We haven’t been the best at distributing Total War Rome 2 news here at AotF, thus here is an everything you need to know about said game. As newer stuff comes out, this guide will be updated accordingly, so check back!
What is Total War Rome 2?
To those new to the Total War series, probably because you’ve never played video games on PC before, the Total War series will bring a genuinely new and unique experience to you, completely different from anything else on the market today. Only time will tell if this latest chapter will be a gem, but if past games made by Creative Assembly has taught us anything, it’s that they make pretty damned good games.
Actual gameplay involves time around a grand strategy map of the world, in this case Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor, much in similarity to that of the grand strategies made by Paradox Interactive or the Civilizations series where you also have to take care of empire building and troop movements. The difference is that, when you get a battle occurring with your faction involved, you get to take the hot seat as the general in charge, real time strategy style. The scope can be quite overwhelmingly big and complex.
Over the years, Creative Assembly has refined the Total War brand with additions such as naval battles, individualizing individual soldiers within a unit, using professionals to get realistic sword-slashing in-game and much more. If Total War Rome 2 follows the trend of recent Creative Assembly games, it should really be something special.
Unsurprisingly, Total War Rome 2 is set in the times of Ancient Rome. There are multiple playable factions available such as the Romans, Carthage, Macedon, Egypt, Parthia, as well as the major barbarian tribes of Europe. This sequel to Rome Total War, appears to be trying to be a little more historically accurate with the naming of the factions. No longer will you see Brittania, Germania or the Gauls, such imperialistic Roman words, but Iceni, Arverni and Suebi instead.
Not only do you get the major factions, but you get all the minor factions with their own names and units instead of the “rebel” factions that existed in the original Rome Total War. On a campaign map with 57 provinces, which in themselves are separated into more regions, you will have a lot of fun just plotting world domination on Creative Assembly’s online interactive campaign map.
Even if you start as the Romans, you will find yourself immediately embroiled in war with the Etruscans and eventually the Veneti, Liguria and Syracuse to conquer modern day Italy. Or perhaps you choose to be another faction surrounded by a whole other basket of unpronounceable (without practice) minor factions such as Bityhnia, Galatia, Trapezos and Cappadocia for the Pontus faction.
The Nitty Gritty
With this new installment of the Total War series, Creative Assembly is bringing some brand new features not seen or fully realized in previous iterations.
As some of you may have already seen, beach landings and coastal battles where armies and navies fight on the same battlefield will be possible with the new engine. In conjunction with this new feature, you will be able to field 40 individual units at once, land and sea included, on one battlefield.
Cities (at least major ones like Rome, Babylon and Athens) will look distinctively different with landmarks and specific location and historically correct buildings on the battle map, unlike in predecessors where cities had very generic and bland looks.
In order to help you figure out the mess that will be the thousands of individual soldiers thrashing about in a giant melee, there will be the addition of a large tactical overview mode, similar to those that you would have found in games such as the brilliant Wargame series and the venerable Company of Heroes series.
Of course, it isn’t all just macro things. Creative Assembly has definitely done its utmost to make Total War Rome 2 more palatable at a micro scale. More specifically, at an individual soldier scale. Total War Rome 2 brings in a new camera mode where you will actually be able to be all up close and personal with the soldiers in the trenches. So close up in fact, you will be practically on the shoulder of one the soldiers, like some faerie of death commands.
When you get up close, it’s not just plain cookie cutter facial features and scowls, but dynamic facial expressions for each individual soldier and even rousing or, if Creative Assembly worked like it did before, pathetic pep-talks from commanding officers. That’s right, you will get to see your soldiers with hope, despair and every emotion on the spectrum in between.
In the battles themselves, seeing where the enemy is will be very difficult. You, as the commander of your army, will only be able to see the enemy if they are directly in your line of sight. Your view obscured by a rock? Tough biscuits, that’s a tactical rock that is, one which your opponent will (probably) try to use to their advantage.
Campaign Map Gameplay
To add to the potential awesome, Creative Assembly wants to minimize the number of armies a faction can field at a time. Gone, it seems, will be the times where one lonely enemy spearmen unit cavorts around your countrysides, disrupting trade and generally being a nuisance to your grand schemes. In Total War Rome 2, the number of regions you hold is key to the number of armies you will be able to field. Only large armies and battles will be tolerated.
Speaking of regions, you can now govern regions more efficiently through provinces. Once you control all the regions in a province, you can facilitate easier policies in the area. Cities with regions will grow dynamically as the game progresses.
Armies themselves, even on the campaign map, will be more flexible than before with different possible “stances” available such as forced march, for increased movement points, but more tiredness and ambush, the ability to create giant flaming, rolling bales of hay. With each army, a general will always be attached. A general that you can treat like a pokemon, getting better stats and generally becoming a badder-ass then he was before (sorry ladies, no news of women generals yet).
It’s not just the generals however, Creative Assembly is looking towards making it possible for you to decide what kind of weaponry loadout your soldiers take with them into battle, most likely in a mix between a tech tree and some sort of inventory system. Add to that they ability to personalize the name of your units and armies will leave all your enemies in fear of the Legion “Stonius Coldius Killercuses II.”
It has also been announced that you will also be able to customize the aesthetics of your troops so that they will look visually different on the battlefield with the visual example of the war elephant (see image below). You can have different colored armors, different helmet style, different trunk paint patterns and that’s just for silly elephants, a unit not available to most factions.
And of course it isn’t just the major factions you will be playing. Someone is bound to make a mod to allow the player to play as any of the 117 factions in the game.
Another much beloved feature that has not been around since Medieval 2 Total war, makes a reappearance in Total War Rome 2 with the ability to hire mercenaries to bolster your armies. Britons, er… I mean, Iceni with African elephants? Possible!
They also didn’t slack off with the audio aspects of the game. Part of the game, called the “prologue,” a sort of pre-campaign to the main campaign, is where you will meet its protagonist Silanus who is voiced by acclaimed actor Mark Strong.
The prologue itself will concern the early days of Rome as you lead the Romans against other Italian city-states at the time, like the Samnites, to consolidate a solid foundation for the future Roman Empire.
Creative Assembly have some DLCs planned for the game, as well as some that are free that provide nifty things like new playable factions. Multiplayer will largely be unchanged from previous Total Wars, but merely tweaked to offer more battle types and battle maps.
A trailer from Creative Assembly starring one of the most famous ladies in all of history, albeit, a little ahistorical. Of course there are some gameplay and just generally cool footage littered throughout.
In this following video, you see a “Let’s Play” made by some Creative Assembly employees. One can’t help but think that the man playing the game could have won by a much larger margin if he wasn’t too busy trying to get amazing camera angles and explaining how everything worked. No point berating a man doing his job though!
How Do I Get Playing?
Well, first off, you should check out if your PC fulfills the system requirements. Although, a fair rule of thumb, if you bought the PC in the last 3 years and it isn’t a netbook, it will probably be able to run Total War Rome 2 in some capacity.
All may not be lost if you were a silly sausage and own only a Mac though. Creative Assembly is looking to bringing Total War Rome 2 to Macs, but that could take some time, or even never. It’s not like it took them 3 years to port Napoleon: Total War, undeniably one of their poorest standalone Total War games, to the Mac. It took 5 years for the original Rome Total War and 3 years for Empire Total War. You probably shouldn’t have gotten that Mac.
If you pre-order, you even get the Greek States DLC for free, who doesn’t want to be a Spartan? Total War Rome 2 is coming to a store near you on September 3rd.