of playing Legionaire there is still plenty of content out there to keep you busy.
Overall, Barbarian Invasion is an excellent game and an great use of 20 quid, and also a great reason to pick up the original game if you haven't yet.
First of all it should be noted that this is an expansion pack for the exellent game 'Rome total war', designed and created by the same people as other titles such as Medievil total war and Shogun total war.
In the game you play as either the Eastern or Western Roman Empires fightng against the barbarian tribes of Francs and Huns (As well as some minor other ones). The strategy map is almost identical as you move around and attack much the same. The only exeption is with the 'Barbarian' tribes who once their homeland, i.e last territory, has been captured have the ability to form a horde. This includes the men who previously inhabited the town/city made into figting soldiers.
One excellent improvement i found was that the size of campaign attles really increased. The threat of having overun cities is tenfold and each battle (when playing as the romans) really is a fight for survival as hordes of men consistently appear on the borders. In this respect the gameplay is much improved.
To begin with the game is a bit disappointing however. It seems almost identical to that of the previous one except with different units. However once the game really gets going and you begin to tinker with your towns and unit production, the gameplay vastly improves. There is much more strategy involved as to where forts and armies are deployed, timing is also crucial. The variation in troops is also a great added bonus although it does get a bit unrealistic, such as ballista carrying chariots. There are also some nice effects such as night battlesand the ability to swim across rivers. In all a well thought out game which will provide plenty of lifetime.