|a game by||Impressions Games|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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The excellent Caesar III proved to be one of the creeper hits of last year, reducing at least one member of the ZONE team to a husk, and racking up an impressive 400,000 sales in the process. In the current climate, the obvious thing to do next would be to change a couple of typefaces, redesign the box and call it Caesar IV. However, veteran developers Impressions have decided not to go down that route (not yet, anyway), and have spent the interim period slaving away on the forthcoming Pharaoh, pictures of which adorn this page for your visual stimulation.
Have you had a look? What sort of game do you think it is, then? A first-person-shooter? A future sport simulation? Of course not. Impressions make real-time strategy games, and Pharaoh should slot comfortably into their highly successful city-building series. Set in ancient Egypt (as you might have guessed) during the period when the great pyramids were built, this city simulation game enables you to create majestic Egyptian cities, build large monuments, and farm at the mercy of the Nile River.
Set in Old, Middle and New Kingdom Egypt, the game spans the period from 2900 to 700 BC, and the campaigns correspond roughly to the historical ages. Building pyramids clearly plays a big part, as does harnessing the power of the Nile, with seasonal flooding adversely affecting the daily routines of the local inhabitants. Those inhabitants include dancers, jugglers, papyrus makers, hunters and embalmers, all adding to the rich tapestry of Egyptian life, and all at your mercy. Primitive villages can be built into thriving metropolises, or your poorly managed city can be pillaged or burnt to the ground. Manage it well and ultimately the greatest Egyptian structures will be built in your honour. Which is nice.
Pharaoh claims to include many features never seen before in a citybuilding series game, including a farming model based on the flooding of the Nile, naval warfare, giant monuments that are assembled over time, and a unique dynastic progression. It looks great, but if all they've done is throw a few sphinxes into the Caesar III engine then there'll be uproar among the masses, or at least some embittered grumbling by a clutch of angry loners. Impressions are not known for cocking things up though, so for now we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Bring it on.