Big fan of the Total War series. I think what they do is rather excellent, and the tactics features is fun as hell. That being said, I’d rather start off on some sour notes of the Rome 2. I’ll be saving the good stuff last. Don’t judge the game on first comments, the good comments will roll out during the end when I’ll be sharing my verdict.
Too Many Nations
This has created a problem that I saw within the first turn. The game introduced itself well. As soon as I finished my first turn, the game went through the motions of all of the other Nations doing their turns. I never counted how many there were. If I were to guess, there would be upwards to about thirty, maybe even forty different ones playing on the same giant map. The more you discover, the longer their turns will take because they’ll start moving on the map. This can definitely eat up a lot of time. They certainly immerse you in the fact that it’s Rome during the 250’s BC, however the take away is that there is also dozens of Nations going turn by turn by turn. Excellent immersion factor, horribly long waiting periods.
From time to time you’ll get the usual graphic area on the map. Maybe something will be missing or you’ll find a patch of land looking odd. There were the rare times that when I went down into “Movie” mode, I’d see a set of helmets floating a few inches away from where their soldier’s bodies were. That had been one of the annoying factors when I wanted to watch two armies beat the hell out of each other. I once also had a set of archers aiming directly at the ground below them. Perhaps a new tactic to delay the soldiers and prick their feet? All-in-all, small graphic based errors that they’ll eventually sort out over the next few weeks.
The AI seem to have a trend of not being the best sports. They’re either clumsy negotiators, or their tactics seem as if they allowed their five-year old heir to run the armada for a few days. They’ll either drive their forces into the ground with useless tactics or not enforce an obviously open area that I can have my army take advantage of. I was hoping for a larger challenge as I progressed through the game, although it seems how they went about correcting that was by making the enemy’s forces better than yours in every way each time the difficulty went up. I was hoping that the computers would become smarter, but that has yet to be addressed.
Time for the positive thoughts!
While a few errors are minor, and rarely happen, the environment and the fight scenes are absolutely beautiful. Arrows fly fast, fire acts like fire, and soldiers trample the ground with powerful force as they run to attack one another. The mountains and vast scenery is quite a bit to take in as you explore the overly large map of Eastern Europe. If you have a rig that has the capabilities to go all the way up to Ultra, do so. It’s a beautiful scene you’re not going to want to miss.
The Total War team really went to town when they decided to go down to the core level of the game and went into the lore of the time. The soldiers fight as they should, the forces are massive creating the choice of giving you a wide range of armies to have. It gives you, the leader, the chance to truly customize your armies as you see fit. Letting you choose from a wide array of soldiers whose stats differ from one another. If you want an army to not lack in a certain area, you can definitely have that as well.
The team wanted you, the player, to have quite a few choices when fighting. Having trouble in a section of the Empire that needs addressing? You can change the stance of an army and have them march over to that part in a matter of turns, quickly and effectively. Other times, you can have them block a pass that you know for certain an enemy force is about to enter. You can cut them off and have them meet with a stronger defense force that you have set up strictly to be a meat shield while you rally other armies. The stance change in this game is significant. As you learn to change them, you’ll adapt to the game so you can get the most out of each of your armies that you’re creating. You can also have sea forces supporting your land ones, becoming the ultimate commander of both Sea and Land.
Most fans would know that as the game had been released, some concerns rose to parts of the game feeling unfinished. To help correct that, the development team announced that they would be giving weekly updates (starting last Friday, and continuing from there) to help improve and adjust any bugs that were found or commonly reported. Their next update is scheduled for this Friday. Even through there are a few bugs in the game, they stand by what they’ve given to the fans and continue to throw their support for those who ask for it.
I am a fan of the game. I am a fan of the series. I found that while there minor errors, they can be overlooked by even the newest of players because of how well the other key features are presented. Although, it is warned to be careful if this is your first Total War game. There are some features that are offered that are vaguely more familiar to those who’ve played games such as Total War: Shogun 2. Because of that, it’s easier to pick up. Nonetheless, the developers introduced an excellent prologue to the game so that all newcomers may feel welcomed and are free to start off a pace of their choice.
Total War: Rome 2 – 9 / 10