There’s nothing anyone loves more than a game where you can send entire armies against each other. It’s like a battle simulator with some strategy involved. Rome 2 – Total War brings us back into the battles of ancient Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa as we campaign with some of our favorite factions, from the battle-hardened Spartans to the strategic Romans. You’re going to be playing through 300 years of sword-on-sword violence.
The Campaign Is Huge
If you’re expecting a smaller campaign mode than you might want to look at Napoleon Total War or Shogun 2, where they only focus on one area. Rome 2 – Total War focuses everywhere from the Northern tip of Africa to the sprawling grasslands of the Celts. The generals of Rome 2 – Total War are a little more important this time around. Who can fight without a general?
Without a general, your troops are limited. You also can’t have multiple generals if your empire is small. Who can really manage a small number of troops with ten generals? That’s probably where the phrase “too many cooks” came from. Unlike other Total War games, Rome 2 – Total War isn’t as complex. Before, you would have a little more strategy when it comes to disrupting resources, destroying farms, and starving out your opponent. No, if you want something in this game, you bring a whole lot of people with swords, shields, and spears and take what you want. At least Creative Assembly, the developers behind the game, tried to be a little more accurate with the different cultures and what units they have in them. Yes, finally, the barbarians are going to look a lot more disheveled (yet fearsome) then the more organized Roman legion. Each faction will have different technologies they can use. Some factions don’t have elephants. It makes sense, why would every country have elephants? What would we even need horses for at that point?
What About The Battles?
Of course, we’re going to mention the battles. Do you think Rome 2 – Total War is a game where we walk up to another nation and kindly ask them to assimilate into our empire? That’s not how that works. There are bloodshed and lots of it. The developer, Creative Assembly, made sure you were going to connect personally to each unit as you watch them slowly die to a flanking maneuver with the battle camera. There are no more robotic movements of swinging arms as there were in the original. You can get down and dirty, watching each unit have different fighting styles. Do you think a group of lightly-armed peasants is going to look as vicious as some Gallic Warriors? Do you think some spear-wielding hoplites are going to fight to look like they’re holding giant shields like the Romans do?
Also, the battlefields look so much better. They’re not just flat pieces of green Lego-looking boards like it was with the original; there’s a lot more detail. Of course, with more detail comes more guessing where your enemies are because you can’t see them from across the field. Are they hiding archers? Are they preparing the flank from a patch of trees? You’ll never know. While the land battles are immersive and fun to watch, it’s the naval battles that fall a bit flat with Rome 2 – Total War.
The Naval Battles Left A Lot To Be Desired
Fighting at sea isn’t fun, especially seeing as any allies you have aren’t the smartest cookies in the bunch. It seems Creative Assembly let the intern developers work on the naval battles, but they’re not very fun. Yes, you have melee ships where you try to board other ships, support ships with ranged units, and ships whose sole purpose is to ram other ships, but it’s just a mess of wooden boats rubbing up against each other with men shouting. There are also coastal defense maps that are fun if the enemy or allied AI knew what they were doing. The AI for the allied siege ships (the onagers) ends up disembarking instead of using its siege equipment. Really? We don’t need your little dagger-equipped men to mount a melee defense; use those giant flaming rocks!
Sometimes the enemy AI won’t even land their craft to start marching their armies. They’ll just stand around until the timer is up, and you win by default. Long story short, naval battles in Rome 2 – Total War is not fun.
With No Complexity Comes A Weak Political System
For some reason, Rome 2 – Total War focused more on the bloodshed than the political system that the Civilization series took and ran with. It’s a system you can relatively ignore unless you like the roleplaying aspect of a Civil War.
Unfortunately, unless you have a monster PC, playing on minimum specs is going to fry your computer. This is a good game to play if you happen to find it on sale on Steam, but if you’re looking for a more intricate Total War game, then you might want to look at Civilization instead. However, if you want sword-on-board action with lots of yelling, blood, and stabbing, then you’ll have to get over some fault AI and enjoy the bloodshed.