Numantia - PS4 Review

Numantia is a turn-based strategy title set in ancient Rome, and despite the title having slipped under the radar a bit upon release, it is actually a really well-designed title that surprised me a bit with its strategic depth wide variety of troop options.

For fans of the genre, the overall gameplay will look almost immediately familiar. You have a top-down, hex-grid battlefield where troops are moved into position before launching attacks against the opposition. One of the key components to movement is to make smart decisions on which direction the unit is facing. This impacts your ability to attack but also defend.

Now, I'm used to playing games like this on the PC where you have a mouse and you simply point/click/drag to your heart's delight. I have played quite a few strategy games on consoles, but I was still curious to see if it was optimized for controllers, and I am happy to report that all is well on that front. For a game that requires a lot of selecting and menu navigation, Numantia handles pretty darned well with a controller in my hands. One visual nitpick is that the text in strategy games almost always is a bit of a pain when playing on a television. So many console / television setups have the user sitting several feet away, which can make lots of text a bit of a challenge to read, since most of the time this text seems to be made with gamers sitting a foot and a half from their monitors in mind. Numantia could be a bit of a challenge at times to read, but honestly that's no different than some of the bigger name strategy titles I have played on console like Romance of the Three Kingdoms or Nobunaga's Ambition either.

As for the visuals themselves, this is an indie game and it shows in all of the expected ways. The environments are colorful enough to help show off the seasons and scenarios, with green grass and white snow covered fields depending on the situation. Units are pretty easy to identify at a glance - which in my mind is a huge perk from a functionality standpoint. I would much rather have clear character graphics than risk getting confused and accidentally clicking on the wrong unit. As for the characters themselves, none of these animations are technical marvels, but they do a nice job of conveying the action as it takes place.

Like the visual effects, I would say the audio is equally solid if not great. The music fits the theme, never veering into offensive nor becoming among the most memorable tunes I have ever heard, but it always felt appropriate for the setting. Sound effects help to convey commands and actions taking place, without a ton of variety to them but not so repetitive and overused that they become annoying.

Despite a somewhat pedestrian presentation, Numantia holds up quite nicely on the strategy front. Set during 154 BC, you can pick from either of two sides (The Celtiberians of Numantia or the Roman Empire) as the two similarly structured but opposing campaigns play out. There are over two dozens types of units, and this is where Numantia gets to flex its muscles a bit. Whether you are using units that get to make moves earlier in the turn, ranged units, ones that are defensive-minded versus offensive, there are a lot of different strategies to be tried out and they are a lot of fun to tinker with. I did find myself falling into somewhat pattern-oriented play, and what I mean by that is once I found favorite units and strategies, I found that they had a tendency to work in most situations, and I am not sure I branched out my tactics a lot once I got about a third of the way into the game.

Still, a few new wrinkles get introduced here and there along the way, and the core mechanics of Numantia are well enough constructed that I found it quite easy to sink hours into the game. I have long been a fan of tactics titles, and Numantia delivers, even if it does so on something of a budget. There isn't much 'new' going on here, and that is not a bad thing. Numantia is a comfortable game that sits in a genre I enjoy quite a bit. It could probably have used more modes and variety, but the overall package is a fun one that most tactics fans will enjoy.

Some other options along the way such as going to Market to spend some earnings, coming at the storyline from two different perspectives and a fantastic setting (ancient Rome is definitely among my favorite historical time frames)

Game Information

Numantia, Recotechnology S.L.
Numantia, Recotechnology S.L.
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
Xbox One

Provided by Publisher

Article by Nick


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