by Vivendi UIP
Impressions Games have been kings of the resource management RTS games arguably since the release of the first Caesar game and definitely since the release of Caesar 3. Outclassing and, to be quite frank, ridiculing the Sim City games in every department. Caesar 3 kept me addicted for 12 months until the release of their next masterpiece that was Pharaoh. Pharaoh was quite a bit different to Caesar 3 but still had its quality and its addictiveness. Twelve months on and Zeus arrived. The interface had been streamlined, the objectives took less time to achieve but yet again the quality of the gameplay and the appeal remained as strong. All through the new releases I've still continued to go back to the previous ones which is the true mark of a gaming classic. Master of Atlantis - Poseidon is an expansion pack for Zeus and it retains all that which made Zeus a gaming classic whilst giving us the Atlantean side of the story.
Feature wise Poseidon is outstanding. There are six new adventures which range from 'The Birth of Atlantis' to 'Two Worlds Collide'. These six adventures contain a total 45 episodes which (depending on what difficulty you are playing at) offer at least 50-80 hours of gameplay. Adding to this are some stand alone episodes. Poseidon also comes with its own Adventure Editor (which potentially gives unlimited play). It is obvious that what we have here is a hell of a lot more than what we usually get in a standard expansion pack.
New buildings in the game reflect the difference in lifestyle between the Greeks and the Atlanteans. You can now build a Corral which is a slaughterhouse for cattle. You place the cattle in the meadows like you did with sheep in Zeus. You can also grow oranges and an Orange Tender's building which harvests them. Of course it wouldn't be Atlantis if you couldn't mine Orichalc, that mythical energy source which the Atlanteans used to great effect. You get to control the Atlantean navy as well as trade or do battle with the Mayans, Phoenicians and Egyptians. One of the finest additions, in my opinion, is that of the Hippodrome. This is basically a horse race track that you can build in any shape you want. When you have a horse ranch and four horses available you get to see horse races and Atlanteans cheering them on.
Atlanteans prefer science to culture so philosophy, gymnasiums and drama are out and bibliothekes, astronomy and technology are in. Observatories, laboratories, bibliothekes and museums are all available for building to aid the pursuit of scientific goals. Pyramids can now be built (not as daunting as they were in Pharaoh however) and black marble can now be quarried. Two new gods have also been added. Hera and Atlas join the two new heroes who are Bellerophan and Atalanta.
Like Caesar 3, Pharaoh and Zeus text feedback in Poseidon is immaculate. Everything that is verbal is subtitled in dialogue boxes that need to clicked off to continue. Mission objectives can be recalled at any time. The interface is superb and allows to see more information without the need to go to different screens like you have to in some games.
Poseidon is a work of art and raises the question 'how can Impressions Games continue to improve their games?' Another question is 'which historical age are they going to cover next?' All I can say is that I can't wait to find out as Poseidon, like all their other creations, is a true gaming masterpiece and a worthy addition to such a great software lineage.
Overall Game Rating: 9.3/10 A Masterpiece.
Quality of text: 10/10 Perfect.
Graphics: 8/10 2D graphics don't come much finer than this .
Interface:9/10 Wonderfully easy to control.
Gameplay: 10/10 Impressions really have mastered the resource management RTS.