Expeditions: Rome demo out

Regarding Julius Caesar:

He will die in Mytilene regardless of what you do. As mentioned, you’re basically stepping into Caesar’s shoes.

I think the idea makes sense, though I find the representation of Caesar annoying. This is a person who has lived through bloody purges in Rome, been High Priest of Jupiter (and stripped of the office again), had his inheritance and wife’s dowry stripped from him and still stood up against Sulla, been on the run and survived before starting his military career in the provinces. Whatever that character in the start of the story is supposed to be, he has very little in common with JC.

It kind of makes me less eager to try the game. We’re gifted with such a wealth of personal correspondence from this period (especially from Cicero) which gives us a unique insight into the “notables” of the period, so I’m loath to see which other characters they’ve butchered.

Brett Devereaux wrote up a look at the historical accuracy/verisimiltude of Expeditions:Rome. He was not very impressed.


Collections: Expeditions: Rome and the Perils of Verisimilitude – A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry (acoup.blog)

Incidentally, thank you to whoever it was that pointed out Devereaux’s blog. He’s really good at writing about history in an understandable way.

Next you’re gonna tell me Hogan’s Heroes wasn’t an accurate depiction of WW2

So you are saying Expeditions: Rome is the Hogan’s Heroes of “Historical” RPG 'Puter games?

I would reply but I am panting through my nose with outrage at discovering that Pac-Man is not, in fact, a historical representation of the Falklands War.

I knew I’d come to regret getting this Ph.D. in History one day.

I think I regretted mine about the time I got it.

I regretted mine before I got it, and jumped ship to IR.

I did the opposite. Went to Virginia to get a Ph.D. in History, jumped to Foreign Affairs and got a Masters, then not having learned my lesson some years later went back to Georgia to get the Ph.D. in History. Doh.

Tell me you didn’t read the (excellent) article without telling me you didn’t read the article.

If the latest Halo game doesn’t resemble real warfare or Stardew Valley doesn’t simulate the real economics of farming, that isn’t a problem because those games never really claimed to do that.

Most of the stuff he points out in that article is unfortunately evident already from the demo.

The choice of Dynastic Egyptians (again) is not something I expected, though. I thought people had learned their lesson from the awful Rome: Total War…

Expeditions Rome didn’t claim anything. The Rome stuff is flavoring. Theme. It’s like space demons in Doom or dragons in Dungeons & Dragons. (And if it HAD claimed anything, anyone who believed it would be a very silly person.)

The author of the article doesn’t buy that and neither do I. He makes a very good case in the first portion of that article that Expeditions: Rome is selling itself as historically accurate and has gone to a great deal of effort to put on that veneer.

His argument is that it uses some Latin words (sprinkled on English like literal flavoring on food), it uses real historical characters (all palling around in a way that is obviously fiction), and the graphics are “realistic” (lol). That argument is hilarious. But he’s literally just saying “because it uses this as flavoring, it claims to be realistic.”


But we all agree that Expeditions: Rome is ahistorical! Let’s move on!

But it’s also that media that depicts history should have a responsibility to depict it accurately, and not cherry pick bits that seem cool.

Or on a deeper level that propagate misinformation about the period, like the statue thing.

Devereaux mentioned in the preamble that the post wasn’t a review, but it still worked very well as one for my purposes. It seems that everything that bothered me in the demo is still present by the end game and the most notable new feature that didn’t get featured much in the demo—the large-scale battles—is underdeveloped and unengaging. Disappointing, but not unexpected.

I really don’t get how we can even try discussing the supposed historical accuracy of a game that lets you lead legions as a woman… * On the plus side: I now know what verisimilitude means!

Anyway, interesting read. He isn’t wrong, but even as an archaeologist who used to specialise in the Roman period (forgot most of it after graduating though) I don’t mind. It’s a game with a historical flavour, of course it isn’t accurate!

*edit: for the record: personally I’m fine with that and I will probably use that option when I ever get to play the full game. It’s just so obviously historically wrong that I don’t see the value in discussing other aspects…