Do you know what it's like to line up thousands of Roman troopsfrom the legionnaires to the attack dogsand bring them thundering down on your enemies? If you've had the chance to play Rome: Total War (for PC; $49.99), the best real-time strategy game yet made, the answer is yes
The level of battlefield detail is amazing, going far beyond previous Total War titles, set in medieval Europe and imperial Japan. You can direct the entire bloody battle from a distance or zoom in and see the reflection in a single soldier's helmet.
You will need plenty of political skill too. Playing as the head of a top Roman householdthe Julii, the Bruti or the Scipiiyour job is to bring barbarians to heel while solidifying your power in the Senate. Your family tree is vitally important, as all its male members are generals who rally your armies on the battlefield as well as potential Senate officeholders. Manage your provinces well, avoid the assassins, and you're on your way to being the next Caesar.
Ideal for: Battle-loving history buffs
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