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Rome: Total War 2 First Look

Developer: Creative Assembly | Publisher: Sega
Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: RTS

Release Date: 09/03/13

Creative Assembly, the group of talented Developers that makes Strategy Games for Sega have been busy in recent years. The team has created two very successful franchises with the Shogun and Rome: Total War. The fans of Rome Total War have been begging Creative Assembly to come out with a full sequel, to Rome Total War, and Sega has greenlit the project with the biggest budget they have ever had.

What is Creative Assembly planning to do with the extra money? Lead Designer James Russell says this: “The Roman world is so huge and active, you’ve got so much more variety in terms of building styles, fighting styles, it’s just a lot more production. It’s such a big world. It’s a realistic goal to make these battles look like nothing you’ve ever seen in a game before.” 

Rome Total War 2 features battles with thousands of units onscreen at once. You haven’t seen anything spectacular in a Strategy Game until you see the rain of flaming arrows fall upon a city. This is all done with the highest detail possible. Though specs are not yet available, we do anticipate Rome Total War 2 pushing your PC hardware quite hard. Slow PC’s and older videocards need not apply. But the team is hard at work to get the largest number of computers able to play an run Rome Total War 2. They are striving to keep the main specs at the same place as Shogun 2, their last title. But with a new lighting and particle system, this may be difficult. Creative Assembly anticipates being several months from hitting Alpha code, So they are using the time to optimize everything they can.

Lead Designer James Russell adds more about where they are taking Rome Total War 2: “It’s interactive. We don’t want to have a fixed, scripted campaign. It’s about weaving human-level plots and archetypal ancient world storylines into the way you’re playing the campaign game.  We want to render Rome with some kind of internal conflict. Do I save the Republic, or do I make myself Emperor? Some of that can be through interactive dilemmas.”

On the battlefields, you will see soldiers react to fellow friends and allies being shot, by arrows, around them. This gives the game a feel of realism as these are real people who aren’t just robots but have emotion. In addition, choices the player makes while playing will have an impact on the world and what happens as you progress through the single player campaigns.  This gives a brand new feeling to the world of Rome Total War 2 and something that shows this group is not content to just put out another title. They really want to evolve and make the Strategy genre better.

Part of improving the genre comes at how do you control your massive amount of soldiers on the battlefield?  Lead Designer James Russell once again chimes in: “The Roman Emperor is thinking, ‘where’s the 10th Legion, I need to move the 8th Legion up to support it.’ We want to create a more cohesive concept of armies. It reduces the micromanagement burden over a huge map, but at the same time you still have total control over what the makeup of your legions is. We’re actually going to create the concept of legion legacy. In other words the 10th Legion has its own character that outlives the general, it has its own history. That’s really how the Romans felt about their legions. It will create actual in-game effects. You win a great battle and that will potentially give you a trait or a concrete property.” 

Speaking about the sea, he said: “We want to integrate the navies better into the gameplay. Before they were basically containers to transport armies around and everything was about capturing cities in siege battles. Naval power is going to be very significant on the campaign map than it was before. I think that makes the game tactically much more interesting.”

What about diplomacy, James Russell? “We want to make the other cultures, the other people you encounter really feel human and have their agendas and desires well-reflected in the diplomacy system. You’ve got the AI for each faction that has its own agenda that’s analyzing which regions it wants to capture. Separate to that you’ve got the diplomatic relations system that says ‘you’re friendly to this guy and you’re hostile to that guy’. And those are separate entities that talk to each other. What we’re doing for Rome 2 is actually combining it, so what it thinks of you – the way you play, how you treated that faction before, whether you double-crossed it, or whether you acted in a trustworthy manner – will be right at the heart of the AI in terms of which regions it wants to attack. We’ll be able to do lots of interesting things in terms of telling the player why the AI doesn’t want to trade with them. One [AI] might be really vengeful, one might be more forgiving.”

Rome Total War 2 is still being Developed by the awesome minds over at Creative Assembly. They are hoping for a release in late 2013 but as with all creative geniuses, it wouldn’t surprise me if this date slips. We look forward to seeing more of this title in the future and can’t wait to play it on our own PC’s!

By Kaleb Rutherford - 06/09/13

Screenshots for Rome: Total War 2 First Look

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