As suspected, after Empires, Napoleon and Shogun 2, Creative Assembly has announced Rome Total War 2. This is a long time in coming, but the company had a lot of ground to cover before getting back to the best! Needless to say, I’m stoked: just the rumor of this is fappable to the extreme. Rome Total War was my second favorite game of the early 2000’s, and the only contender against Warcraft 3 for the game of the decade. CA made so many improvements from Medieval Total War to Rome that it was almost a completely different game. It was the first where you could move your armies around inside a territory, rather than just attack at territory and have it go right to battle (ala Genghis Khan 2). While a smaller map than Medieval, Rome felt huge, both because you really have to work it to hit the edges of the map, and that each faction/nation/city state had a ton of character. When the eventual civil war happens, it’s both challenging and very rewarding as you crush the other Roman factions as well as the lesser nations.
That said, Rome 2 has to be a masterpiece and likely it will be: CA knows what it’s doing and, other than CIV, has the most successful strategy franchises out there. While I am not the biggest fan of Shogun 2, Empires was amazing– I played it so much that I haven’t even cracked open Napoleon. Medieval 2 wasn’t my favorite either, but coming after Rome, it had massive shoes to fill.
So what will we have in Rome 2 that we didn’t have in Rome:
- Detailed real-time naval battles
- MAYBE naval+ground battles at the same time (per the screen shots, this looks like it’s happening)
- Better AI for marine landings – Shogun 2 had the AI doing bag-around-back army landings from the sea– a first! So no more hiding in Britain knowing the AI can’t get to you because it doesn’t know how to put troops on a boat and drop them off.
- Better sieges – they’ve been getting better and better each game, and it’s the best thing about Shogun 2
- “Well of Nations” – Rome Total War barbarian invasion players will know what I’m referring to here– the Cimbri, Huns, Parthians seem to come out of nowhere in massive hordes historically and while the original Rome didn’t do much with this– the expansion had it in spades and was, ever so slightly, the better game for it because you never knew what was going to spill over the horizon into your empire. This was a key factor in the post-Punic War era.