You can play the latest games torrents. At the Gates doesn’t pit you as the pious defender of the Empire, but as the invader. You play as the barbarians, a roaming band of raiders who need to either take down Rome or Constantinople to win. In some ways this makes At the Gates a much more military focused game than, say, Civilization, but Shafer told IGN in a recent interview that how you achieve victory is much more complex than just raising an army. You might play the two Empires off one another, using their conflicts to your advantage to seize a key city, or doing quests for them in order to earn favor and weaken one at a key time.
The barbarians also play very differently than civilizations in Civ V. While the Roman empires have to deal with permanent towns, the barbarians form temporary camps they can move around as their campaign progresses. If they conquer a Roman city they then have to decide whether or not to settle it, meaning they have to deal with a rooted settlement, or simply raze it to the ground. The barbarians alo have eight different factions to play as, all of which are being developed to have specific strengths.
The reason barbarian mobility plays such an important role is due to the way At the Gates handles resources. Most games in the genre simply let you harvest specific resources off of tiles, and they’ll pretty much provide their yield until the end of time. In At the Gates resources are finite, and the intent is to have things become more and more precious as time goes on, encouraging conflicts.
The other key thing that Shafer emphasized during our interview was map evolution — notably when it comes to seasons. Every turn in At the Gates is a month, and as you progress through a year you’ll have to contend with weather changes. For instance a river tile that provides an impassable barrier for an invasion in the summer might become a weakly defended point of access when it freezes over in the winter. Crops will also fair poorer in the cold seasons, so a savvy leader will prepare for this, or use it as a means of starving the competition.
At the Gates’ hexagon tiles should be familiar to anyone who has played Shafer’s Civ V. Shafer wants to continue using hexagons because it presents more opportunity for creating choke points, and gives fewer directions for units to move. Combat effectiveness in At the Gates comes down to unit strength, morale, and how damaged it is. Losing a battle harms morale, but units will regain it over time as long as they’re adequately supplied (emphasizing again the importance of staying mobile and making sure you’re not getting caught without resources).