Ancient Wars: Sparta - hands-on

Although it does things by the book for the most part, Ancient Wars: Sparta does manage to add a few twists to the rock steady real-time strategy genre. Set between 300 BC and 700 AD, Sparta promises to give you a lesson in history and ass kicking with the ability to control armies from the Roman, Persian, or Egyptian empires.

But don’t expect any major differences between these three armies that would cater to different play styles. Whether you’re skewering an enemy with a Roman Spartan’s long sword or slicing an infidel with a Persian Noble’s scimitar, you’ll need to construct the same buildings and research the same upgrades to produce these equivalent fighters.

Still, Sparta does try to shake things up a bit by making weapons and armor that drop from fallen soldiers a resource like wood and gold. You can use your worker units to collect these items, effectively turning each battlefield into a resource mine to further fund your war efforts. These spoils of war can be used to offset the high costs of equipping fighters at your training facilities - a hand-me-down sword pulled from an enemy's body carves through flesh just as well as one you bought at the factory. It also adds an interesting dimension to the genre, as you might find yourself battling against enemy soldiers who use the very equipment you worked so hard to upgrade - lifted from the corpses of your own soldiers - if you’re not careful.


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