The Total War series has managed to produce hit after hit with the majority of their games, yet the entire franchise has always remained in the shadows of Rome: Total War which was released in 2004 and even now, nearly a decade after still maintains its claim as not only the best of the series but also as one of the best, if not the best RTS of all time. Since then, Creative Assembly have focused on other eras but have now decided that it is time to focus on a sequel to their greatest game in an attempt to usurp its position within the RTS world. From the look of things, it seems as if they are close to their goal.
It’s clear that the developers have gone out of their way to try to increase all of the fan favorite aspects as well as developing and adding several new features that serve to increase the quality of the franchise as a whole. What will no doubt get fans excited is that Creative Assembly have sought to make the human aspect of war stand out and allow players to focus in on individual soldiers, which is impressive considering that the number of soldiers on the field can often expand to over a thousand. All soldiers will have individual animations and will react to the events that occur on the field as well as having officers give motivational speeches before the battle.
Being able to see the individuals in such detail serves as an example of just how much effort and thought has gone into the game by its developers and it’s not only graphics where they’ve put much of their effort. RTS games have always had a focus on gameplay and with Rome: Total War 2, the boundaries of what gamers are used to within the genre are being pushed. With over 117 factions playable in game (a huge amount for the genre), players will be pleased to know that each of these factions will have distinct strategies, looks and abilities, meaning that the game will have a ton of replay value. The prospect of being able to play as such wildly different cultures, from the Britons to the Roman Republic, will please players as it replaces the generic rebel culture that could be found in the previous games and was one of the few flaws there.
When it comes to the art of war within, Creative Assembly have gone out of their way to revamp it by introducing a whole host of new options of battle for players who will be able to choose stances while marching, which range from allowing players to move faster, set up defensive forts as well as ambush their enemies. Furthermore, there has been much more focus on the naval aspect which has been somewhat lackluster in previous games, now promised to be as exciting as land battles. A key feature will be the integration between both air and sea battles including sieges of sea ports as well as having battles taking place on rivers and coasts, where navies will be able to intervene by either bringing reinforcements or bombarding enemies on land.
It’s not just battles that sees significant improvements, with the diplomacy system completely revamped in one of the most exciting changes made by the developers for the new installment. Whereas enemies had a tendency to implode by making near-suicidal decisions, it’s promised that enemies will instead become much more devious and intelligent in their actions. Furthermore, your own actions during the campaign will decide the enemy’s behavior who will adjust to be either worthy allies or a traitor just waiting for the opportunity to betray you and lead your nation to ruin.
As a whole it seems that with Rome: Total War 2, Creative Assembly have tried their hardest to try and top the best game that they’ve ever made. They seem to be on the right path, fixing many of the flaws and player complaints, whilst adding in many new and exciting features. From the look of things, they may just succeed in their attempts as all fans of RTS games will be waiting with baited breath for the game to be released as it promises to be a revolutionary mark not only for the series, but the genre as well.