* Beta patch 2 is out now! List of changes here. Just go into properties on Steam and opt in. 9/13/13
* Review embargo is up. Added at the bottom of the post.
* While retail purchases are region locked, Steam prepurchases are apparently region free. This means buying from Steam traders is still a valid option. Jase C details this here. (9/1/13)
* Added combined tutorial video. (8/31/13)
* New prologue campaign gameplay. (8/31/13)
* Preload is now available at 9.9GB. Nuuvem and GMG are now distributing keys. There are regional restrictions, but they don't apply to these sites.
* The game unlocks at the following times: 00:00 PDT / 03:00 EDT / 08:00 BST / 09:00 CET / 17:00 AEST on Sept 3.
Title: Total War: Rome 2
Studio: Creative Assembly
Release Date: September 3, 2013 (Global)
Platform: PC (Steam Required for activation)
Genre: Turn-Based/Real-Time Strategy
Where to Buy: Steam, GMG, Amazon, Nuuvem, Gamersgate
Links to physical CE Versions
Total War: Rome 2 is the latest installment in the Total War franchise following 2011's Shogun 2, and a direct sequel to the original Rome: Total War released in 2004. Total War games consist of two distinct parts: a turn based campaign map similar to 4X games, and real time (with pause) battles where you control large units. A typical campaign will have you managing the growth of your empire, engaging in real time battles to conquer settlements, negotiating with other nations to leverage trade and military alliances, and using agents to covertly manipulate other nations when necessary. The campaign begins in 272BC and goes for 300 years, although the game will not necessarily end at that point.
Rome 2 is said to be the biggest Total War game in terms of budget, with apparently double the amount of staff working on it relative to past entries in the franchise.
If you haven't played a Total War game before, there's a robust tutorial as well as a 2-3 hour introductory campaign to ease the learning curve. Creative Assembly also has a guide on their official wiki. Zevrow on Youtube also put together all of the released tutorial videos from CA into one video.
Official Fact Sheet said:
- The creators of the award-winning Total War series set a new benchmark for strategy gaming quality and depth, taking their signature mix of real-time and turn-based gameplay to new heights.
- An epic-scale turn-based campaign mode in which to plan your conquest of the known world – in any way you see fit.
- Feel the thunderous clash of battle as the Roman war-machine takes to the field in real-time combat. Tens of thousands of men collide in bone-splintering detail that you directly control.
- All-new graphics engine: see exotic ancient cities and colossal armies rendered in incredible detail, while jaw-dropping cinematic battles unfold. New unit cameras allow you to see the battle from every perspective.
- Completely scalable experience, with performance optimised for your PC or laptop. Witness the awesome scale of Total War: Rome II, no matter what your spec.
- Armies are now limited in number based on the amount of provinces you hold. This is intended to make deploying armies more of a major decision, as well as likely reducing the amount of battles that can be easily won through autoresolving. In previous titles, an easy late game strategy would be to simply overwhelm opponents with endless stacks of units. Rome 2's armies consist of up to 40 units (both land and naval).
- On the campaign map, armies can now use different stances based on the situation. These affect movement points, fatigue, and ambush opportunities based on which stance an army is set to.
- Turns are now one full year, rather than being grouped into seasons.
- Attrition now takes place based on what terrain your army is located on.
- Individual units are more customizable, with the ability to change names, emblems, and choosing what weapon loadout they take into battles. Skill trees that were previously exclusive to generals, family members, and agents now take the form of skill pools, and can now be used to rank up an individual unit over time.
- Rome 2 expands the campaign map to 173 regions, grouped into 57 provinces. Provinces will have multiple regions within them, with massive capitals being the center of each. Siege battles are given a greater importance, as they are now limited to cities with walls, with other battles taking place on fields and smaller settlements. This is likely intended to expand the scope and importance of siege battles.
- Resource buildings are now combined into the region's capital. Visually, cities noticeably expand on the campaign map and grow depending on what you decide to build. In addition to making cities feel more like actual important places, this streamlines multiple city management into one screen, rather than having to flip through many different cities.
- New battle types, including combined land and naval battles, encampment battles , supply train battles, port sieges, and revamped ambushes.
- 3 victory conditions: economic, military, and cultural. Creative Assembly claims that these conditions will emerge deep into the campaign based on how you play and what situation you may be in. There is no set path early on that will block you from achieving any one of these victory conditions.
- Politics now deals with internal struggles as well. Both Rome and Carthage must deal with families vying for power, and the player has to balance these without losing control. Other factions deal with ruling powers and nobles butting heads.
- Is the AI still idiotic? This remains to be seen, although Creative Assembly has claimed that their new AI system will reduce their suicidal tendencies in favor of more rational behavior.
- A new introductory prologue gradually showoffs these new mechanics before throwing you into your own custom campaign. You play as Rome in the prologue and is said to last for 2-3 hours.
- New real time overhead tactical view that allows you to see the entire battlefield.
- More city variety to keep city sieges feeling fresh and less generic.
- Revamped agent system that allows for more customization. Agents now have more specific ways of accomplishing their tasks.
- 117 different factions, 8 of which are playable, with more to be added post release.
- Plus many other changes that I probably don't have enough knowledge to adequately talk about.
- The dominant power on the Italian peninsula, Rome is home to the most disciplined and well-oiled military of its time. Players must deal with keeping the families of the senate in check, while furthering the nation's ambition as a whole. Rome's advanced metalwork speeds up military development in comparison to the other factions. The Julia, Cornelia, and Junia are the three playable families that the player can decide to lead.
- Carthage lies on the North African coast, boasting one of the most powerful trade empires of the ancient world. Carthage's democratic system grants further happiness to the population. The coastal city-state also boasts a strong navy due to their advanced trading system. War elephants from the forests of North Africa are available for recruitment when playing as Carthage. Like Rome, the player can choose to play as the head of the Hanonid, Magonid, and the Barcid families.
- Macedon lies on south eastern Europe and emerged in the wake of Alexander the Great. As such, they benefit from strong Hoplite infantry and powerful Companion and Thessalian cavalry, as well as a significant advantage when fighting Hellenic factions and barbarians. Due to a poor Navy, they rely on other Hellenic factions for naval support. Macedon benefits from improved income and happiness, but suffers in international relations due to imperialistic tendencies.
- The blue painted Celtic Iceni have evolved from simple barbarians into a powerful warring nation. The country is strengthened by war, and receives a happiness bonus for the amount of armies engaging in battle. The Iceni also benefit from powerful war-chariots that speed into battle with javelins.
- The Arverni of central Gaul are a powerful tribe ruled by a rigid social order of kings and chieftains. Due to their advanced craftsmanship, Arverni benefits from improved income. The fighting strength of their kings and tribal chieftains gains them respect with other barbarian tribes, strengthening their diplomatic influence.
- The Suebi are a barbarian tribe based out of central Germania. They excel in raiding and ambushing, but do not possess much in the way of advanced armor or weaponry. They possess a diplomatic advantage with other barbarian tribes, and suffer from resistance to nations that they conquer.
- Parthia is a confederation of tribes recently freed from Hellenistic control. The nation is known for their powerful warhorses, as well as their Hillmen, spear, and skirmisher units. Due to their Persian heritage, Parthia receives trade bonuses, but suffers economically due to an aversion to slavery. Parthia also quickly assimilates conquered foreign countries into their own system.
- Ptolemaic Egypt is a progressive kingdom that benefits from exotic units such as scythed chariots and war elephants. Egypt possesses one of the most powerful navies of the ancient world due to their positioning and need to protect important trade ports. As a recently established dynasty, keeping the native Egyptians happy is a difficult task.
Pontus - day one free DLC
- A mixture of both Greek and Persian influences, Pontus is a powerful military nation that controls the trade infrastructure of the Black Sea. Pontus is a respected diplomatic nation to Greek states and successor kingdoms, however public order suffers due to movement away from the nation's Persian origins.
Athens - Greek States Culture Pack (preorder bonus)
- Athens is the model of democracy and famous for its multiple cultural achievements and defining Greek culture. Athens enjoys great wealth, and converting other states to their cause is eased due to their classical heritage. Athens' military strength is a powerful naval force, but their infantry and cavalry units have been strengthened by Hoplite units and mercenaries.
Epirus - Greek States Culture Pack (preorder bonus)
- The Greek kingdom of Epirus is located on the Adriatic Sea, and is an economy focused agricultural state. Epirus benefits from powerful generals and admirals who excel in battle. Due to the nation' preference for village life over bustling cities, Epirus gains income boosts from small settlements. However, they suffer penalties to diplomatic relations with Hellenic factions.
Sparta - Greek States Culture Pack (preorder bonus)
- Every aspect of Sparta is intended to create a powerful military nation of warriors. Spartans are unmatched in infantry combat. They suffer less public discontent due to slavery, but their focus on military training forces them to receive less benefits from natural resources.
Seleucids - 2nd free DLC TBA
- The Seleucids are renowned for their advanced city building and civil engineering. In combat they benefit from powerful cavalry, elephant, spear, and pike units. Due to their multicultural society, the Seleucids are a very balanced military force. They suffer less issues from public order and foreign assimilation as well.
Find A Way Trailer
Battle of Teutoburg Forest
First Gameplay Footage
Battle of the Nile
Skirmish vs. Very hard AI
Rev 3 Interview
Prologue Campaign gameplay
Prologue Campaign reveal
Audio Development with Mark Strong
Prologue campaign battle
If Rome II were a gladiator, it would enter the arena as pyrotechnics flared and trumpets blared. Clad in the most beautiful armour in creation, it is the promised one, destined for greatness. Later in the day, having overcome many opponents, it would finally fall, its final opponent holding a sword to its throat. Watching on, only a very cruel emperor would point his thumb murder-wards. It deserves its victories but it’s hard not to think that if the armour it wore were less ornate, lighter and more flexible, then it may never have fallen at all.
There's something here for everyone, whether you dream of commanding armies, or using espionage and politics, to crush your enemies. It could be more welcoming to new players - and you'll need to invest a significant amount of time to understand all of its intricacies - but get past that and you'll find a deep, rewarding game that brings history to life in an incredible way.
Right now, Rome 2 has its flaws, but is still a sumptuous, slow-burn strategy game with some of the best land battles in the series. Aesthetically, it’s a triumph. Empire management, alliances, the UI and battlefields have all improved, which makes it doubly frustrating to encounter the floppy AI that will be extremely familiar to Total War fans by now. Still, nothing out there does what Total War does with this degree of scope and detail. I’d still recommend it to armchair generals anywhere.
First OT so go easy on me.
Big thanks to Quick for doing the graphics! Thanks to Guerillas In The Mist for the OT title as well.