It took me a long while to click with Rome 2. A nine-year wait between the original and its successor meant I came into my first campaign with the highest of expectations, making it all the harder to look past the series' flaws that have somehow remained. However, five hours into my campaign as the head of House Julia, my influence growing, I finally started to see how the new elements were fitting into place: the naval combat, for example, wasn’t the write-off it initially seemed to be. I soon, very happily, realised this was the improved Total War I was expecting. Even if, at times, it'll do its best to convince you otherwise.

Technically, this is easily Creative Assembly’s most impressive title to date, with a greater variation of battle types that can now accommodate both land and naval forces. The most impressive scraps take place when attacking or defending one of the major capital cities of the era, and managing a fleet of reinforcements as you defend a siege provides a brilliant challenge. These encounters are just as intimidating as they are exciting, making the addition of a top-down, tactical viewpoint near essential.

After spending so long with Europa Universalis (the new king of grand strategy in my eyes) over the past two weeks, my main concern stems from the actions of the AI. As you can see in the video feature below, nations will consistently refuse mutually beneficial trade agreements and diplomacy ends up being more about bribing the AI into accepting proposals than shrewd international politics.

When it comes to combat too, the AI can be just as exploitable, often over-committing when tempted by fast-moving cavalry or light infantry. These faults were present within the original game, but it’s harder to forgive today.

Rome 2 is a technical behemoth, but at the moment, it’s the little details that are holding it back. Still a great game, but not the masterpiece I was hoping for.

Game played for 20 hours. Click here to read about VideoGamer.com's new review policy.

8 / 10

  • Capital city sieges look incredible
  • Combining land and naval battles
  • Incomparable scale
  • The AI is still lacking

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Nuclear_Moose's Avatar

Nuclear_Moose

Even though i think it's a great franchise, i must say that this is not even worthy of a 8/10 score, the AI is way to dumb, doing stupid crap even on some of the highest difficulties, It will attack a giant army over and over again, why small armies that just gets destroyed, it's kinda pointless to build a dedicated navy, as embarked soldiers are just as effective. And the AI seems to be even dumber on the battlefield, by being very indecisive, running back and forth, never doing anything. I have even seen armies just run through a point completely filled with troops, just to get to the flag, not fighting the army they are trying to run through, resulting in them getting completely slaughtered.
The day 1 DLC and multiplayer desync issues are pretty horrible as well...
Posted 12:34 on 10 September 2013
Jaykidballer's Avatar

Jaykidballer

I have played rome total war since it originally came out and have been anticipating this release for a year. I have been a fan of strategy games for over 25 years and i am extremely disappointed. The graphics are nice it takes so long to get something to work you feel like you won the lottery or something. The encyclopedia which is suppose to help is very aggravating because it makes it difficult to scroll down because the writing is so small. This game is just way to technical, it is definitely not a fun game. It's a waste if time and money.
Posted 22:08 on 03 September 2013
DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino

I wonder if my laptop would just laugh at me if I tried to play this on it.

And good review and video. It's a bit disappointing the AI hasn't evolved much, but I don't think this should stop people new to the series from getting it. The sense of power and scale in the original was awesome.
Posted 15:31 on 02 September 2013
Bratterz's Avatar

Bratterz

Video imminent, duders!

Edit: That ended up taking forever to process -- cursed YouTube!
Posted 14:07 on 02 September 2013

Game Stats

Total War: Rome 2
8
Out of 10
Total War: Rome 2
  • Capital city sieges look incredible
  • Combining land and naval battles
  • Incomparable scale
  • The AI is still lacking
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 03/09/2013
Platform: PC
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Real-time strategy
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 3
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