Reviewed on Xbox One; Also available on PlayStation 4 and PC.
I had no idea that Numantia was based from true events until after I had actually finished the campaign; Was it close to the true events? Did this make any difference? Let’s find out!
Numantia is a turn-based strategy game based on the true historical events that occurred between Rome and the city of the same name, telling the story of the Numantine War between 143-133 BC.
Providing a rich narrative with two campaigns, this intense strategy game is full of emotion and vigor. Giving you the perspective of both the Celtiberian’s and the Roman’s, giving greater depth to the historical and somewhat fictional story you will embark on.
I really enjoyed the gameplay mechanics in Numantia, shifting back and forth from top down, turn-based strategy to a somewhat ‘game book’ where you make decisions based on a narrative or situation you are given.
The game is played on a board of hexadic spaces in which you can move your units, each unit offering unique abilities to use to your hearts content. Each unit has its own health, attack and movement which you will need to consider when moving around the playing field, it’s not as simple as moving in and attacking as I so quickly learned. They don’t call this a strategy game for nothing! You will soon realise how in depth Numantia actually is; For example, being surrounded by enemies will cause you to take more damage but having more units near to you will help you to flank your enemies and cause greater damage.
They type of units you control depends on which campaign you choose ranging from general swordsmen, horse riders, archers and even the odd elephant. All are upgradable and come with different strengths and weaknesses, again, forcing you to think about how you are playing each unit otherwise it could potentially lead to the death of that unit and let me tell you, they are not cheap to replace. You also have ‘hero’ units which are usually a lot stronger than base units and have a lot more health but are a lot more damaging to your ‘army’ if you lose them, the best approach is to have the heroes protected at all costs.
When out of combat you will be in your City, making important decisions and building up your army in the Barracks. The decisions you have to make can be tough and damaging to your city, such as choosing to side with a certain persons strategy which can gain or lose morale in your city, injure troops so they can’t be used for a certain amount of time or even losing resources.
Now, Numantia’s graphics aren’t going to be the best that you have seen but with the majority of the game being played top-down it doesn’t need to be the best, in fact, it’s barely noticeable, you will be more worried about your troops than what you are actually looking at. You can zoom right up to your characters during combat and what you see isn’t bad, maybe compared to todays standards it is but honestly, it was something I didn’t really take any notice of. I got lost in the gameplay, in the combat.
Again, not much in the way of sound. There’s a really nice sounding piece of music on any menu’s but that is about it. Again, I suppose this isn’t really needed. This is a strategy game after all. I would have liked there to have been a little more in terms of combat sounds though.
I had a lot of fun with Numantia, I really enjoyed playing through each campaign and really getting a incite to how each side differs, I also liked how each story intertwines with one another. Is it the best strategy game I’ve ever played? Well no, but I enjoyed it none the less, it mixes emotional story-telling with intense, challenging gameplay in equal measure. If you are a fan of the genre than you should definitely give this one a go.