Rezzed 2013 Hands-on
Creative Assembly haven't broken the mold with Total War: Rome 2. However, that news might just make Total War fans purr like a cat feasting on tuna.
As a team, Creative Assembly have been crafting fantastic strategy games for what feels like an eternity. They've had years and years to hone their skills, and ensure that there are few that can challenge them for the RTS crown. Every Total War game is met with relentless enthusiasm, and while there have been a few technical difficulties along the way, the games always manage to pull through.
Total War: Rome 2 looks set to be an impressive addition to the Total War franchise. The original Rome: Total War holds a special place in many a fan's heart, so there is a lot of pressure on Creative Assembly to not only do the original justice, but to improve upon it and bring the game into the modern era.
I began my demo by taking control of a Roman army preposterously outnumbered by the Egyptian rebels. Of course, being the ruthless commander that I am, I relish those kinds of odds, and I quickly formulated a foolproof battle-plan.
I immediately set about dispatching an Egyptian fleet that stood between me and my preferred landing zone. Sea Combat was as spectacular as ever, and I hope you won't label me a sadist when I tell you that I took a huge amount of pleasure in watching my enemy's ships slowly disappear below the surf.
Unfortunately, that was the easy part. The battle on land was proving much tricker than I’d anticipated. The Egyptians held the high ground, and they were refusing to come and meet me on a level playing field. I knew it would suicidal to march my army uphill, directly into the path of the waiting Egyptian elephants and soldiers, but my options were thin. Fortunately, my victory at sea presented me with another option.
I began to move my remaining ships towards a beach located behind the Egyptian army; this would allow me to deploy a small strike force that could attack from the rear, disrupting the Egyptian ranks and giving me enough time to charge up the hill with my main force. I also decided to move my cavalry to the right of said hill, in order to attack the Egyptian infantry from three sides and hopefully decimate their soldiers.
I watched nervously as my troops started their assault, and I began to take in just how good Rome: Total War 2 looks. Every solider in your army is wonderfully detailed, and zooming in to see everyone fighting their own personal battles is sometimes more engaging and impressive than the overall battle thats raging on around you. Fortunately I didn’t need to pay too much attention to the surrounding carnage, because my plan was going off without a hitch, and my enemies were beginning to lose hope.
Victory was nearly mine, and as I prepared to smugly congratulate myself on a tactically flawless victory, I looked to the North to see another, larger force, approaching my position. As any honorable general would, I reorganized my army, and prepared my men for one glorious last stand.
When the dust from my final hopeless struggle had settled, I was told that I’d lost the battle, but that it had been a 'costly enemy victory'. So, at least my tactics had ensured that in the face of overwhelming odds, the Roman Empire had put up a mighty good fight. With that knowledge in hand, I left the demo booth extremely satisfied with my efforts, and also extremely confident that Total War: Rome 2 will provide fans with another tactically rewarding, beautifully realized, and enormously addictive Total War experience.