Rome wasn’t built overnight.
If you enjoy epic battles you’ve surely heard of Rome: Total War. It was not only regarded as a top game of 2004, but to this day is one of the most well-received RTS of all-time. Releasing a sequel to such a game is no easy task, but The Creative Assembly doesn’t shy away from such a challenge.
Rome 2: Total War advances the franchise by improving each facet in important ways. Its map is far more expansive, making the historically defined world a pleasure to experience. All new details on the world map show valuable information at a glance; you can even see buildings constructed in your thriving cities. For those looking for eye candy, an increase in graphical fidelity gives rise to a splendorous depiction of war that the History Channel will certainly use for its documentaries.
But it isn’t just visual realism that makes Rome 2: Total War a legitimate successor to one of RTS’ most legendary. Its diverse new feature set makes strategy outside of conflicts a fun and rewarding way to play campaign. An improved diplomatic system provides an array of options, like assassinating leaders, which open up new opportunities. But you better be careful as failed attempts can lead to war. The revamped political system encourages you to maintain strong relationships with other nations.
Engaging in Rome 2: Total War’s warfare is a familiar affair with a laundry list of options for controlling your army. Control groups, variable-direction plotting, and a large list of units, each with strengths and weaknesses, mean you always have something to do. But that also means this is a challenging game to play. You’ll find yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of options. As with other games in the series proper utilization of units is critical. If you’re really here for what Total War is known for, though, that shouldn’t bother you.
The Creative Assembly waited almost 10-years to bring Rome: Total War back and for good reason. This isn’t an IP to be tampered with. The long wait ensured there would be new ways to improve the core game without making it feel forced, and Rome 2: Total War feels and looks the part of a proper successor. It will release on PC on September 3, 2013.