Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the LFF
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Total War: Rome II

09 September 2013

LEGO Dimensions
4 Star Empire Rating
Skylanders SuperChargers
4 Star Empire Rating
Forza Motorsport 6
5 Star Empire Rating
Destiny: The Taken King
4 Star Empire Rating
Rocket League
5 Star Empire Rating

Forza Motorsport 6
5 Star Empire Rating
Rocket League
5 Star Empire Rating
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
5 Star Empire Rating
Rare Replay
5 Star Empire Rating
Batman: Arkham Knight
5 Star Empire Rating

Total War: Rome II

submit to reddit

Total War: Rome II  (2013)
Rome II is, to mercilessly ram a contemporary reference in, a game of thrones. Success isn’t measured purely in the skirmishes won on the battlefield but by expanding influence through the Roman Empire and the ancient world alike.

As general Gaius Fulvius Silanus, your decisions guide a growing legion into battle, conquering various territories to expand Rome’s influence. A lengthy prologue introduces the core mechanics, getting players to grips with a slowly expanding roster of units to command. At its simplest, Rome II plays like a glorified Rock, Paper, Scissors, each soldier type trumping another. Mounted cavalry effectively slaughter standard infantrymen, but are useless against projectile weapons, for instance. As you start picking up on the benefits of angle of approach, terrain, cover and other matters of war, you’ll find breadth of tactics available increase dramatically.

True to history, not every culture will bow to Rome’s military prowess, and it’s here that diplomacy comes into play. Bartering with rival factions can prove more beneficial than marching in, but so too can sending in spies, with a view of bringing them down from the inside. The AI for both options feels clever, with enemy responses varied enough to keep you on your toes. Sadly, the overall learning curve is steep, with even early sections may take numerous passes to emerge victorious.

The biggest problem with Rome II is simply one of resources – not in terms of any in-game currency but rather the sheer power demanded of the PC you’ll be playing it on. We’re running a pretty beefy rig at Empire and still had to lower the settings to get the game to run smoothly. If your system can exceed its demands though, Creative Assembly has created arguably the finest looking strategy game in years. Each soldier in an army unit is rendered individually, and the detail in the surrounding environs is startling. Unfortunately, having so much going on results in frequent graphical glitches.

Rome II is a time-sink though, a factor which is both blessing and curse depending on your tastes. Don’t expect to be able to sit down for a quick play session, particularly in later stages, as achieving territorial dominance can take hours. It’s incredibly absorbing though, and those lengthy visits to ancient Rome will while away many a lazy weekend.

If you have the patience, and an absolute monster of a computer capable of getting the best out of the game, add a star. Those with more meagre hardware and time allowances will struggle to uncover everything on offer though.

Reviewed by Matt Kamen

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)