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Rome: Total War

Friends, Romans, countrymen. Lend me your ADSL connections

Activision was proudly showing off Rome's multiplayer aspects at the show, even though, currently, there's only one type of mode - kill everything and everyone that's not on your side, just like in single-player. However, you can have up to eight generals and four teams battling each other on a single map.

We tried out a two-on-two play test, first selecting our factions from a choice of 12, picking our troops - which we decided upon with our team mates to make sure we had a balanced force - and then arranging our armies on the battlefield.


Once hostilities commenced, we liaised over a voice communication system with our comrades, meaning we could converse without the eavesdropping scumbag enemy - who sat opposite - overhearing our plans. We agreed that he'd hold a solid wall of spearmen backed up by archers on a ridge in order to suck the enemy in, while we would wheel round the back of our opponents with the cavalry and decimate their unsuspecting forces.

It worked like a dream. The cavalry charges were staggering, with horses flattening scores of enemies with their awesome impact and the game flowing more smoothly than malt whiskey at a Scotsman's birthday party.

What's more, because the only information being sent from one machine to the next is the occasional order, online games are set to run every bit as smoothly as the seamless LAN games.