If there’s a perfect indication of just how far tech has come in the last decade, it’s probably this: ROME: Total War‘s Barbarian expansion, running at full pelt with all the bells and whistles from the PC version, on a phone.
ROME: Total War got a mobile re-release last year, but what’s good to see is that ROME‘s expansions, which introduce the idea of religion, barbarian hordes, and Alexander the Great later on, are being brought over to mobile as well. (The expansion is already available on iPad, which can run the game at 120fps at full pelt, and you can even import old saves from the PC version of the game.)
Barbarian Invasion is being brought over first, and the developers showed off the mobile gameplay through a livestream early this morning. The graphics are relatively flat to account for the scale that Total War needs, but the battles play pretty smoothly. The developers added that ROME will run at higher default settings than what the PC version did at launch (which, to be fair, was in 2004).
The gameplay and maximum number of units in a battle is exactly the same as the original version, but you can use your finger to select groups and draw attack routes. Half speed, which was added into Medieval 2: Total War, is part of the Android/iOS port, and you can zoom out further than what the original PC version allowed.
The Barbarian expansion launches on Friday, while the Android version is due for release in June.