Hello! I'd like to start by saying that I've been a long time GR reader for years. What finally compelled me to sign up to the site? I felt it was my civic duty to warn people about this game and to not be fooled by all the positive reviews it has been getting.
The most infuriating thing about this game for me has to be the AI. I've been a fan of the Total War series for quite a while and I don't ever remember it being so bad and well... idiotic. Units are often unresponsive requiring you to issue an order multiple times to get compliance. One battle an enemy infantry regiment broke ranks and fled from my artillery fire. I then ordered my cannons to start firing on the next group but his next shot was still towards the fleeing group. I ordered the unit again to fire at the new target and it AGAIN fired at the now long gone runaways. On the third reload (By this time I was spam clicking the next target) they finally fired at the fight target. In the heat of a close battle wasted moments like this can be crucial. Your units also routinely ignore commands to run or charge by double clicking areas on the map or enemy units. The only way to get consistency there is by actually toggling the run/walk button on the UI whenever you want to run. Ugh...
Probably the most hilarious display of the AI to me is assaulting an enemy fort without the aid of cannons to knock down walls. Some of your units have the ability to throw grapple hooks and scale up the walls like the O.G. Adam West used to do. Sounds cool until you see it in practice. Then you just want to smash your keyboard by headbutting it just as possibly hard as you can. You will want to do this because you will be helpless as you watch your poor soldiers try to climb the ropes but sometimes the first row will just kind of climb up and down and up and down and up and down while the rest of the regiment watches on with what I can only guess as bemusement. Other times they will just stare at the rope hoping it will transform into a cool rope escalator, which it does not. So you will have to direct them to a different section and hope that this time they will, you know, actually CLIMB THE #&^% THING. Seriously, don't bother taking forts unless you bring cannons to punch some holes in the wall. It's an exercise in frustration otherwise.
Next, I will be the first to admit my computer is getting up there in age and was never a beast to begin with and I don't know if it's my system, steam, or the game itself but the load times are just brutal. Some battles I I'm waiting upwards of two minuets to load. Add in the awful AI and if I need to reload a certain battle here or there I'm spending more time watching loading screens than actually playing the game. It's just painful.
The game is still buggy even after it's been patched. There are times it gets hung up and the final straw was after finishing an hour long battle it crashed straight to the desktop. So much for the patch.
Like I said, don't be fooled by the reviews. I was a fan of this series and this game killed it for me. It feels unfinished and half-assed and does it's predecessors no justice. My advice is to avoid this game and save your cash unless you are a true die hard fan of the series and need to have it. Only thing saving this one from a flat out F is that there are rare moments when things work like they are supposed to and you get a glimmer of fun from it.