Thursday, 5 December 2013

Total War Rome II - 3 months on

Total war Rome II suffered one of the worst PC launches in recent years with a huge number of bugs, glitches, crashes and fundamental flaws in the games design.  Many blame the Creative Assembly for the poor state of the game at launch, but personally I blame publisher SEGA since they will have been the ones who forced the release date on the development team.  Clearly SEGA wanted to recoup some money after it's poor performance with other titles like Aliens Colonial Marines. 

Baktria the latest freeLC
With the launch being such a debacle the team started a very aggressive patch cycle which has slowly been improving the game performance wise although gameplay is still debatable with some users feeling the game has gone too far in one direction making it more of a black sheep of the total war family, while others find the changes to be beneficial or just better overall.  Gameplay is subjective and will be different for every player but the general performance of the title is something everyone can agree on.

For me the game is better but I still suffer the poor textures and pop in despite being in the middle of the minimum and recommended specs of the game.  Some of the recommended specs I surpass but it seems my GPU isn't good enough and constantly suffer the low graphics memory warning in every battle.  I could force the GPU to use more memory to produce the admittedly stunning visuals in the game but then have to shutdown my computer after playing due to a lack of memory on my system.

The new campaign map for the expansion
Overall though Rome II has improved and CA have been generous in some respects with the addition of what they call free-LC.  We have been given four new factions for free if you picked up the Nomadic tribes pack when it was on offer and we are due another faction in a upcoming patch in the form of Baktria.  These freebies have been countered though by the poor choice of charging for the blood and gore pack which angered many fans.  I understand why they did it as the rating of the game would have gone up if they included it at release but the fact it was held back for so long is what annoyed more.

The next chapter of the saga has already been in play now for the last few days as we recently learnt of the new expansion called "Caesar in Gaul" which plays much like Empire total wars Peninsula campaign in that it's focus is on a very particular area of history.  This expansion brings another three factions into the grand campaign all of which are of the barbarian culture type while the mini campaign will feature historical personalities such as Vercingetorix, Marc Anthony and Caesar himself amongst others.  The news has not been well recieved on the steam forums as users have taken to further rage against CA, although at last check Caesar in Gaul was the number two best seller on steam so they have made their money already.

I wish the graphics looked like this for me
Myself personally I have purchased the expansion purely for the extra factions in the grand campaign but I don't see myself playing the new campaign all that much really.  Despite the issues I really do still want to support the product and see them make new and hopefully better total war titles.  The game does still need more work though.  It lacks certain features such as guard mode and a proper family tree, the flag system needs to be dumped since it cripples the AI during defensive siege battles and makes zero sense in a semi realistic game like this.


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