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Expeditions: Rome

Platform(s): PC
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Logic Artists
Release Date: Jan. 20, 2022

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PC Preview - 'Expeditions: Rome'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Jan. 2, 2022 @ 1:00 a.m. PST

Expeditions: Rome is a classic turn-based RPG, full of story and memorable characters.

Expeditions: Rome is set during the height of the Roman Empire. You play as a Legatus (male or female), who is sent away from home by their mother after their father's mysterious death. This is an attempt to keep you safe, but you inevitably end up in the middle of some of the biggest battles in the history of Rome as you attempt to make a name for yourself. Early events make it clear that this isn't the standard history of Rome, and rather than being a nameless nobody, you have the potential to become the most important figure in the empire's history.

Expeditions: Rome's combat is turn-based and largely focuses on building the perfect team of soldiers. A big part of this is that the game doesn't feature traditional "standard" attacks. Instead, your abilities are determined almost entirely by the equipment you have. Different equipment types have different possible attacks, which means that you're not working with a set job skill tree but are making jobs that feel most natural to your play style.


For example, you can create a character that focuses on single combat. This character may be able to issue duels or lock down a single foe, preventing them from targeting other allies. This is war, so you don't have to play fair; while that enemy is locked down, you can use your other characters to defeat them. On the other hand, you could create a shield user. Shields have a limited amount of "HP" that replenishes, which gives them immense durability but makes it easy to overextend and be in a bad situation, but it also makes them great as a front-line tool for units that don't want to be in the fray.

There's a ton of flexibility in how your characters play. While you can sort of divide the game into Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, Support and Tank, each role can go a lot of ways. For example, the ranged DPS Sagittarius class can focus on crowd control, sniping from a distance, or a riskier multi-hit, close-range style. Support can be a healer or buffer, but they also can be a dangerous damage-dealing class that focuses on weakening enemy defenses.

Combat plays out very much like a fantasy version of X-COM. You have the standard limited movement and action points, where moving too far means you can't act. The game is flexible, and instead of having action points, you have movement and action points, so you can have an archer move closer, attack, and then retreat in the same turn. There's a lot of familiarity here, so it's very easy to just pick up and play the game.


Combat isn't all there is to Expeditions: Rome. Your actual job is to run your own legion. While this may sound like something that fits more in a big real-time strategy game, that isn't quite the case. You largely need to focus on maintaining a functioning stable of food, resources, soldiers and supplies via missions and character interactions. While there are larger battles, they take place within the context of the smaller X-COM-style fights. There's a lot to juggle, from making sure your best soldiers are happy to crafting new equipment and armor to stay on top of things. There might even be romance in the cards.

Expeditions: Rome looks like a very interesting take on the turn-based strategy RPG genre. It doesn't go for realism and instead focuses on the fantasy of commanding your own legion and being a figure of historical proportions. It was engaging because it avoids the common "history fantasy" feeling of effectively being powerless to change things. The full game will be released on Jan. 20, 2021.



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