The team behind XCOM takes on Marvel and delivers a tactical turn-based RPG with deep and rewarding combat.
Marvel's Midnight Suns Review
From the return of Dead Space style horror to the creators of XCOM creating a full-blown Marvel superhero RPG. Let’s take a look at the big releases across each platform…
Games of December 2022
Incredible 4K performance, the new GeForce RTX 4080 is here.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition Review
With its triple-slot design, the MSI GeForce RTX 4080 Gaming X Trio is huge. But so is its performance.
MSI GeForce RTX 4080 Gaming X Trio Review
Total War: Rome II
Total War: Rome II

Genre: Strategy
Developer: Creative Assembly Official Site:
Publisher: SEGA
Release Date:
3rd September 2013
Total War: Rome II

Genre: Strategy
Developer: Creative Assembly
Official Site: http://www.totalwar.c...
Publisher: SEGA
Release Date:
3rd September 2013
Hide Video Player
Click To View the Total War: Rome II Video
Total War: Rome II Review
Review By @ 11:00pm 02/09/13
The year is somewhere around 192 BC and the Roman Empire has decided to declare war on the Greek state of Sparta in the hope to one day avert the need for a racist Gerard Butler to front kick an innocent black messenger into a bottomless pit. The problem with this move is that the Spartans have a weird relationship with the other Greek states (and probably in the way those historical Greeks are known for, namely dude on dude) and the military might of the Roman Empire is spread pretty thin across northern Europe and even northern Africa – in turn making it hard to deal with every single Greek state. But luckily the Roman Empire has a few allies they can call on who are close to the Mediterranean, and it would only take about a decade or two to completely control the Greeks through complete destruction or subjugation – with minimal losses to boot. So the year is somewhere around 192 BC and a formidable Roman Fleet led by Legatus Lucius Verilius IV sets up a blockade around Sparta, signalling the beginning of the historical Siege of Butler.

It has been said that history is written by the victor, and in the case of the Total War series, completely re-written, how you see fit.

Being steeped in the history of warfare has always been a key selling point for the Total War series, and there’s no real need to sing the series praises to fans of old timey warfare, their tickets (so to speak) have already been bought. To everyone else this is a series known for strategic and tactical battles with troop numbers that simply dwarfs any other game on the market – we’re talking about a 3,000 odd mix of legionaries, archers, and mounted warriors besieging a settlement with defenders of a similar number.

Epic doesn’t really begin to cover it as that word gets bandied about quite a bit these days, but in the case of the Total War series it is definitely the most apt description. These battles (like bitches) be crazy, and with the press of the cinematic Unit Camera button the reward for giving all your forces attack and marching orders is an immensely engaging and rewarding zoomed-in real-time battle on a scale unmatched not only by other strategy games, but also film and television.

It would be hard to argue against the original Rome entry of the Total War series as being one of the seminal strategy titles of its era, as there’s something about this period of time that stands well above others. It’s probably the feeling of something historical mixed with the mythical, and the fascination modern man has always had with this swords and sandals period of time. That and growing up watching old school Charlton Heston giving water to a then unknown guy by the name of Jesus - much to the chagrin of his Roman captors. So on pedigree and setting alone Rome II has been highly anticipated, and in terms of sheer scope the game does not disappoint. Not even in the slightest, we’re talking hundreds of distinct historical unit types across Italian, Hellenic and Eastern cultures all presented seamlessly. But the true wonder to behold with this, the eighth entry in the Total War series, is that although it doesn’t look immediately different in how it is presented or played – it is how well all the changes and improvements make this easily, hands down, the best Total War game yet.

A big call to be sure, and perhaps there are people out there that do not care for the time period, a time when orgies were things you scheduled around and people going by the name of Brutus tended to backstab people with the name of Julius Caesar. Perhaps they prefer eras like feudal Japan, or the early days of Guns N’ Ammo Magazine that featured the latest bikini clad models holding the latest in musket technology. But even so, there’s no denying that when taken as a whole, with a list of improvements and changes that may not seem like much on their own - make this the most playable Total War to date. This is achieved through the introduction of simplicity without the need, or goal, of sacrificing any of the complexity the series is well known for.

First up, this is the most immediately accessible Total War game, with a vastly improved in-game advisor and tutorial system that brings to light not only the main aspect of campaign map that plays out in a similar turn-based fashion to the one seen in Civilization, but also the various nuances therein that will no doubt bring new information to even the more veteran Total War players out there. Rome II comes with a great and relatively quick prologue campaign that is story-driven and designed around teaching players many of the key aspects of playing the game successfully. It is story built around highlighting the game’s strengths and is so intuitive in its execution that it leaves you wanting to immediately dip into the huge open ended campaign mode with a sense of purpose the series has never reached before. The fact that the prologue campaign also has great production values, music, and writing is indicative of the overall approach taken with this game.

This is truly a developer putting all their skills and knowledge to use, funnelling it into one singular creation, whilst also focussing on presenting it to players not at all familiar with the series.

The changes to the empire map portion of the game finally bring it into the same league with even the best entries in the Civilization series. And when you couple this with the already fantastic tactical and epic battle sequences you have arguably one of the best strategy games on the market today. One thing that comes with the complexity of ruling a vast and expanding empire is micromanagement, and usually somewhat confusing management at that

One of the great introductions with Rome II is the way locations are grouped into provinces, so instead of managing the output, construction, and defence of every single location, this can be done in groups. The way this works makes total sense, as for example in the province of Italia, the capital is Rome which is guarded by walls and a much larger garrison army than its smaller settlements where players can make all their decisions within a singular provincial interface.

This also changes the overall strategy of your expansion as you can vie for complete provincial control through military might or via sending dignitaries to other settlements. Do you capture settlements first or go for the crown jewel in one fell swoop? This is a new feature that plays into every aspect of the game for the better, from population control to diplomacy and finances, and it’s such a great feature that it becomes hard to imagine ever playing a Total War game without it.

On the battle side, another new introduction that although sounds quite incremental in its inclusion is the ability to besiege a settlement or opposing force with both naval and land units at the same time. Its sounds like a no-brainer when you consider the vast number of coastal territories across the Mediterranean but the affect it has not only on the cool way in which you can invade a city through a waterway while you also scale the walls with an invasion force is staggering. It essentially makes fleets almost as important as armies, and not merely an afterthought or nice-to-have as seen in previous games.

Even with a unit variety count across the different types of nations and cultures bordering on the ludicrous, the game never seems to get bogged down with minutiae, even though you have probably never heard of half the types of armies you come across. In cases like this an icon notification highlighting if it’s a ranged or melee unit with a stat listing provided upon mouse hover gives you all the information you need, in a matter of seconds. It’s worth noting this seemingly menial task of identifying your enemy because it highlights the focus on the simplification of performing each and every task in this vastly expansive game, which in turn makes it the most fun to play Total War game yet.

Recruiting is made easier, managing upgrades is too, creating groups, formations, setting up each field of battle, and everything else, seems to just work better than ever. But above all it’s the most fun the series has been, and that goes a long way in keeping you hooked for countless hours.

Two people playing different factions could play Rome II for twenty hours each and see completely different technologies to research, units to recruit, lands to conquer, and armies to fight against. That prey much sums up not only how big this game is but the replay-ability therein.

There’s no shortage of variety on offer as every faction has their own set of specific incremental objectives with distinct paths for both Military, Cultural, and Economic victories - a new addition to the series that acts like a glue that holds all the disparate objects together. If you’ve ever been a fan of the series or are curious about it or the genre as a whole, there’s no better Total War game than the one offered here.

Now, back to the Siege of Butler.
What we liked
  • Most accessible Total War game to date
  • Each addition and improvement feels essential
  • Intuitive story driven tutorial campaign built specifically to show off key aspects of the game
  • Simultaneous naval and land assaults feel like the series’ long lost family member back from some foreign land
  • Translation – they’re awesome
What we didn't like
  • Waiting for AI turns late game can take a painfully long time
  • Some path-finding issues when besieging a city can lead to unwanted casualties
We gave it:
Latest Comments
Posted 11:46pm 02/9/13
Hehe, cum
Posted 07:08am 03/9/13
^ damnit beaten
Posted 07:21am 03/9/13
Man I cannot wait to get this. Alas, I am going to wait till the end of semester to pick it up. Rome 1 was my favourite Total War game so far.
Posted 07:31am 03/9/13
Only 10ish hours to go for the unlock on Steam, the hype is killing me!
Posted 09:03am 03/9/13
pre-loaded and ready to cum
Posted 09:33am 03/9/13
cheapest price?
Posted 10:57am 03/9/13
Both GMG and OzGameShop have it for $47 with the pre-order DLC, though no coupon available for GMG.

I fear that my GTX570 won't be able to handle this, but I don't want to upgrade until I know whether the next-gen consoles having AMD will change anything in the PC landscape. Woe me.
Posted 01:05pm 03/9/13
Well AMD don't have anything like PhysX so I doubt you'd be missing much going for Nvidia again. I know I wont go back to AMD after going for Nvidia.
Posted 01:32pm 03/9/13
Aww yiss!

Might have to duck out early this arvo. What time AEST does it unlock? Guessing around 5:30 or 6 from your post, Eorl?

Edit: 5pm apparently
Posted 01:37pm 03/9/13
According to this NeoGAF post, 5PM AEST is the unlock time. Not sure if it will be on the dot or not.
Well AMD don't have anything like PhysX so I doubt you'd be missing much going for Nvidia again. I know I wont go back to AMD after going for Nvidia.
Yeah I don't expect a huge leap over Nvidia just because the consoles are using AMD, but I would still like to know there will be any change at all. I was leaning at either a Sapphire ATI HD 7970 OC EDITION @ 3GB or a Gigabyte GTX 770 OC EDITION @ 4GB. Apparently AMD's Hawaii GPU's may be seeing a release in October though so might hold off just a little bit more and see if prices drop.
Posted 01:55pm 03/9/13
I got my copy from GMG. I pre-loaded it on steam, only 9.9gb download. I should have gotten it a few weeks back when a coupon worked for Rome 2, I could have got it for $39 or so. I am not fussed on Roman stuff but the new tech and stuff they put in looks good. I also fear my GTX 570 will be taxed heavily for this game, Eorl.
Posted 02:56pm 03/9/13
9.9gb wow, considering the last few total wars have been 20-25gb DL IIRC.
Posted 02:56pm 03/9/13
Eorl, what do you mean there's no GMG DLC coupon? Are you talking about the steam code? If so, then there actually is a DLC code.

When you buy the game through GMG's checkout, go back into your account, click games and click Total War Rome II. Near the "Download" button, there's two codes. One is for the game and the other is for the DLC.

Source: I did this last night.
Posted 03:10pm 03/9/13
Also Eorl, regarding your graphics card question(s).

Comparing the 770 to the 7970 results in a small gain in favour of the 770, at least on paper. Some games are optimised for Nvidia and some for Ati as you probably know.

The 770 is a bit pricey and IMO not worth the gains over the 7970 but also, I don't think the 7970 is really worth it over the 570, providing that you're happy enough to wait a couple more months.

If you're upgrading, get the best you can afford and if that means saving some pennies for a 780 or SLI 770's etc.. I say do that!

Having come from ATI and back on the green machine, I'm loving it. The PhysX is a really nice touch in games that support it.
Posted 03:20pm 03/9/13
9.9gb wow, considering the last few total wars have been 20-25gb DL IIRC.

On the Steam page it says 35GB recommended so maybe they are wizards at compressing?
Eorl, what do you mean there's no GMG DLC coupon?
Sorry, GMG discount coupon. And yeah, I might just save up for either two 770's or see what Nvidia/ATI has coming out in the near future. It all really depends on how well Rome 2, Watch Dogs, AC4, Batman and GTA 5 (if ever) go on the GTX 570 for me to consider upgrading right now or waiting for the future cards.
Posted 04:48pm 03/9/13
Posted 04:53pm 03/9/13
Restart steam and it will start unpacking, woo.
Posted 04:55pm 03/9/13
So close! Going to jump in and play me some Sparta to begin with.
Posted 05:39pm 03/9/13
My steam is installing/downloading whats left to do. today is also cheap tuesday......time for fat arse cheap pizza tonight.
Posted 11:21pm 03/9/13
Some screens I have taken.
Posted 09:15am 04/9/13
so how's the game guys?
Posted 09:57am 04/9/13
Seems pretty awesome so far, though I only played for a couple of hours last night.

Bit of a departure from previous games in terms of army/fleet/city management and the new provincial system is pretty cool. Bit of a learning curve even for avid players of past games.

I'll reserve my judgement until I've played it a bit more extensively but so far it seems pretty damn good.
Posted 10:08am 04/9/13
Yeah its way more advanced than I initially thought, a lot more management needed to keep everyone happy. I'm loving the prologue, still in it because I got distracted last night with ABC and some cleaning.

Only problems I've ran into personally are the frame rate seems to be a bit sketchy and some of the AI is a bit borked where I'll tell them to go fight and they run up to the selected enemy and fight them, but then won't go and fight anyone else nearby.

I've had a few friends crash at the prologue but other than that it all seems good. AI turns don't seem to take long as some reviews pointed out, but maybe I'm just lucky?
Posted 10:26am 04/9/13
I've had a few friends crash at the prologue but other than that it all seems good. AI turns don't seem to take long as some reviews pointed out, but maybe I'm just lucky?

you're lucky. mine takes about 1 minute between turns.
Posted 11:33am 04/9/13
Whats peoples thoughts on the progression of the TW series?

I never played shogun 1 but played all others.

There have been some good improvements throughout the series such as troop recruitment and filling lost men through a general, no more masses of spies/religious etc units to deal with, technology trees, bonus units when defending a city.

But then i also think the series has become a little more streamlined. I didnt play much of shogun 2 as i wasnt a big fan but thought the 4 unit types (sword, spear, archer, calvary) was too simple. While good for rock-paper-scissors approach i thought it pretty much made all the factions the same. Obviously they were all from japan so maybe this was the issue where as i really enjoyed the differences between factions in Medieval and Rome. Fighting the greeks with their spear units was very different to the factions with chariots or elephants. Also thought Empire pretty much boiled down to building masses of firearm troops and had very little difference in units between factions.

I dont have Rome 2 so cant comment on that.
Posted 11:48am 04/9/13
Yeah I agree davo, it's really indicative of the time period and technology used in every series. If anything there was way less variety IRL when it came to japan and empire.

Nothing has come close to how great rome was so I'm really exited for II
Posted 01:21pm 04/9/13
If anything there was way less variety IRL when it came to japan and empire.

Yeah i figured that.

A guy at work loves his total war mods and mentioned Darth Maul i think. Never checked them out as i havent had much to do with mods since the old UT and Q3 days. Only mod ive tried recently is that Blood and Steel for M&B Warband and its pretty awesome.
Posted 01:38pm 04/9/13
I went straight to a new campaign, I am playing as the brits. I am not liking the new way generals the menus/towns work. I like the previous style better.
Posted 02:03pm 04/9/13
I am not liking the new way generals the menus/towns work.

How have they changed?
Nerf Stormborn
Posted 03:40pm 04/9/13
Trying to avoid all games for a few months.

Posted 04:20pm 04/9/13
So is anyone playing as the guido faction?
Posted 08:40am 05/9/13
played a bit of it last night enjoyed it!
Tanaka Khan
Posted 10:34am 05/9/13
Got it last night. Love how the ships work, landing forces along the coast. I've had a couple of crashes so far in the Prologue, right when I lay siege to the last city. I'll try attacking from a different direction so hopefully it may work then.

There are already people on the steam forums b****ing about it and wanting refunds saying the game is incomplete...WTF?
I know a lot of games may have bugs on release, but TW: Rome 2 looks and feels great.
Posted 11:01am 05/9/13
I have never played one of these games before.

It's definitely a game that needs better tutorials and a manual. I should if there is one somewhere.

I have found it a little bit buggy. I was attacking a city with my fleet and it took forever for some of them to land. I literally ordered them to land a dozen times before they did. Things like that.
Posted 02:12am 08/9/13
I have owned all the Total War games and enjoyed them all to varying degrees - lots of great memories.
This game has been released too early.
Check out the Guardian review - they seem to have played it and seen clearly.

It has lots and lots of problems - bugs if you like - but serious problems.
The scripting in the prologue just constantly fails making the game unplayable.
Just as an example, sieges become a joke with scaling ladders dancing against walls disabling associated units.
City gates swing back and forth endlessly so you can't destroy them or walk through them.
You can't even get to the enemy to initiate battle.

It fails at the strategic level, at the operational level, at the tactical level and in lots of small details.

If you do buy the game SAVE VERY OFTEN.

No doubt, in time it will be fixed and be quite playable.
I will keep my copy and wait for another great Total War game
when it IS DONE !
Posted 02:13pm 08/9/13
I haven't encountered too many issues so far, Only that I don't find the game enjoyable as Empire or Napoleon. It would be better with out the streamlining.

Some things I liked:
Solders can disembark from boats in a battle.
Things for generals.
Warmaidens/Dignitarys and such. They can provide useful bonuses.

If CA made Empire 2 with the things I liked and kept streamlining to a minimum, I would be happy as a pig in s***.
Posted 04:41pm 08/9/13
Lol, this yeti kid is mad. Raging like a scrub.
Posted 05:30pm 08/9/13
The only bugs I've come across so far is in the prologue when I did a trade agreement it didn't work, and I had to redo it. No crashes or any other issues.

Game's pretty laggy though :(
Commenting has been locked for this item.