by Rebecca G
Sometimes it seems that total war games are just made in and around a Roman setting. The setting in the series has everything that’s required – loads of power hungry emperors fighting each other, close tactical battle from the time before gun powder and the sheer sense that a small gain or a small set back for one faction could drastically alter the balance of power.
In your quest to conquer Ancient Europe, you groom generals and warlords for command, curb the political machinations of your rivals, and launch legions of soldiers through the streets and countryside as you spread your influence. Total War: Rome II masters the tension caused by the ebb and flow of violence on both epic and personal scales; held back by a smattering of minor technical issues, it’s an excellent sequel that manages to build upon the sterling reputation of its predecessors while carving out a unique place in the strategy game pantheon.
The emergent narrative is what makes this game fantastic. Battle mechanics, movement, balance. These are petty concerns. The game forms itself around your decisions to tell an alternative history. As your guide you have the various chapter objectives, which help you towards your ultimate game-winning objective.
The chapter rewards give you some idea of what actually took place historically at the time, but this is background. This game makes you the center of the ancient world. You have the ability to raise and shatter empires. The independent actions of over 100 minor and major factions gives you the feeling of stepping into a real, organic world.
- Huge, cinematic battles
- Incredibly detailed turn-based and real-time strategy
- Improved engine means the most impressive Total War game yet
- Wonderfully impressive city sieges
- A gorgeous world map filled with life, sound and animation
- Unique units
- Huge array of locations
- Overhauls and updates much of the campaign game play
- Easier to grasp the basics of managing an empire, with enough nuance and depth for long term fans
- Some path finding issues
- The AI is still lacking
- The prologue is a good introduction to the game play, but a lot of game mechanics aren’t explained very well
- Some things, like families, simply don’t make sense
- So many factions, that waiting between turns can be quite protracted