ok let's get started.... today we have a special guest from our
friends over at the Outer-Edge. Chris Weishaar is going to do
a head 2 head review with us today on Zeus: Master of Olympus.
Thanks for the intro Mish. As you said, we are looking Zeus, the
latest installment in Impressions Games popular city-building
series. Zeus is based on Greek Mythology and all the legends contained
within. In the game you deal with not only everyday city life,
but the gods, goddesses, monsters and heroes themselves.
ok...i liked the game. the houses, the various industries, the
houses, the landscape, even the gods and goddesses are very well
detailed. The colours are nice. it is a good thing that impressions
changed the overall colour scheme to aquas from the bland browns
the gods prancing through my city like it is a Santa Claus
Day parade makes me laugh!"
I agree there. Although the visuals are not a huge change from
Pharaoh, there is enough difference in animations, terrains, structures
and color schemes to give Zeus a much more pleasing and polished
look. I especially enjoyed the special effects, such as when a
Hades appears and is surrounded by fire and smoke, or Zeus' clouds
Yes!! And i love the humour. Seeing the gods prancing through
my city like it is a Santa Claus day parade makes me laugh! Yes
Hades is impressive as are the other gods. But when they take
their vengeance on you, watch out! They will do it and there is
nothing you can do but sit back and watch them. I have laughed
my ass off so many times while playing this game. When right-mouse-button
clicking into your people's minds, you read some of the funniest
things. I peeked into the mind of one of my lumberjacks and he
retorted: "...i'm a lumberjack and I'm OK" i almost died laughing!!
I know exactly what you mean! I have made sure I listened to every
type of citizen in my city. Each one has a different saying and
some are down right hilarious. I have to honestly say I did not
think the workers voices were all topnotch, but I loved the gods,
heroes and monsters. They just seem to personify them so well.
Oh yeah they were great! This is a great game but i have to say
that i found it UNUSUALLY easy to play. It felt like i was making
so much progress and....I WAS! I have never felt that way before.
i have this impression (the upcoming pun is not intended) that
Impressions overheard that Caesar 3, Pharoah and the Cleo exp.
were hard and decided to drop the difficulty level a bit. Usually
i struggle with my blossoming city on normal mode but now it just
felt as if Impressions took the existing game model and
trimmed the fat"
That is true. Zeus plays much easier than Pharaoh. I felt as if
Impressions took the existing game model and trimmed the fat.
There are fewer everything: industries, military structures, food
ventures. But, this all makes the game simpler to play AND enjoy.
I liked the feeling of knowing I didn't need to check up every
minute on each industry. It allowed me time to build new areas
or focus on what I enjoyed the most: The sanctuaries of the gods.
Yes that is it...you are right. It does feel like there is less
of everything. you had a natural disaster occur in your playing,
right? i never did. But i had gods attack me to no end! ahhhh,
the sanctuaries....you build one, you have to build them all.
There is just one thing that bothers me. Why? Why create a game
that is just so much like their other ones? If it was not so damn
fun this game probably would not have gotten a second glance from
I agree with the cookie cutter feel of it. But, I also love the
game, so no complaints here. I also feel as though the gameplay
is deeper than Pharaoh, despite the lack of options. As you said,
I encountered a natural disaster in one scenario. I actually had
a lava flow enter town and demolish a whole neighborhood. Not
only was the land ruined for that scenario, but the whole campaign.
Another example is the multiple possibilities with the mythology
aspect. Not only can you build sanctuaries to certain gods in
each scenario, but they will show up trying to woo you. Other
times, gods will come and attack like you said. Certain gods can
repel others, while others let them run wild. This applies to
the monsters as well. I even encountered Zeus giving me a quest
to find the golden fleece. I had to build a hall for Theseus and
get him to do it. All these gameplay options makes the game highly
addictive and replayable, despite the trimmed down features.
This game has lots of replayability potential. You can sit and
play one map/campaign for hours and then move on to the next one
for another few hours. My fave are the sandboxes. There are a
few different types where you just go into the map and build and
build to your heart's content. They are open concept maps but
each one stresses on an infrastructure a bit more than the others.
I was surprised to see that the gods had little side projects
for me to handle. And i was so glad that i did not have to plan
and schedule festivals like in pharoah....oh how many Egyptian
gods wanted to wipe my little cities clear off of the map b/c
i forgot a festival. That brings me to another point (and a reiteration
of yours), the gods are much more personable. They have bodies
not just demands. and as you said, they woo you.
The gods being more personable make the game as a whole more so.
It feels more like a mythology game when they gods appear in your
city, or defend it for you from invaders. As you said, there is
no need to plan festivals. The sanctuaries take care of everything
you need. Although, should you not have food for sacrifices, it
is possible to still anger the gods. To stress your point about
playing for hours, I agree you 100%. I also found it possible
to play the scenarios for as much or as little as you wish. Some
scenarios are easy to complete, but you may not want to because
in campaigns, the cities carry over. This makes city management
and efficiency a must. Something Pharaoh lacked as you could build
"just enough to get by." One of the things I found great about
playing for hours on end was the great music included. Zeus has
some of the calmest, most peaceful music I have heard in a simulation
game. It makes the experience pleasant and very enjoyable.
has some of the calmest, most peaceful music i have heard
in a simulation game..."
I have to agree with you on the music...very nice choice. Some
people do not even notice the music but i take it seriously. I
think music can make or break a game and i thought this soundtrack
I also believe good music is a must. Bad music can and does ruin
a good experience in a game. Impressions games got it right though,
so no harm done. In fact, the only thing in the game I was disappointed
with, was a lack of interaction amongst gods. They will fight
invading gods, monsters and such, but never squabble with each
other in a city. I would have once liked Athena to be walking
and run into Ares, causing the two to fight it out, destroying
parts of the city in the process. This would have made city layout
more important in the game. As is though, if you can build the
sanctuary, they will come... peacefully.
That is so true!! i have only seen the gods fight invading gods...i
have not seen them fight amongst themselves. I too would have
liked to produce my own mini-Illiad out there on the field. That
would have been wicked. Well as a classicist, i have to say that
it is reasonably accurate (no, gods did not walk through the streets
in the ancient times :D). Overall i think that the game is really
good. i love the humour and the fun. this game surprised me....i
did not expect it to be as much fun as it was. Unfortunately,
i have to take into consideration that the game is not that original.
It has been done not once but a few times before it in almost
the same way. This game is for someone who really enjoyed the
others and cannot get enough of the genre or for someone starting
out in the genre that is, someone who has never played a simulation.
I am with you on the liking the game. I think it is the best in
the series so far. It is highly addicting and entertaining. Even
though it is very similar to other titles, I still think Zeus
shines as one of the best. The strongest point for me was the
that Zeus is a great game for both the hardcore fan and the casual
gamer, like you said. It is easy to play and learn, but there
is a lot of deeper gameplay options if you pursue them.