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on 13 October 2013
Having followed the Total War series for over a decade, I always look forward to a new release. I really like the detail of the game with a whole host of factions appearing. Overall, the attention to historical detail is better than in the original 'Rome Total War'. However, many of the problems that have haunted the Total War series, especially when playing against the computer rather than a human, remain. The ability of opponents to move with greater accuracy than a modern army is now made worse by armies which appear and disappear even when marching across an open plain, making it hard for you to fight them even if they are a short distance away. Thus, gameplay can be frustrating. The graphics are simplified presumably to provide greater speed but this can lead to parts of Britain resembling African savannah. The city-building aspect and battles in cities are much better handled. Saying that, maintaining a happy state among your citizens is far more difficult than on previous games; especially if conquering provinces outside the historic Roman Empire. Agents do not get killed off in their first turn in the way so often happened in previous total war games. This game can be immersive, but you need to have patience when your computer-generated opponents prove to have so many more abilities that are barred to you.
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on 3 October 2013
How long have we waited for this game ?
Well i have to agree with the negative reviews here, which i hate to admit. Firstly i've only played rome 2 for about 6 hours but after realising that i had to place my army at a flag or lose every battle my heart sank. It was so simple all they had to do was boost Rome 1 a little tinkering here and there and added graphics units etc etc but no as everything in this day and age they had to blow it up full of air.
I am so pissed off, but i do have faith that soon someone will come along with an amazing mod and could turn it into the best total war yet - lets see if darthmod comes out of retirement !
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on 14 July 2017
After ROME I was possitively surprised a new version arrived in store. After giving it a try for seceral hours I decided the original game is much more fun as are the free mods.
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on 29 May 2017
All good.
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on 10 September 2013
Played on: Windows 7.
Copy protection: Steam.

Like most iv'e been waiting for this game to come ever since the original Rome Total War game, now around 9 years ago. Being my favorite era of Total War, I was dripping with anticipation over this, and positive early reviews in, that i slapped my cash down for this. In hindsight, it's now obvious that those highly rated reviews i read, hadn't played the game long enough, or a wide range of the features to realize what a mess this game was released in *sad face*.

Pros:
+ The best era in the series(IMO).
+ UI & battle camera control is great (hover mouse over anything & it explains what it is or does).
+ Visually pleasing (but not as stunning as the build up made it to be).
+ Cinematic camera is amazing (Just wow! & you can manually control/aim your siege artillery & watch the projectile in motion from 3rd person).
+ Campaign map looks great & watching your settlements grow in real time is excellent.
+ Superb prologue/tutorial story to break the ice (voiced by actor Marks Strong).
+ Being able to reinstate lost legion legacies is nice(and name your own Legion's/Fleets).
+ Only able to field as many armies/agents in accordance to your power which makes things challenging (i.e how many provinces you hold).
+ You can't move individual units across the campaign map, they need to have a general(which are limited), makes sense & ensures you don't take silly risks.
+ Politics can become interesting at higher levels of support for your house/family faction.
+ Battle atmosphere is immersive, with rhythmic marching, bantering/taunting solider's dialogue etc..
+ Game launch button allows you to load directly into your current campaign game & skip the game intro.

Cons:
- AI is almost brain dead on the battlefield & not aggressive enough on the campaign map that you'll be the one having to take things in hand.
- Battles are over way too quickly & just a mess of bodies clashing & routing.
- Capture points in wilderness battles are stupid & need to be removed (whats the point of using the landscape to your advantage right ? do-h).
- No more family tree = no empathy or bonding yourself to your own individual characters as much. And politics isn't explained very well.
- Investing in actual navies is pointless unless you use auto resolve(as weak/free transport ships can win out).
- Generals battle speeches are too short & lack the attention to detail they once had.
- Epic long turn times once more & more factions are discovered.
- Stability issues (lagging to frame per frame treacle or crashing at times).

In conclusion, Rome 2 was released in a shameful state. And while there is an addictive/pleasurable game experience underneath all this crap, it's going to take all your loyalty to the franchise to stick with it. If you haven't bought it yet & not in a rush to do so, then wait for a GOTY or expansion edition with it all patched up. As it is, it's only worth playing if you can accept all the problems. Disappointed, but i'll fight on.

---------------Update-------------------------
----------Rome 2: Emperor Edition----------

With 15/16 game patches since release , Rome 2 has improved quite a bit across the board since i made this review. I am finding the AI are more challenging, more stable game, turns go a bit quicker, capture points more sensible & the difficulty settings actually make the game harder now. Still, isn't quite the game it should had been originally. Also , Creative Assembley released a free mission pack (DLC) called "Imperator Augustus Campaign". Which lets us play on a full sized campaign map (you can still play the full campaign as before) around the political situation created by the assassination of Julius Caesar. You can play as Lepidus's, Mark Antony's or Octavian's Roman Factions, as well as other factions of that period (not quite the same mixture of factions as the original campaign, but they are at the core of the units).

CA are releasing a new game in February 2015 called Total War: Atilla. Which does offer things that were missing in Rome 2 e.g family tree etc... They claim it's not an expansion, but expect it to look a lot like Rome 2, from clips iv'e seen.

All things now considered, I have decided to bump up the games score from 3 stars to 4 stars. And make it, Recommended.
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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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on 2 January 2014
Been a fan of total war since shogun, I thought I would wait for this one which was the right move judging by the reviews on release...

I don't know if im getting older and wiser or I just couldn't be bothered to buy into the hype, because I watched all the episodes of rally point thinking they can't pull this off, surely it would take more than 2 years to make a new and better engine, like with Empire.
The campaign is still immersive, however there are still bugs present, and the battles! What have they done, its just like an arcade game, no tactics, just blob battles, no room for manoeuvres, I thought they got a good balance going in Shogun 2.
I get the feeling creative assembly were rushed by Sega, but thats still not an excuse, this is a full priced PC game, it has to be right, there is a brand and reputation to uphold. Luckily I don't tend to get as attached anymore, but I think to myself when I was still at school, this is what I would look forward to, so they must have let a lot of people down.

The worst thing is the DLCs, how on earth do they expect people to shell out to play as Sparta! Any casual gamer playing a game set in this time period wants to be Sparta! Now this Julius Caesar campaign, please guys, fix the game first, then try and sell us add ons, how can you have time to develop DLCs without a complete game?

Overall I think this game has a long way to go, I'm a pessimist and I was still disappointed, so I can't imagine how I would have felt if I had been 16 again when empire came out. I know they can do alot better, but I hope they spend at least 4-6 months patching up the game to acceptable levels, maybe a few of the DLCs being made free, especially Greek cities because It takes a lot of cheek to have Rome without Sparta.

Last point but not about the game, im sure there will be a DLC or expansion pack for Alexander the Great and the late empire Attila the Hun, I hope they don't mess it up.
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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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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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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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