Once upon a time, eight years or so ago to be exact, a team worked on a prototype for a new Call of Duty set in ancient Rome. Activision, happy with the success of their franchise at the time, were willing to branch out, and asked some studios to experiment.
Were they entertained by what they saw in the Roman Wars demo they received from the one? It seems so, but sadly, that project went no further than that one short showcase.
Hang on, let that sink in – we could have had a Call of Duty that featured no pewpew weapons? Yeah, apparently such a project existed. Details on it have now surfaced thanks to a source who actually worked on it. He shared a quick history of Roman Wars over on a GamesRadar.
“You were going to play a lead centurion, you were going to play a grunt and you were going to play all the way up to Julius Caesar himself; so you were going to be a commander. You were going to fight against the Germans and the Germanic Tribes and really stay true to the history of Julius’ conquests during the Gallic Wars.
You were going to jump around from officers to low grunts to Caesar and get a little variety of all of those little battles, so you’d play an archer here, you’d play a cavalry over in this phase. And it was going to stay true to the Call of Duty franchise in that jumping around, playing those different characters and getting a whole feel of the overall battle during those times.”
Roman Wars certainly looks like it could’ve been an interesting addition to the franchise. It made its way all the way to the desk of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, but sadly, that’s where development ground to a halt.
At least we still have some kind of idea what the game would’ve played like thanks to Ryse: Son of Rome – another game in set in the same era. Interestingly enough, that’s not what became of Roman Wars. That was an entirely different project lead by a completely different team.
The Call of Duty franchise meanwhile, seems headed further into the future with each iteration. I wonder when Activision will decide that it’s time for a drastic change? EA have already taken their first steps with Battlefield 1.
Last Updated: July 6, 2016