Games that really engage, like Legion Arena, are rare for me these days. I have played so many games that most are easy to master and I can blow through them quickly. Legion Arena, on the other hand, is a game I held back on reviewing because of the fact I wanted an excuse to play it some more.
This game has many qualities I look for in a game. It is easy to begin, to get into, and it holds your attention well. The fact the game is quite stunning to behold rather helps as well.
Legion Arena is a RTS game where you play the commander, with groupings of fighting men, as they fight their way across the Roman Empire for the glory of Rome. You get to suppress rebellions by those who might not exactly like being under the Roman yoke and relight battles from Rome’s history.
The battles in Gaul are most enjoyable. As you might expect, the more battle-hardened your men get, the better they fight and listen to your orders. After you have finished crushing Rome’s enemies, including internal ones, then you are able to play the Celts and wreak holy havoc on the Romans and others.
You are able to equip your men with better and better armour (though not game-killing unreasonable stuff) while, at the same time, training them for their eventual battle encounters. For instance, I would strongly advise you make sure at least one of your units can handle the sight of armour clad elephants coming at you.
Watching your best squad of men run away from these brutes does nothing for the morale of your army, or you as the player.
The game does, however, have two settings — arcade and normal.
Graphically, the game is quite impressive -- whether it be the cut-scenes, which, incidentally, reflect how you have placed your men including their formations, showing you a little about the field of battle and its history, or the in-game action itself.
It runs quite nicely on my MacBook 1.83 MHz Duo-Core with 512 MB RAM, though I suspect it will be even better once I tweak the machine to 2 GB of RAM. As with many such things, it rather helps to have as much RAM as possible, especially when playing online.