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Numantia (Xbox)

Developed by RECO Technology, Numantia is available now on PC for £14.99, PS4 for £24.99 and Xbox One for £23.99! I don’t understand why Numantia is as much as £10 more on the console as it is exactly the same game and was released around the same time across each platform. I appreciate that there are costs involved when releasing on console but I think there are a lot of people who would be put off buying this game because of this.

Numantia is a turn-based strategy game based on the events which took place in 153 B.C during the expansion of the Roman Republic in the Iberian Peninsula.

The first thing I did was play the tutorial which is a completely natural thing most gamers would do in order to get a feel for the game and learn any controls needed. Now, you may think this pedantic and unnecessary but it took me literally a couple of minutes before I spotted my first grumble. A typo. This may not matter to some but it does to me, especially when you are expected to read chunks of text at a time to learn everything and then once into the game, to keep up to date with the entire story. Spelling mistakes scream out to me that the game developers never even played their own game, which doesn’t sit right with me. In a game costing up to £25, I expect attention to detail, particularly when it’s a game that is attempting to be factually correct about actual events.

There are two campaigns available to play and you get to choose which you do first and the Roman Republic campaign seems to be a vast amount easier than the Numantian campaign, so I would highly recommend playing through the Roman campaign missions first so that you can get a proper feel for the game. There is a tutorial which will give you the basics of combat but even after playing the tutorial, it took me a little while to get used to the whole mechanics of the game. There are two difficulties to choose between, either normal or hard and I’ll be honest with you, even on normal difficulty, I found it to be pretty tough for most of the time.  

With 23 total campaign chapters (12 in the Numantian campaign and 11 in the Roman Republic campaign) you will need to manage your base camp, make important decisions and win your battles outside.

I really liked the layout of the base camps and how you can go to the different parts of the base camp such as the barracks or the marketplace in order to improve your troops. There are events which take place both inside the base camp as well as outside where you are sometimes faced with quite conflicting decisions to make which could either bring a good reward such as a boost in morale or receiving a new troop unit or an awful reward such as a drop in morale.

The combat, as already mentioned, is turn-based and is quite complex but after a while, you do get used to the mechanics involved. It is heavily strategic and you gain bonuses from attacking from behind or flanking. Morale effects how much damage your troops will be able to inflict on the enemy and can increase if you have troops next to each other as well as defeating enemy troops.

In all honesty, I feel that it could have been implemented in a much more interesting and captivating way. As it stands, it is quite plain and simple, with not very much to look at, at all. The map looks great, it is colourful, well drawn and easy to traverse which just emphasises how dull the combat screens actually are. The combat itself incredibly slow paced with no way of speeding it up which I think is a bit of a letdown. Having said that, it is well animated and I quite like the sound effects of the swords and the ranged weapons but the rest of the game lacks any real sounds and the actual background music is quite understated with very little voice acting throughout.

The game does run very smoothly, without any framerate issues and loading screens are fairly short which is definitely a blessing. Controls are simple and easy to pick up, it is primarily the actual workings of the game that will take a little longer to fully comprehend. There is also an “Arena” mode where you can practice and try out some strategies against AI or against a friend playing local co-op!

There is an autosave feature in Numantia but I would definitely recommend manually saving prior to battles (and after any battles!) because if you lose you may end up having to start all over again from the very beginning. If you are in a battle which you literally can’t win because your troops just aren’t good enough then you can’t back out and retry later, you’re stuck in the battle! I’ve tried countless times and I still can’t find a way of retreating so I just assume at this point that it is just not possible to do. At least if you save often enough, you can back out and load an earlier save in the hopes that you can go in again with a better plan.

Overall, it took a while for me to really get into Numantia and it is not the type of game you could realistically play for hours on end. Even for a turn-based game, the gameplay feels quite slow and you don't feel like you're accomplishing much. If I had to give it a score then it would be 5/10, nothing really blew me away but it’s a decent strategy game nonetheless. Numantia feels like a game that is honestly much better suited to the PC with a mouse setup rather than console and for £10 less, I’d probably recommend getting the game on Steam rather than on console for that reason alone!

Numantia has a huge 54 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. There are progression based achievements for playing through both campaigns and there are a great number of fabulously imaginative achievements which I really like and will likely need a couple of playthroughs of each campaign (unless you use the save game feature to help you out!). If you need any help or guidance with any of the achievements then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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