The Total War series, which Rome II is part of, are a series of real time strategy games that have taken PC gamers through many different war-like periods of history, like Medieval Europe, Colonial America, feudal Japan and more. The newest games in the series are Shogun 2, Empire and Medieval II. If you would like to know more about their newest game, Shogun 2, check out my review here, but for the rest of this I will be focusing on Rome II.
If you've played Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai then you may be able to guess where Creative Assembly (CA) was heading with navies. In Rome II navies will no longer be off on the side lines or supporting your troops with bombardment from off-map, they are now on the same battle map as the rest of your armies and will be integral part of attacking any city near the sea. They way they showed off this off was with a visual demo of the battle of Carthage. Presumably this was one of CA's historical scenarios, since it involved the Carthaginians holding off a siege for two years and then finally falling to Roman might. Ships swarmed the harbor, legions rolled over the walls and through the streets, and Rome was victorious, but they used this battle to show off the new naval combat, the massive size of your armies and the way cities will be different than the first Rome: Total War.
|Just looking at this screenshot makes me feel like I need to upgrade my computer|
In the first Rome: Total War there were often many streets through a city, but there was usually only one spot you needed to capture in order to take the city. In Rome II there will be many different capture spots in the city and the cities will no longer be able to quickly captured; now there will be more routes, more strategy and more options. They finished off the demo of the by showing elephants charge down a street into a bunch of Roman soldiers. If you didn't play the first Rome let me just clarify that elephants were crazy in that, in a fantastic way, they were very powerful and expensive, but if you had the right tactics you could panic them them or magically stop their tremendous charges.
Now for some general details on Rome II. They are going to have a larger map than the first Rome and it will encompass all of Europe and parts of Africa, but now they are going to expanding it farther to the east. You will apparently being able to play as any country or faction, which is similar to the first Rome. I'm hoping it will be like the first Rome in the sense that you have to destroy a country or win with certain countries in order to unlock more countries to play as. On the world map there will also be trigger-able events that will require the player to deal with something that doesn't merely involve military might. These events will have consequences and serious dilemma's, plus they will be trigger-able no matter what country you are playing as.
As you fight your way across the world, at least as the Romans, you will be thinking in grander strategy terms than any other Total War game. You will still have specific units that are better versus other types of units, like spears win against cavalry etc., but with Rome they are going for fewer battles, a bit less micromanagement and larger battles. Creative Assembly wants you thinking about leading legions, not groups of several hundred soldiers. Legions will be able to earn traits from combat and will feel more like unique units, which sounds a bit like how they handled armies in Shogun 2 multiplayer. All of this information so far is from Rock Paper Shotgun's preview of Rome II and much of it is yet to be proved, but there is more to go through and learn about Rome.
There is also an interview with the lead designer of Total War: Rome II, James Russell, that reveals quite a bit about all of that basic information. One of the first thing he talks about is how you still get the option of viewing a battle from many different angles. You can still zoom up to the shoulder of a soldier and watch him battle his way through hordes of enemies or you can zoom way out and view the whole spectacle in a strategic view. With terms of scale the amount of units in a battle will be similar to Fall of the Samurai, which was capped at about forty units. To make the battles bigger they are doing things like making larger units, like legions or boat groups that consist of several boat and not just one. The environments are also going to be very large in scale in order to make each battle feel epic. They don't want to just make more units and increase the amount of micromanaging you have to do.
Like I mentioned before the map in Rome II will be quite a bit larger than the original Rome: Total War. Once again they don't want to make you feel like you have to micromanage more as a result of everything being larger, so they are going to implement provinces. There will still be individual regions that you capture when you are moving across the map, but now when you are trying to manage an area there will be several regions clumped into a province. There are going to be hundreds of regions across the map still, but now it will be a little bit easier to manage a large empire. That idea will certainly please some people, but I bet plenty of people like micromanaging their empire, so we will see how that turns out in-game.
In Rome II you will not have to start as the Romans, like the original game. They have not specified exactly how that is going to work, especially with the legions thing, because how could say the barbarian Gaul's have a legion? There will still be the barbarians of Germania and the English Isles, plus there will be the Middle East and a lot of options. They haven't confirmed this, but in the first Rome there was specific factions of Rome you could be, like the Brutii or Julii. They have confirmed that will still be a senate, SPQR, that will you have to deal with if you are playing as the Romans. Will you take Rome under our iron grip and become the emperor of Rome? or will you lead it into a glorious republic? It will be up to you, but either way you will have the rest of the world to deal with.
Lastly I will leave you with this live-action trailer for Rome II that Creative Assembly put together. It isn't HBO's Rome, but it may just get you in the mood. Although, I will feel sorry for you if it does get you all excited for Rome II because it doesn't come out till late next year. Anyways, check that out and thanks for reading all of this.
Main Website: http://www.totalwar.com/en_us/romeII/
So like I mentioned earlier all of this information is from Rock Paper Shotgun's preview and interview for Total War: Rome II. Links below.
-Written by Sean Cargle