Numantia – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy
Developer: Recotechnology S.L.
Publisher: Recotechnology S.L.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Numantia – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: -Beautiful 2D storytelling, interesting piece of history
Bad: -short story
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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History is always written by the victor; the Roman Empire was often victorious in many of the wars they fought. Excluding the many civil wars and the ones at the end which they lost that put an end to the Empire. Now the Empire is ready to strike back again in the heart of Spain for the Celtiberian Wars. Join us on a journey to a piece of history not often depicted in movies or games. Forget about Caesar, the coliseum and Cleopatra as this is where the real stuff happened.

numantia

Story

The story of Numantia covers about twenty years of warfare which is only a fraction of the history of the Roman Empire. From the beginning of the hostilities between Rome and Numantia, which is now known as Spain, up to the destruction of Numantia after the siege of Scipio Aemilianus. The story unfolds in 2D story boards accompanied by voice actors. There is a good chance you never heard of this anecdote in history, but if you know that the Roman Empire took complete control of Spain then you know how the Roman campaign is going to end. The main events are set in stone, however often, the player is given two choices which provide a slightly different outcome of minor events. For example, a patrol doesn’t return on time from its stroll in the nearby woods. It is bad weather they might be held up somewhere but since its hostile territory they might also be in trouble. Sending a second patrol after them puts those troop in danger as well but if you don’t, the original patrol will not survive an ambush. The outcome of your choice will give you extra units if you decided to go after them and actually, save them. The extra units aren’t game changers, they won’t win you the war but you can pat yourself on the back for taking the moral highway. The outcome always has a direct impact on the current situation and will not affect the main storyline in any way. This is a shame as the story is beautifully brought to the screen and it makes the players decisions less valuable. You can play the game from either end of the spectrum and both are worth playing but the overall length of the story is short and comes in rapid succession.

Graphics

The game features both 2D and 3D portions. The actual action takes place in 3D on a hexagonal tile map. Units are fully animated and even when zoomed out, one can distinguish between the several types of units, e.g. infantry, cavalry, ranged and artillery. We know a lot about the Roman army as they were very structured, historical accuracy is definitely taken into account but with a little bit of freedom. This was not always the case in the enemies they encountered, they aren’t always well documented. Numantia does a good job structuring and balancing the two factions and filling in the blanks. The 2D visuals and storytelling elements look amazing. We can excuse some of the 3D flaws because of the 2D. However, the contrast in style between the two does make you feel like you are playing two different games. The mix of 3D combat and a 3D world map with a 2D visualization of your camp makes for a strange mix.

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Sound

The sound is never intrusive or repetitive and does a good job during the battles to raise the tension. Sound effects for the different units are decent and will help you distinguish what is going on when bigger armies collide. On the world and base map, the music is softer and has more of a calming effect. Drums are ever present in the music at any stage.

Gameplay

Numantia is a turn-based strategy game set in the earlier days of the Roman Empire. You can play the game with the Roman Empire or the barbarians. The setup is similar except the end goal is the complete opposite. The game is played on three levels each accompanied by a different map, top level is the world map in 3D, here you get the global picture of what is going on. If you click on your base you go to a 2D presentation of your base camp. In this view we can select the buildings currently present in the camp, from here we can acquire more troops or assign extra items to specific squads. The final map Is the battle map, very recognizable for fans of the genre with its hexagonal tiles.

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Each battle has two phases, a deployment phase and an execution phase and you obviously star with the deployment of your troops. In this phase you position your troops, which is extremely important as units placed adjacent to each other or a leader unit receive bonusses. It’s also important but should go without saying that you should turn your units towards the enemy all while keeping an eye on your rear and flanks. You have to turn your unit in one of the six possible directions. This direction is of the utmost importance as units being attacked from behind or the flanks receive several penalties towards their defensive capabilities. Each unit present on the battlefield has an “initiative” parameter, calculated based on their overall stats. Cavalry for example has high initiative and they will almost always go first. This parameter will decide in what order troops can make moves. Once one of your troops is up it can do two things, move and attack. Once you attack with the unit, its turn is finished and the next unit is up. A unit can move a certain number of tiles without penalty however it can also be pushed to move and extra couple of tiles depending on the unit. This can be useful in both an offensive or defensive maneuver however the unit will suffer a penalty and its moral will drop, so use this option wisely. There is no point in retreating a few tiles further to avoid an attack if the moral if your troops drops below zero because of it, then they are doomed for sure.

numantia (1)

In the base, one can recruit new troops and equip existing ones with special items. While some games try to emotionally attach us to our units, Numantia does not. If a squad loses units during a fight they will just be refilled afterwards. Bestowing items unto your troops therefor feels less rewarding. You don’t feel bad about the pile of corpses as long as one squad member survives. Apparently, no one took Michael Ironside’s warning seriously and new recruits for the mobile infantry keep rolling in.

Conclusion

Considering Numantia has some severe competition from games developed by larger companies it does hold itself together and turns out to be an enjoyable game. The 3D graphics are decent but not top notch however the 2D visuals and storytelling largely make up for it. If you are looking to explore an interesting part of history which doesn’t get much mainstream attention, Numantia might be something for you, even though the story is rather short but it’s beautifully brought to the screen.

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Aliana
Aliana


I am an Illustrator/Artist who studies Concept Art and Game Design in my free time. Designing things is in my blood and I am always very curious in making games. Motivated and dedicated to become better in every way I can. You only live once an I intend to fully enjoy it! As for gaming itself I do prefer to play the following games: FPS, RPG, Action Adventure Games, Fighting Games, Hack and Slash.

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