Total War: Rome II - PC

Also known as: Total War: Rome II: Collector's Edition

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Requires: Mouse, Keyboard
Viewed: 2.5D Combination Genre:
Strategy: Combat
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Creative Assembly Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: SEGA (GB/GB/GB)
Released: 3 Sept 2013 (GB)
Unknown (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+


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Creative Assembly’s Total War series didn’t become the RTS juggernaut that it is today by resting on its historical laurels. With each iteration, new gameplay mechanics are introduced that seek to enhance player immersion. With Rome II, the studio is emphasising something slightly different: a flair for the dramatic.

History holds more than its fair share of lessons, each wrapped within a story that would be ripe for an HBO TV series. And perhaps the rise and fall of Rome represents one of the most enticing books of all, filled with tales of deceit, treachery and underhanded doings. Take the Battle of Teutoburg, for example - a level in Rome II that Creative Assembly wanted to present to us this past week.

During the Romans’ attempt to advance and tighten its grip across Northern Europe, it suffered a major defeat in the Germanic Teutoburg Forest - an ambush orchestrated by Cheruscan-born Roman military commander Arminius. With its narrow winding paths, high rises and dense foliage, the three Roman legions that were led through the forest didn’t stand a chance against an army of tribesmen.

This is the kind of story that Creative Assembly want to tell, and they’ll do it using new camera angles that can be positioned right behind your armies so that the emotions and fears of your soldiers can be captured and draw you even closer to the action. But the Battle of Teutoburg Forest is only one example, one possible outcome of a Total War: Rome II player’s actions and decisions.

On top of this, the studio has introduced characters that might pose diplomacy challenges for the player to overcome inbetween battles. For example, a troublesome senator back at Rome may have an effect on your plans in a positive or negative way, on a local or global scale. You can ignore them as they carry on being a nuisance, or you can bribe them... or attempt to kill them... but there will be consequences for succeeding or failing at any of these actions.

Other tweaks and inclusions to the battle gameplay include an overhead map to give players the simple ability to survey the entire environment (but no commands, other than movement of units, can be issued from this bird’s eye view), bonuses for charging your enemies and getting up close and personal, and some close-camera perspectives when using catapults and siege weapons.