Total War Rome 2 is a brand new strategy game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by SEGA. It is the latest in the Total War series of games, and takes place in Ancient Roman times. Specifically from 275BC on. The game’s campaign takes place in basically all of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and some of the Caucasus mountain regions heading into Asia. Basically, it is a large map. By the way, the game is very fun.
It basically plays like all Total War games. If you’ve played any Total War game since the original Rome, you know what you are getting yourself into. That said, it does add some new features and changes some features. What sticks out most as a new feature is the way provinces work. A province is made up of several cities/villages, and you can own half a province while fighting someone who owns the other half. Owning a full province gives you the ability to issue an edict, which will give you several bonuses based on which edict you choose.
When you choose a city, all the cities in the province are shown to you, so you can build improvements in all of them instantly. It is very handy, but feels strange to me. Public order is also managed on a province basis. Which can get confusing when said province is owned by multiple people. It also makes it hard to manage. Diplomacy has also been changed, with the ability to enter a Confederation with another state, giving you control over his cities and his biggest armies. There is also a new kind of faction screen, with multiple factions in your own faction. Giving an example from my own playthrough, one of my generals is from the “Elder Chiefs” tribe, while another is from the “Other Chiefs”. They are apparently at odds, and there is political backstabbing, and I could marry into his family, adopt him, kill him, or spread rumors about him, but this feature is really one I haven’t been able to understand yet.
Combat is typical fare for a Total War game. Why fix what isn’t broken right? But it is smoother, easier to play, and has a couple new features. Every unit has a “Cinematic camera” button that shows you their viewpoint from an “On top of the helmet” perspective. The potential for screenshots and videos is high here. Another very interesting feature to me is that now you can have land units and ships battling in the same battlefield, and even dock your ships and use the units as land units.
Like all Total War games, the GUI is completely different, and hard to get used to at first. Eventually though, like all Total War games, you’ll be able to take one look at this info filled screen and know instantly what everything is. For the first couple of hours though, you’ll have a hard time. Thankfully there are tutorials, including a tutorial campaign that is probably pretty good but I couldn’t be bothered to play it because I’m a Total War vet.
Another interesting feature that I nearly forgot to mention are the objectives and victory conditions. Like all Total War games, you have your standard “Own most of the world” victory path, but in Rome 2 you have more options than just conquest. Economic and cultural victories are also available to you, and I would have explored them more if I hadn’t immediately chosen the Iceni and began a conquest of Rome from the north.
Graphics wise, I can’t really say much. The game probably looks amazing on computers that can handle it, but mine is not one of them. I can state though that it has been made to work on a wide variety of systems, so even players like me, with terrible computers can play this game.
This game is fun, deep, and even though I don’t like the ancient Rome era I would readily recommend this game to all strategy fans. It is definitely a must buy. It is also so addicting that I neglected to write this article last week.