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3.0 out of 5 stars
Total War Rome II (PC DVD)
Platform: PCChange
Price:£19.98+£2.03shipping
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144 of 150 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2013
OK, it's not truly awful. It's not a bad game - there's a classic in there somewhere, but it's completely buried beneath awful optimisations (CA, wake up and optimise these games properly for multi core CPUs!) and terrible design decisions.

By far the worst of these is the decision to put 'capture the flag' style victory locations in open battlefields. They work well in city battles - especially in large cities, they stop that cheap tactic of rushing the central square with one unit, but for open battlefields, they ruin the game. The AI just head straight for them and sit there. No attempt to take the high ground or any other strategically important location; I could sort of understand if they were put on hills and things like that; history is littered with battles for hills. As well as that (and this also applies to the city capture points) the countdown timer runs down too quickly. Three minutes in the older TW games was perfect, now all you get is fifty seconds. So if you've forgotten about that capture point on a flat plain in the middle of nowhere, you have fifty seconds to rush some units back over there, beat the enemy away and recapture the point. This 'design decision' has ruined the open field battles.

There are some neat changes on the campaign map - it's good you no longer have to scroll through each and every city under your control, and it looks very nice. There are some annoyances: for some reason I find the way the tech trees work to be annoying. Slums are also a pain in the neck: if you leave a settlement with undeveloped ground for a couple of turns, they become slums which lower public order but allow recruitment of plebs. It's a good idea, but one that's badly overdone.

The music in this game is bland and generic compared to Rome's epic soundtrack and there's nowhere near as much of it either. Again, the modders might be able to help in that area.

To sum up then - I don't care how much of a fan of Rome TW you were, hold fire on this one. Monitor TW Centre.net for work the modders are doing (there are already some decent looking mods out); CA are also releasing regular patches. Perhaps this game was simply released too early in which case a wait of a few months will be worth enduring. I feel your pain; but better to wait than to pay full whack as I did, for a game that's blatantly unfinished.

For all the hype of this game CA, you have dropped the ball. And Sega? Go away as you have no idea how strategy games work; you have an arcade publisher, the game will become more arcade as is shown here. What a disappointment after a wait of almost a decade.
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113 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 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.
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144 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2013
After 35 hours play, I have now stopped; I just can't take any more. I have not suffered from the the widely reported graphics issues, rather the sad truth is that this game is both technically flawed, and much worse is merely a soulless, simplistic parody of the previous games in the series. Check the comments listed on the TW forums before you consider parting with your hard earned cash; this game is a huge disappointment, which is a real shame - avoid.

Most of the following comments will only be relevant to those who have played similar games including previous titles in the Total War series:

The good:

- Interesting province idea.
- Big map.
- Many factions
- The new stance system works ok

The not so good:

- Awful AI.
- Boring graphics (not like the trailers)
- Unit types play the same and battles consist of massive, garish brawls that are over in a matter of minutes
- Over-powered free transport ships (any land unit can turn into a ship just by walking out into the ocean; these free vessels can then ram expensive war ships to death)
- Flawed and limited tech and build trees
- Implementation of the province vs city idea is abysmal (for example you can only build a maximum of five buildings in Rome, the greatest city of the era)
- Different agent action types are pointless, you just pick the one with the best chance of success and there are no agent animations
- Each turn is a year so generals and agents die after 20 - 30 turns, usually before they can do anything. This obviates any human attachment to your characters.
- Family tree removed and marriage options not properly implemented - no children etc. This compounds the lack of attachment to characters / families / factions / the game.
- No seasons or winter weather
- Random attrition travelling on the map
- No roads, no buildable walls or defenses in towns
- Horrible, clunky, unintuitive user interface
- Units have magic powers that can be spammed indefinitely (although they can't they stay in formation)
- Formation movement buttons missing from battle map
- Guard button removed; units don't follow up on attacks or defend themselves properly
- Legionary fire at will button and defensive pilum casting removed
- Testudo doesn't work
- Phalanx formation for the Greeks doesn't work
- Infantry units run at approximately 40 mph and battles are over in about 4 minutes (big, key ones)
- Few videos in game to enhance immersion, those that appear are random (one of you generals has died again - so what? He was only appointed a few turns ago)
- Random politics and events outside of the player's influence
- Co-op campaign doesn't work (synchronization and AI turn time)
- Diplomacy doesn't work properly
- Single player campaign doesn't work - e.g. no one will attack you even on hard or very hard difficulty, and AI units escape in their 'magic boats' instead of defending their key cities
- Over simplified and boring economic system
- Slow-opening encyclopedia (web pages load faster) which contains only the most basic information - gone is the rich rich tapestry of history and law
- Poorly implemented mouse over information leading to frequent use of the slow and disappointing encyclopedia
- Poorly implemented limited generals/admirals system reduces you to few big armies, but the AI pointlessly throws a multitude of tiny armies at your cities, so you hardly ever fight the big decisive battles promised in all the hype
- Horrible massive unit cards obstruct the battle map in blob-fighting (battle) mode
- Unattractive icons and unit card images, lacks the artistic polish and historic depth of the previous games .

Apparently many people are also experiencing technical issues. Doesn't support SLI (or Crossfire so I've read) either.

I could go on. I really wish I hadn't pre-ordered this game. I know people who took time off work to play this this week. Creative Labs, EA, Sega Shame on you.

Amazon got the game to me a day before activation at a reduced price from the order price - 5 stars to Amazon for service, value, and delivery as always.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2013
I had been waiting for this game for a long time and even preordered it but it was a huge mistake. The game is full of bugs, the AI is terrible and it suffers from a lot of bad design decisions. After trying to enjoy it for a week, I stopped playing and I simply haven't even thought about playing it again.

There are a lot of mistakes I can forgive in a game, and I have played and enjoyed lots of games with bad reviews, but this one has a really big problem, unlike any other Total War game it is simply not fun nor interesting to play. I suggest you buy Shogun II instead, or if you don't care that much about 3d battles go for Paradox grand strategy games like Crusader Kings II or Europa Universalis IV, games made to please the players and not the professional reviewers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2014
As an independent game i'd have marked this a 3 (it's ok), maybe a 4 if i was in a good mood. But as a total war game it's shockingly bad. Real shame. Glitchy. Shocking AI, given their boasting about their improvements to it especially. Multiplayer campaign is a non starter, the capture the flag type battle's infuriating, in fact the whole battle set up is like entering a moshpit or street fight, the DLCs a kick on the groin when the main game's still not working properly, the whole game feels rushed in fact it feels like a step back from Shogun, even Empire. Even with recent patches, i'd not recommend it. I just hope the Mods carry on their excellent work and save what should have been an amazing game from the complete disappointment it is
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2014
Many of the points I would write about have already been covered by other reviews and more extensively.

To summarise:
1) Campaign play has been made more cumbersome through limiting armies and changing the recruitment style from all previous games, making it easy to wipe out armies and then simply raise another.
2) Attempting to bite into the niche market that Crusader Kings offers by trying to implement a more personal aspect with the family members. Implemented poorly as this is literally irrelevant.
3) The worst combat of any TW game so far, combat and battles is simply a mosh pit with there being little strategic advantage in holding back reinforcements.

In all honesty, Shogun hit the nail on the head much more successfully than this attempt; this second look at Rome is a dreadful attempt to squeeze some more cash out of what was a top tier strategy game and its legacy. You would be better investing your money elsewhere.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2013
Aside from the eye candy, it is actually quite inferior to its very old Rome Total War predecessor. The redesigned AI is pitiful. Bugs abound. As I write this, the game is patched on a weekly basis, so the developers actually do seem to care. Empire Total War and Napoleon Total War also suffered from very rocky starts before becoming enjoyable. There is hope that the same thing will happen to Rome II. Meanwhile, 2 stars, disappointment of the year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2013
TOTAL WAR ROME 2, I got this game for my birthday and i was really looking forward to playing it,as i enjoy the battle type games ,its rubbish its takes ages for the units to get into position and when you try to zoom in on the action its impossible to keep track of whats going on and alter any of your own units actions ,i tried it several times after buying it but now its been put in a cupboard because its so annoying and haven-t even bothered to use the extra codes that amazon sent , if your a fan as i was of the other total war games avoid this at all costs as its a waste of money.Total War Rome II (PC DVD)
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2013
Sorry to say that this game has nothing to do with what a Real Total War game is all about. It is lacking in so many ways, it is almost painful for a fan of the franchise such as myself to even play this game, none the less I have so far invested 417 hours in this game, and it is now 2 months (roughly) since release several DLC's have also been put out plus 5 patches, and we are still not even close to seeing the game that most fans had wanted or expected. If you are considering buying this game I would recommend against it, instead buy any of the other TotalWar titles even though they are dated they are still superior to this title in just about every way possible.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2013
this game has great potential but from day one of release to 29/12/2013 it still is riddled with bugs and functions that don't work. It is constantly being updated by the GB. The players have made many mods and have done a brilliant job but shows up how terrible the released version is. do not buy for a while yet.
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