112 of 119 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Uneven, unbalanced, too fast., 6 Sept. 2013
I have played every Total War game. The series accounts for the largest chunk of my gaming time. I really wanted to love this game- the annouced features (like the new region/province system) sounded good and should have taken the game forward.
Unfortunately, that ist not the case. I can't list every point of criticism I have now, but here are the most jarring issues:
- The battles are too fast, absolutely unrealistic, and more suited for a Starcraft-clone than a total war game. Careful building of battle lines (really the crucial point of any TW game so far!) is absolutely irrelevant as all units will end up in one giant pile after 2 or 3 minutes. Lousy AI, no tactics, just one mad rush after the other. Remember when a large, crucial battle would easily last 30 or more minutes? Not here, as unit will break after 30 seconds of fighting. No doubt they are exhausted from the staggering pace the game sets for them: the running and walking speed is ridiculously fast. Battles are, at this stage, bordering on unplayable.
- Families/Politics should have been a nice feature that would allow some role-playing within the campaign and would invest the player in the fate of his faction. This has been well done before, in MTW2 and recently in Shogun 2. Here, it is a mess. There is no family tree (despite the game emphasizing famiklies feuding for control of factions), if your leader dies some character will appear out of the blue to take over. Playing as the Roman Cornelii family, I was confused to encounter a member of the rival Junii family bearing the Cornelius family name! The changes made to the retainer system (there is now a pool in which to dump unwanted retainers) are unnecessary and overcomplicate things. One can't shake the feeling that the developers really wanted to build a proper role-playing aspect of the game based on families, wrote everything that should go with it and then forgot to implement the families.
- The region/province system is nicely done and reduces the number of siege battles, thus making the game more realistic. Well done here. However, this has greatly complicated dealing with unrest in settlements. On the one hand, we get information overload regarding unrest factors, but addressing those problems is really a matter of guesswork. Increasing the garrison is no longer an option by the way, as armies are now recruited directly into generals.
- The campaign map...Oh where to begin. It's pretty, sure. It's also large, which can be nice (Europa Barbarorum really showed how it's done!). But why does it feel so claustrophobic? The map is a series of tiny passages between inaccessible woods of mountains, at least in the area I have discovered so far- it might look different in Persia. It's nice to make geography and terrain factors in the game, but why does upper Italy look like the high alps?!
Creative Assembly have announced the first patch for today, a mere 4 days post-release. I understand this will deal with graphics and performance issues (which I did not address as I have so far only played the game on my laptop which will only run it on "high", so I didn't expect much.) and not with game mechanics. I hope CA will adress those and support the game post-release and not save all improvements for a new game like they did with Empire/ Napoleon.
Until this game is patched, and though it breaks my heart as an old TW fan, I can only urge you to stay away.