The much anticipated sequel to one of the more popular titles of Creative Assembly’s Total War franchise has finally been announced. PCGamer reports in their preview that Total War: Rome 2 is expected to be released in 2013, and will continue with the artistic style shift that Shogun 2 introduced to the series. Some highlights from the preview:
- Combat scenarios and maps have been revamped, with the inclusion of combined naval and land combat occurring simultaneously in the same battle.
- Individual battles will have more significance: Instead of many small skirmishes, CA has shifted their design around armies that matter fighting battles that matter.
- A battle for a major city, for example, may require multiple battles/assaults to capture the whole thing.
- Unit detail to be a continued emphasis: 3rd person over-the-shoulder view of individual soldiers to give the player a close-up look into the action
- More individualized combat: Soldiers will engage individual soldiers in combat, take cover, as well as in-game cut scenes.
- Better camera control: New camera controls and view modes will allow the player to get a better idea of what is going on during the battle with their units.
- Players will be able to change the equipment load-out of their units(weapons, armor, etc.).
- Cities are larger, making battles more complex and making them multi-battle affairs.
- Regions will now be made up of smaller provinces. To conquer a region will require a faction to capture all the provinces it contains.
- With regions broken down into provinces, it will allow a player to control development at the higher region level, and not at the provincial level. This was done to lower the amount of micromanagement that occurs as a player controls more regions over the course of a game.
This game sounds incredible so far with the features the developers have mentioned already. I especially like the macro-level region control, the multi-part sieges, and the combined naval/land combat:
- While I do have a fondness for the micro-level region control, I find that being able to set region-level policy would help the flow of the game as well as make each region interesting, in that each one is broken down into functioning “parts” (provinces).
- The multi-battle sieges would help add to the grandeur and size of cities. In the older games, cities, albeit very large, in a way felt kind of small and too uniform in design. With larger cities, hopefully a greater level of detail will go into them, giving the player a feel of really having to overcome a large city with large scale street combat and building-to-building fighting.
- Having combined naval and land battles sounds interesting. Being able to perform an amphibious assault is the most obvious and interesting of possibilities and adds a new dimension to the combat system.
The first Rome game was very well done and definitely stood out as one of the best in the Total War series. I found myself replaying it even years later despite the aged graphics and engine. Rome: Total War has one of the best modding communities also, so there are a lot of great mods out there that balance, adjust, and transform the game. My hope is that CA will continue to release developer tools; however the developers stated that it may be harder to release complete creation tools as the games get more complex with larger libraries and databases to deal with.
Interview with Lead Designer James Russell