Review: 'Numantia' (PS4)

Review: 'Numantia' (PS4) RECOTECHNOLOGY S.L

Games based on actual history don't pop up too often. And when they do, like in the Assassin's Creed series, it can be all over the place in terms of realism and accuracy. But, as Numantia showed, it doesn't really mean a lot when you reuse a combat system a million other games have used and lack in graphics.

134 B.C. Numantia, present day Spain. You are either a Numantian warrior defending the city against the Romans, or as a Roman, wanting to take Spain for the Empire. By using all the military units you have and strategy, you need to protect/sack the city and keep it from getting into the hands of the other. There are lots of little bits playing I can mention, but this is generally the story. And it's fine. Considering it's historically based, it gives you a little extra determination for your side. Plus, having a historical plot is always a great way to start things, because, most of the time, there's always emotional investment going in based on what we know, as Numantia shows.

Playing on the PS4, the controls were fairly easy. I had some trouble directing and moving and pretty much everything, since I was more used to this style on the computer. But after a few hours, I got how to do it pretty good. A few of the controls aren't exactly intuitive, but it will soon burn into you what does what.

The graphics were a bit dated. It looked like something from a Civilization or Age of Empires game from 10-15 years ago. The honeycomb grid is back apparently. The ground is recognizable (sorta), but not very detailed. Along the same lines, any warriors or generals you have are recognizable, but only to the extent they were a few Civ games ago. The art used for all of them is fine, but that's still art. This is a video game, and for graphics, you really want something more.

The gameplay is pretty simple and should be recognizable to anyone who's done combat in recent Civ games. You have troops and fight in the honeycomb grid. You also need to strategize, and honestly, that's the big chunk of the game – keeping tabs of what you have and pushing them off to where you want them. It's petty effective. It's not original – as many a game/video game has done this exact thing, right down to being turn based. Still works though.

The music and sound were fine. The music is typical ancient-adventure fare, with a special flair of dramatic violins and drums. It always feels like a big battle is looming, despite a big battle actually possibly happening at the time.. It fits, but I was hoping for more variance. As for sound, I was fine with all the sounds like the clicks and little 'boom' noise of choosing someone. A few were out of place, and the voices sound like a bad history channel show, but overall, adequate.

I didn't notice any glitches, but the frame rate was a bit off at times. It took awhile to respond, or the sounds were a bit ahead of actions and things like that. It's not the highest res game either, so this shouldn't happen. But it did. It can get annoying after awhile.

Numantia is, overall, a little behind the times. It's still a good turn based combat game, with a really unique setting in Roman Era- Spain, and awesome real world people (Scipio Africanus!). The decisions you make are both militant and diplomatic. But the graphics and un-innovative combat system hold it back. It doesn't kill my like for it, but it would really pull me out of whatever I was doing. I'd prepare for a big attack....then I'd have to see blurry figures go to a honeycomb and make it seem like a game from quite some time ago. Numantia is historical in more than one way.

Final score: 7.5 out of 10

A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.

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