TOTAL WAR: ROME II
RRP: $ 89 ( Reviewed on PC)
WITH more than nine new playable factions and locations – spread from Britannia and Greece to the sands of northern Africa – newcomers to the Total War series could be initially overwhelmed embarking on this game’s grand campaign, which begins in 272BC.
The long- running Total War franchise is renowned for offering one of the most advanced strategy gaming engines, and for newcomers, a handful of tutorial chapters introduce the basics.
There are always two sides to a Total War game – one being the physical battle component, controlled entirely by the player, while the other is on making diplomatic decisions which affect your relationships with neighbouring nations.
However, as chief military dictator, the ultimate aim in any given campaign is to conquer one and all through careful planning, picking the right battles, managing a host of resources and making smart political decisions.
Rome II runs on the same turnbased battleground game engine as the developer’s previous title, Shogun II, offering an impressive variety of factors that affect the outcome of battles, from tactical flanking manoeuvres to using the landscape as cover. Even troop morale needs to be taken into account.
The new “true line of sight” feature is particularly cunning. The brow of a hill, for example, now keeps your units hidden from the enemy’s view, even if they’re well within striking distance.
The other main aspect of Rome II sees you pull away from the chaotic battles to the less exciting, but essential, campaign map mode.
As your faction encounters new nations, diplomacy and negotiations are vital to the growth of your empire.
For example, trade agreements can be made and alliances forged to prevent invasions. It’s the tedious politics and logistics in this mode which may deter some gamers.
The visuals are incredibly detailed and the animations are fluid, but sadly if you’re not equipped with a relatively new gaming PC, you’re unlikely to experience all that Rome II offers.