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Total War: Rome II

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Total War: Rome II
Twr2cover24.jpg
This game is a shameful display towards the Total War franchise.
Genre(s): Turn-based strategy
Real-time tactics
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
macOS
Release: Microsoft Windows
September 3, 2013
macOS
September 3, 2014
Developer(s): Creative Assembly
Publisher(s): Sega
Country: United Kingdom
Series: Total War
Predecessor: Rome: Total War (predecessor)
Total War: Shogun 2 (by release date)
Successor: Total War: Attila (by release date)

Total War: Rome II is a strategy game developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. It was released on September 3, 2013 for Microsoft Windows and is the eighth standalone game in the Total War series of video games. Rome II is a successor to the 2004 game Rome: Total War.

In September 2014, the Emperor Edition was released, which added Mac support, addressed many of the technical problems in the game, as well as overhauling AI battles and upgrading the visuals. It was offered as a standalone edition and a free upgrade to all current players.

Why It Sucked

NOTE: Most of these issues were fixed in Emperor Edition.

  1. At launch, many users reported that the game was unable to load after installation and tended to crash a lot.
  2. The game is horribly unoptimized, which results in horrible performances such as poor texture rendering and low framerates (even with the lowest settings).
  3. The game's loading time is horribly long (especially when it starts), arguably even worse than the Commando 64.
  4. Tons of bugs and glitches, such as the ship being able to move on land, soldiers getting clipped with terrain and glitched animations.
  5. Extremely dumb AI, for example:
    • The enemy may send an unit to charge at your units and suddenly retreats without harming them.
    • The enemy may let its units stand still, letting them get killed by your archers, without ordering them to retreat.
    • It's possible to kill 8,000 infantries with 24 elephants, as the AI will try to chase your elephants but never actually hit them, while your elephants will easily hit enemy units via trample damage and kill them.
    • AI in Capture The Flag mode (in which the attacking side must capture the flag at specific spot in enemy settlements to capture them) is notorious for its stupidity, as it will never try to repel an unit(s) that captures its flag.
  6. While the game featured 117 factions, only 8 were playable at release, and only 6 factions later became available for free after updates, while other 26 factions were introduced as DLC.
  7. To prevent the game from receiving a R18 rating for graphical violence, Sega removed blood and gore from it and later restored it as DLC sold for $2. Yes, you had to pay $2 to see blood in a game about war.
  8. The diplomacy system is a major letdown compared to previous installments. Instead of sending diplomats to negotiate with other factions, you had to "discover" them by marching other agents (spy, assassin, governor) or armies towards any area that are being covered by fog of war. There are also much less diplomatic actions than in the previous games.
  9. Confusing UI, both in battle mode and campaign mode. Since previous games like Total War: Shogun 2 or even Rome: Total War (which were released in 2004) had very easy-to-use UI, this is inexcusable.
  10. The video cutscenes (which shows various events during the campaign) were removed and replaced by a static image, note that many of different events used the same images.
  11. Bland and forgettable soundtracks, contrasting with its predecessor (Rome: Total War), which was notable for its great variety of soundtracks.
  12. Poor voice acting and dialogues, especially the advisor; there are no unique advisors for each different culture and the enemy no longer curses or utters motivating quotes like in the previous title.
  13. While Creative Assembly tried to fix various problems of the game with several patches, these patches occasionally made the modded game unplayable. A problem also shared by standalone DLC Empire Divided.
  14. A controversy sparked in September 2018, when people noticed that there was a noticeable amount of female generals which isn't historically accurate, the community manager responded terribly to the controversy, causing even more backlash, and leading to a review bombing of the game on Steam.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. It is the first Total War game where a player can create a battle that had more than 40,000 soldiers deployed, and also extending the maximum number of units player can command from 20 to 40 units.
  2. It is the first Total War game that featured a cross battles between ships and land units.
  3. Some of technical issue were later fixed in Emperor Edition.
  4. A lot of mods were available, including faction unlocking mod, new units mod, and there is also a lot of mods that helps to fix the game's performance and several problems.

Reception

Total War: Rome II received mostly positive reviews from critics, but suffered from significant technical problems upon release. However, it proved a commercial success, surpassing all other games in the Total War series in both sales and number of concurrent players on its release day. As of 31 March 2014, the game had sold 1.13 million copies in Europe and North America.

Upon release many users reported technical faults such as being unable to load the game following installation, crashes, texture optimization problems and broken artificial intelligence; poor game performance was also constantly reported.

In a negative review by Rich Stanton for The Guardian, he reports having to re-download the full game following problems with his own review copy, noting that "(My) PC runs Shogun II at ultra settings without any issues but Rome II on medium makes it choke like a dog, and judging by the developer's own forum many others are having the same issues."

On the official forums, an "anonymous developer" from another studio posted his own complaints, including numerous bugs and poorly implemented features such as "capture the flag" style battles, feeling that the game had "comprehensively failed" to be tested, blaming the publisher Sega for its state on release.

In a review by critic Angry Joe, who gave the 6/10 score, he also complained about AI problems and unit balancing with in game video examples while also noting differences with the preview builds, while William Usher of Cinema Blend supported Vargas's review while questioning other reviews due to the number of reported problems on release prior to patching.

Following its release, developer The Creative Assembly announced regular patching in order to fix the reported issues, with the first update coming the Friday the same week of release.

On the Total War official forums, admins on behalf of Creative Director Mike Simpson issued an apology along with a statement, promising to further patch the game, encouraging players to report all problems given the variety and difference of issues between players. Simpson would later go on to state, in a second public announcement about new and upcoming fixes, about asking for further player input while also "hoping we can fundamentally treat our releases differently in the future."

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