Well, I’m about 20 hours into Rome Total War 2 and while it’s a good game, there are some really serious issues. I’ve been playing the Iceni (Britain) and they have some big horde armies, chariots, shitty cavalry, and slingers. In the campaign I took out everyone else in England/Ireland and then hit the continent, spearing down through northern France straight to the Mediterranean and into Spain. I was trying to get near Rome/Carthage before they were taken out, but both of them are gone from the game already, including the off shoot Nova Carthago. I think that will get patched (having Rome taken out by a minor Celtic faction is sad).
One of the things about playing barbarians is that you expect fights to become big mob fights with little to no formation– so when you’re playing it seems normal–however once you start fighting some of the more civilized factions you realize that they ALSO do not maintain their formations during unit to unit fights– it’s EXTREMELY odd to see a Macedonian phalanx turn into a mob type fight as the phalanxes break apart after a charge, but that’s what happens every fucking time. Remember that video of the phalanxes fighting? Where is that in the game? Dunno.
There are a few other things I’m not a fan of: no family tree makes me completely ignore all the personalities other than my main generals for example and there have been a few odd movement and control issues with the campaign map. Otherwise as big as the world is, the map seems SMALL and the fighting is nearly always around some city and not out in the countryside because cities in the game are WAY out of proportion huge compared to real life. They may look right on the map, but with the movement speeds of the armies, it’s just ….off.
I’ve done a bit of reading on what people are experiencing that have played the game a shitload more than I have and there are oodles of bugs, some of which are quite comical (ships flying through the air, flying through the ground, dudes flying off towers), but really it amounts to a buggy game. I’ve had a blue screen once and about 5 other crashes. I’m looking forward to the patches– but how far forward?
Good stuff: Sieges, while there are some issues with the ladders and siege tower placement are the best they’ve been in a TW game to date. I no longer automatically press the “autoresolve” like I did in Rome 1 and Medieval 2 because it is much more tactical and much easier to get around the cities. One thing that’s odd is that only the main cities can be sieged with equipment, all other cities just have a normal battle set in a town area.
Graphics: battle graphics are just superb. Everything looks great. I do get some slowdown in the bigger battles which hopefully will work out. Otherwise the battles seem to load FASTER than the old Total War games, which is crazy.