Total War: Rome II (PC)

Sega once again takes us back to glory days of Roman Empire

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Sega Total War: Rome II (PC)
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.50 / 5 (of 1 Review)

Pros

  • Nice graphics
  • Improved management of resources and armies

Cons

  • Long wait times between turns due to AI
  • Graphical engine can be quite taxing on hardware

Bottom Line

Total War: Rome II is an epic strategy game that’s bound to provide hours of enjoyment for an aspiring armchair general. A couple of technical issues stop the game from conquering completely.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 1 store)

  • Total War Rome 2 Emperor Edition PC Game 36.99

With the popularity of TV shows such as Spartacus, interest in all things Roman seems to be at an all-time high. Sega has chosen this moment to release Total War: Rome II, the sequel to its 2004 strategy game. Massive battles have been a trait of past Total War games, and Rome II makes use of today’s modern PC technology to recreate epic clashes between Romans and their adversaries.

Bigger and better than ever

The main upgrade over the first title is the improved graphics, which is a given considering the first game came out nine years ago. The jump is not as pronounced if you’re used to playing more recent titles, such as 2006’s Medieval II: Total War and 2011’s Total War: Shogun 2. Even so, there is no denying that Total War: Rome II is an impressive looking game, with wider and more varied environments compared to past games. In the past, the environments had a tendency to feel a bit closed, making it feel like a virtual sandbox. Significant improvements have also been made to units to make them look like individuals rather than the same unit copy and pasted into an army.

Since the size of the game map has been increased, you can now implement more complex strategies than before. Management of buildings has also improved over past games for a more streamlined experienced, where the focus can remain on building up troops and armies without needing to micromanage structures and their upgrades. The ability to track the development of towns, as well as issue orders directly to them, is particularly useful considering the increased scale of the game world and the complex battles that take place on it.

Demanding of resources

Beyond the graphical overhaul and the various tweaks made to the gameplay experience, Total War: Rome II does not feel too different from past titles in the series, particularly the more recent ones. The familiar turn-based gameplay is intact, which makes it easy for seasoned players to get to grips with the controls. However, those of you who are new to the series will need more time to get familiar with it. Unlike a typical RTS, you have to wait until the computer AI makes its move following a turn. In past titles, this would typically last from a few seconds to a minute or two at most. In Total War: Rome II, the AI takes a lot longer. It was not uncommon for us to wait a couple of minutes for the computer to respond, and we think this tends to break up the flow of the gameplay.

Total War: Rome II is a gorgeous looking game that requires fairly recently PC hardware. We tested on a relatively modest PC running a now old Intel Core i5-750 CPU and 8GB of RAM, but with a solid state system drive and a current-generation AMD Radeon HD 7790 mid-range graphics adapter. Using this configuration, the frame rate fluctuated from good to bad. Turning down the detail helped to improve the performance somewhat, but the game still stuttered and was prone to freezing, particularly on busy segments of the game when it had to display complex environments or large armies. Considering a large portion of the game is spent panning around the map to keep track of towns and armies, both your own and the enemy’s, the jittery performance becomes an obstacle during crucial moments in campaigns.

Despite the above technical issues on our modest hardware, Total War: Rome II is still a fun game that does a good job of capturing the scale and ferocity of army warfare.

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mike

1

I have been playing nothing but the Total War series since the original Shogun. I have now played Rome 2 for about a week and have not had a crash or fault yet so the game is very stable. I have been playing the game on my 4 yo Intel Core i7-950 and a 5850 video card and the game has been running fine with battles OK but with some slow load times when loading a save game or ending your turn. I have just upgraded my pc today to the latest hardware [i7-4770 and GTX770] which I am hoping will make the game super speedy. My only real fault with the game is that you are limited to 6 generals and therefore 6 armies and you cannot garrison a province except by stationing one of your armies there. In the previous games I would station some militia in towns to keep the population happy while my generals were at the front line of the empire. Now having conquered Carthage and southern Gaul and all Italy and moving on Greece it is quite difficult to keep all of your provinces happy since you can only have an army with a general - no general no troops at all. This restriction is a pain in the arse. I would like the option to be able to raise small armies without a general. Also the problem of lack of food and keeping the population happy - your own people are just a bit too unhappy at times and you may not be able to do anything about it as your armies are needed at your borders. However I would still rate this game a 9 and would recommend it to all gamers.

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Mike

4.5

1

Pros
Graphics and a massive game which will keep me happy for months or more
Cons
Restrictions on the number of generals and no troops allowed without a general
• • •

I have been playing nothing but the Total War series since the original Shogun. I have now played Rome 2 for about a week and have not had a crash or fault yet so the game is very stable. I have been playing the game on my 4 yo Intel Core i7-950 and a 5850 video card and the game has been running fine with battles OK but with some slow load times when loading a save game or ending your turn. I have just upgraded my pc today to the latest hardware [i7-4770 and GTX770 with 16gb ram] which I am hoping will make the game super speedy. My only real fault with the game is that you are limited to 6 generals and therefore 6 armies and you cannot garrison a province except by stationing one of your armies there. In the previous games I would station some militia in towns to keep the population happy while my generals were at the front line of the empire. Now having conquered Carthage and southern Gaul and all Italy and moving on Greece it is quite difficult to keep all of your provinces happy since you can only have an army with a general - no general = no troops at all. This restriction is a pain in the bum. I would like the option to be able to raise small armies without a general. Also the problem of lack of food and trying to keep the population happy is just a bit too hard at times - your own people are just a bit too unhappy and you may not be able to do anything about it as your armies are needed at your borders. I have worked out the agents but am still trying to figure out the family politics and I can't wait to get a decent strategy guide from some genius [Frogbeasteggs or whoever]. The in-game encyclopaedia is as usual fairly useless - I just wish the game creators would get someone to write a decent manual/encyclopaedia. However I would still rate this game a 9 out of 10 and would recommend it to all gamers.

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