Total War: Rome II Review - Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.

Slycne

Tank Ninja
Feb 19, 2006
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Total War: Rome II Review - Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.

If you would have peace, prepare for war.

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Kristian Fischer

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Aug 15, 2011
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It's not a "bad" game by any standards, but it's got some issues. The AI can't cope at all, whether strategic or tactical, the naval combat is just awful, and the GUI has become even more cluttered. SO many buttons, so little screen real estate.
 

ron1n

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Jan 28, 2013
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Awful UI. Incredibly counterintuitive. The 'artistic' unit cards all look the same which makes it easy to miss-click in the chaos of a battle. AI is as brain dead as ever:
'Hey, want to setup a mutually beneficial trade agreement with my friendly nation?'
'Sure...but pay me $5000 first'
'But the trade agreement is only worth $120 per year? :('
'Ok...pay me 3800 then'

No guard ability (why they removed this I'll never understand). Visually it still looks good, but I swear Shogun 2 look much better in some ways, especially the battles (where's the blood?!)

Animations almost look like they've taken a step back in a number of ways.

Not a fan of the province system either and the way population happiness is shared between 3-4 regions. Got a flood in one region? Guess what, your WHOLE province will be rioting about it. Having limited armies tied to generals seems pointless also. Tons of little annoying changes.

Sigh. I mean. It's still a Totalwar game, and no doubt I'll still slog through it. But this is definitely the worst TW game I've played to date (and that's coming from someone who played through Empire).
 

Kristian Fischer

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Aug 15, 2011
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I never zoom in close enough to see the blood anyway, but it's not as good as it could be. Shame, really.

Far too many factions on the map, too.

I actually enjoyed Empire, BTW; Fall of the Samurai is probably the best the Total War series has been in recent iterations.
 

New Frontiersman

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Feb 2, 2010
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This definitely looks like something I'll want to get someday, but I have enough games on my plate right now as it is, so this'll have to wait for awhile.

But from the pictures and review it looks really awesome!
 

Bat Vader

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Mar 11, 2009
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Some that I miss from Medieval II and Shogun II are the assassin cinematics. I liked watching how my assassin could succeed or fail at every attempt. Loving the game though.
 

Ed_Fox

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Jan 27, 2010
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4 Stars? I strongly disagree.

The battles are waaay to short, and always end up just being like some kind of mosh-pit where one unit will break after 5-10 seconds. There's just no unit cohesion, even with units that require it function, like a phalanx. The units themselves appear to world-record level sprinters.

The game is very badly optimized and looks terrible, even on extreme.

If you were interested in getting this game, just wait until a decent community mod has been released, for what is clearly just a beta release.... or just play EB

2/5 - this game promised so much but delivered a poorly optimized beta.
 

Blunderboy

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Apr 26, 2011
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Well I'm rather enjoying it. Sure there are some tweaks that need to happen, but that's the case for practically every major release these days. And I trust CA to sort it soon.
 

Slycne

Tank Ninja
Feb 19, 2006
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it definitely needs some major patching. fast fowarding doesnt work in my game, ships sometimes continually ram each other doing no damage, units are frozen in place, unit cohesion seems sketchy too i noticed, even pike phalanxes cant hold their lines like they could in the old rome

the ui needs desperate modding. its so hard at a glance to tell units apart from their unit cards and its a pain that they removed actually listing the number of men on the unit cards as well.

one thing i can see is how much potential the game has. its going to be a defining total war game once it has a few patches under its belt. now give me my seleucids damn it !
 

Jack_in_the_green

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Mar 22, 2011
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This review is simply CRAP...
The game is horrible at this stage and several mechanics have been INCREDIBLY dumbed down, comparing with previous titles (such as diplomacy and even tactical battles, on which you are suposed to "defend" certain positions on the battlefield marked with a flag, regardless of your choice or better ground for your troops; if you dont do this you lose the battle...).

I cant stress it enough, THEY HAVE GONE BACKWARDS with this game. If you dont own Shogun 2, do yourself a favour, get THAT one. Forget this Rome 2... ^thumbs down^

And I add: VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET; let be clear to fucking Creative Assembly that they cant just keep rushing horribly buggy games out the door as their standard practice...
 

Slycne

Tank Ninja
Feb 19, 2006
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apaprently there are supposed to be weekly patches for the game so thats something.
 

Frankster

Space Ace
May 11, 2020
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How does loading times compare with Shogun 2? That would be the decider for me.

Shogun 2 pissed me off so much with its 5 minute loading times for even small battles, it got to the point where i ended up just autobattling everything, basically not playing the game.
If rome 2 does better in that department, then it's already better then Shogun 2 in my book by virtue of being actually able to play it.
 

Slycne

Tank Ninja
Feb 19, 2006
3,422
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Frankster said:
How does loading times compare with Shogun 2? That would be the decider for me.

Shogun 2 pissed me off so much with its 5 minute loading times for even small battles, it got to the point where i ended up just autobattling everything, basically not playing the game.
If rome 2 does better in that department, then it's already better then Shogun 2 in my book by virtue of being actually able to play it.
Battles actually load quite quickly, it's the end of turn "loading" that takes forever this time around.
 

Canadish

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Jul 15, 2010
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Aye, I've heard some pretty bad stuff about this one. Saying that, someone did a check for the reviewers on steam and checked their actual play-time.

One guy played it for 1 hour and gave up after that.

I''m still gonna give it a miss for now. I might pick it up when it's patched up and my computer can handle it.
 

Slycne

Tank Ninja
Feb 19, 2006
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Kristian Fischer said:
It's not a "bad" game by any standards, but it's got some issues. The AI can't cope at all, whether strategic or tactical, the naval combat is just awful, and the GUI has become even more cluttered. SO many buttons, so little screen real estate.
The AI for Total War games has always been modeled after a bipolar meth addict and naval battle have always been next to impossible since the pathfinding has not in any way improved since the mid 2000s. As for the GUI, they still have not realized that the reason the WASD keybind layout for FPSs has become ubiquitous. It's not because it's the FPS players choice, it's that it just feels natural to have your hands in those positions.
 

smartalec

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Sep 12, 2008
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Canadish said:
Aye, I've heard some pretty bad stuff about this one. Saying that, someone did a check for the reviewers on steam and checked their actual play-time.

One guy played it for 1 hour and gave up after that.
It's quite possible that was, say, one guy they roped in to join in a multiplayer battle and that's all he did.
 

Lemonpie39

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Jul 18, 2012
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20 hours in now, and I must admit I'm enjoying it quite a bit regardless of the many complaints. As a matter of fact, some very fair points have been brought up in the thread that I didn't find back in the review. Though I don't have any technical issues (which I find strange, since so many seem to be having them instead. My system isn't all -that- superior), the gameplay does feel a bit of a step back compared to, say, Shogun.

The victory points, as someone stated before, are quite a pain if you're trying to set up a defensive position away from your starting position, and units automatically seem to be in guard mode, instead of being able to manually set them on it, as they don't bother setting a single step forward as soon as the enemy starts routing.

All in all, it's still not a -bad- game so long as you don't have any technical difficulties (try turning off the NPC movements at the end of turn as well. It shaves off -some- waiting time at least), but I suppose if you expect more bang for your buck, it might be an idea to wait it out a while.
 

Blaster395

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Dec 13, 2009
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The AI for the Total War games has been bad for a very specific reason: There are simply far too many possibilities to check.

It's like the difference between Chess AI and Go AI. Go has far simpler rules, but there are hundreds of possible moves per turn so an AI is incapable of planning more than a few moves ahead while a human can plan dozens of moves ahead. Meanwhile, chess only has about 3 or 4 moves worth considering for most of the game, so AI can check 20 or 30 turns ahead. Even running a Chess AI program on a typical PC will create an opponent unbeatable by humans at the highest settings, while the best Go AI barely plays better than an amateur.

Compare this to total war games, where there are not just thousands but millions of potential moves, and the rules are more complex than both chess and go combined. The typical strategy AI coding system of checking all possible moves and all the possible moves after those possible moves onward is impossible.

Not only that, but the Total War AI criteria for what counts as a good move or not is also going to be awful, because the AI cannot make judgement such as "What is the probability that the player will see these hidden units?" or "Will I flank the player before they notice?". In chess, the criteria is far simpler.