Or whatever this stupid new uniform naming convention is that they decided to use starting with Shogun 2. It would be nice if they had that bright idea 15 years ago so that all of our Total War games were in the same place on our shelf/steam.
So, let’s start this off with my initial reactions, as I shall now show you:
If you guessed that I’m as pleased as punch, you are correct. You win nothing.
Rome Total War was the best Total War game to date when it came out. It is still one of the three best total war games. I would honestly rate Fall of the Samurai as the best, right now, because it is over a decade of learning on their part implemented in one game so that everything works very well. Rome second, Medieval 2 third. That isn’t to say that it wasn’t broken, or that it was unpleasantly unrealistic at times, or that Rome Total Realism mod was not required to make the game good. Once you played Realism, you didn’t go back (if you are a historian like me and know your ancient/classical history/culture/language/etc.).
Every TW fan, except for newcomers lured by the past three games, has wanted this for years and years. We spent so many hours of our lives playing this game, it was just wonderful.
I have already made my remarks to CA in hoping that they draw upon their learning experiences and combine that without changing the original game drastically, in order to make this game get a 110% review score. There are a few things that were unique to Rome, that need to stay that way – like city view. Cities were a major, major part of Roman history. Ab Urbe Condita, anyone? It was an empire of cities. Being able to view your city was the shit, and with these graphics, it will be an awesome feature:
Another good part about RTW was the massive size of the map (which was also present in Medieval 2 and Empire to an extent). This time I hope it extends as far south as Ethiopia, as most people are aware there was a Roman presence there in addition to other classical cultures. I also hope for the other cultures to be as emphasized this time around, without having to download a mod like Europa Barbarorum or Rome Total Realism to even experience the Bactrians or Sarmatians, etc. One of the other things that needs to stick with this game, from FoTS – something they should have implemented years ago: 40 unit battles. In fact, 40 unit armies. A Roman legion was ~7000 men including auxilia and cavalry, ~4800 of those Roman legionaries – which equals about 20 units of cohorts alone. I want to have a realistic Roman army this time, without mods. Without marching my armies around in pairs or groups (though I would do that anyway, as I do in Fall.)
Yet another feature, the fact that you could walk armies over the sea in certain areas – Strait of Gibraltar, and between Sicily and Italy for example.Sidenote: Remember 8 army city sieges, and how they crashed your computer? I bet this time they’ll work.
You have to remember that Rome was the third game they ever made, so the AI was nowhere near as good or complex at diplomacy as it is now (not that it is perfect because it still needs work) – that would add immensely to the game. The other problem I always had was that Rome was very misrepresented. They had four factions, the three families, and the Senate. In Realism Rome was just one faction, as it should be. While in the vanilla game this made for great civil wars, it was also debilitating to play as Rome because every other Roman stood in your way. That should still happen but not in a way that requires you conquer all of Italy again, from your own people.
There is one interesting element they are introducing, which is combined battlefields:
I’m not sure how this works, though, or the point – other than naval invasions. Roman triremes were little more than floating troops platforms. The Romans did not have a navy. Their navy was the army. They threw dudes on a boat, used a corvus to anchor themselves to the enemy ship, and stormed the ship and fought hand to hand. So there isn’t any actual naval warfare, just the Romans turning boats into a land battle. Frankly I don’t need that although it’s fine with me if you add it for that sole purpose.
Either way, holy god damn shit. I cannot wait.