How Far Will You Go For Rome?

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Sega and Creative Assembly are gearing up to release the biggest Total War game yet, putting players into the boots of one of the most influential nations in our history, Rome. Players will write their own stories in the textbooks as they take control of the Roman war machine in a massive sandbox turn-based campaign.

Creative Assembly is promising a lot of things with Rome II. An epic turn-based campaign mode that will allow players to conquer the known world, large scale battles featuring tens of thousands of men, and an all-new, completely scalable graphics engine optimized for any PC or laptop that can present the beauty of the ancient world in bone-splintering detail.

The creators of the the Total War series have put the world at your finger tips and it’s ripe for conquest. Your ascension to glory however will have to be won by an array of military, economic and political means, challenging players with the question: “How far will you go for Rome?”

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A Massive Scope

The Total War series has always been the king when it comes to offering a ton of content to keep players busy. Total War: Rome II is the biggest, most beautiful entry yet that makes other games feel feeble in comparison. With a 40% budget increase, the developers have been able to achieve the impossible.

The game feature’s a gargantuan campaign that spans from western Spain to the sandy deserts of the Middle East, encompassing an array of different cultures. To be more exact, the game has over 100 factions, more than 180 regions, and a whopping 700 different soldier types. Every faction in the game offers a completely different form of gameplay experience. Those who play for the glory of Rome will assume the head as one of three families, similar to the first Rome: Total War game.

The diplomatic system is also seeing a complete overhaul to allow players the chance to rise to power diplomatically. With an AI said to be more ”intelligent” and cunning than ever, your rise to power won’t be a cakewalk by any means. As you gradually become more powerful, you will bring both admiration and jealousy from the populace, even from your allies.

At one point, you will be betrayed as you rise through the ranks. There’s “more human-level drama on the campaign map” in Rome II. Players will also be faced with the decision to either fight to save the Republic, or plot to rule alone as Emperor.

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Ancient Warfare

The staple point of every Total War game though is not in its campaign map or backstabbing political system, it’s in the battles. Here you will command your men to fight and die for the future of your empire. Defeat could bring about the end of your nation and all its hard work. Creative Assembly’s key strategy with Rome II was to make these pivotal points in the game more enjoyable to experience.

Whereas before, micro-management in Total War battles were so intensive to the point that they don’t think players were ever really able to admire the clashes their armies fought in. It’s exciting to watch two massive forces rush into battle against one another. Their solution to this was to redesign the game’s cameras. Players can now lock on to single units using what they call  ”a soldier’s eye view” and view battles at shoulder-level making every conflict feel like a scene from a big-budget movie.

Along with the new soldier’s eye view camera, Creative Assembly has also made a new tactical view mode in where players can zoom out far enough to see their entire army in the form of colored rectangles, making it far easier to command what is happening on the entire battlefield at any moment. Unit cards at the bottom of the screen have also been polished up and are now much larger. Their size however will be relative to how many troops are in that unit. The whole UI itself has also been severely reduced to mop up a lot of the clutter that used to get in the way of the player and the battlefield in past Total War games.

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Armies now act much more like individuals as well versus a cluster of men all working in the same manner. Each and every soldier in the game now has a mindset of his own and a unique measure of how brave or cowardly he is. Troops feel much more like people now as a result. And because of this feature, battle tactics have changed as well. What you can see on the battlefield is entirely up to your troops. You see through their eyes. Whatever they can’t see is also blocked off for you.

Ambushes as a result play a much more vital role in Rome II. Legions of men marching through forests could be completely wiped out in minutes if you aren’t careful because a thousand troops could rush out of the forest in a well executed trap and wipe your army off the map. Hilly regions could also be just as dangerous since your enemies may try and trick you into thinking their force is much smaller than it actually is, concealing troops behind hills and buildings waiting to spring a trap.

Siege battles are also seeing a new change in the essence that cities are going to be truly massive this time around. There will also be multiple different ways to capture a city as well, prohibiting past strategies where players would just crunch up their army in the town plaza and wait for the enemy to come to them. If you’re attacking a coastal city, players will also be able to attack it from both land and sea for the first time in a Total War game.

The Verdict

Rome II is shaping up to be a massive game. And thanks to the game’s revolutionary new graphics engine, it will be playable on almost any machine as long as its got a processor and graphics card of some sort. With a launch date of September 3rd, we are only just a few short months away from finally being able to step back into the sandals of an ancient Roman destined to rule over the known world. Sound off in the comments below if you’re just as thrilled for the game as we are!

Chandler Tate

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Gamespresso; undergrad journalism student at Florida Atlantic University. You can follow him on twitter @chandlertate95.

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