Monday, September 17, 2012

What I'd like to see in Total War Rome 2

Total War Rome 2

The Creative Assembly announced not so long ago that the next game in the Total War Series will be Total War Rome 2. I can't tell you how excited I am for this game. Rome Total War happens to be my personal favorite of the Total War games. And a sequel to Rome Total War has been the most asked for game by fans. For a game that's not exactly going to hit the market any time soon, what the Creative Assembly has chosen to divulge about the game is actually a pretty big chunk of information, all things considered. Total War Rome 2 will be filled with a plethora of new features and improvements over all the games preceding it. I for one am optimistic the developers can deliver on their many promises. Here are just a few things I'd like to see, especially with the Roman faction.

Total War Rome 2 Trailer Youtube vid by IGNentertainment

More Emphasis on formation and discipline with the Roman Legions.

In the original Rome Total War, I felt that the best way to stay in formation was enabling Guard Mode. It made sense to me, fight as the Romans fought, stick together, let the enemy come to you, and stab em up close and personal. But what I noticed was that whenever I used Guard Mode, I lost more soldiers then in the standard mode. Problem with that is, that's not really how the Romans fought. Of course, individuals cohorts were given free reign to maneuver and flank and all that, but not individual soldiers.

From Small Beginnings.

Another thing I'd like to see with Total War Rome 2 is starting out as the small fledgling republic of Rome just after the last King was exiled. In the original, you had the three Roman families, the Julii, Brutii, and Skipii. Typically, the three families started out so strong they easily blitzed over Europe, North Africa, and the East. I say the Roman faction should be a single faction players command from humble beginnings into the dominating power of the Mediterranean Sea.

History counts

Some of the factions were quite historically accurate in the original. I';d like Total War Rome 2 to address the problem and strive for a bit more accuracy. I didn't mind all that much, but I think I would have enjoyed it a little more had the game done a better job. For example, the Egyptian faction was all over the place. I say, let the faction be the Ptolomeys and emulate the Hellenistic factions and their military traditions starting back with Alexander and his generals who came to rule the Nile.

Bring Back Custom Battles

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the Avatar addition of Total War Shogun 2. It was fun and an engaging experience online. But the whole time I found myself wishing more people went for a simple custom battle like the older games. So the rebirth of custom battles would be nice, perhaps throw in a few twists to get people interested in them again, but also keep the idea of the Avatar gameplay and improve on it for those who really enjoyed it.

Roman Engineering

The Roman legion is legend for its engineering ability almost as much as their fame in battle. These legions built forts and bridges and fortifications faster than just about any other nation and culture of the time. Julius Caesar and his legions often fought against the Gauls from within forts to even the odds against the superior numbers the Legion faced. Some of these forts went up in a matter or days, same with the bridges. And what many people don't know is that some of the capitals of several modern-day countries in Europe were once a simple Roman fort. I would like something a bit more than a bunch of soldiers clumped together in the middle as attackers try to break through.

Sea to Land battles

Yes, I know this has already been confirmed. And I'm psyched. Frankly, any Total War fans out there should be too. Some of the biggest battles of the time were fought on land and sea. Armies would lay siege to cities while war ships and transports would duke it out and assist the besieging army or help the defenders. The siege of Carthage is one such example. The Roman and Carthaginian navies fought while Roman transports landed on shore and dispatched reinforcements to the Legion.

More Nations

As we know, Alexander the Great fought against eh Persian Empire and made it as far as India with his armies. Of course, contact with the far East was established before the conquest of the Macedonians but was also increased after his empire collapsed. I would like an expanded campaign map stretching as far as India. Think of all the new factions that could be included, not to mention more options for diplomacy and trade.

Total War Rome 2 Lead Battle Designer Interview Youtube vid by PCGAMER

Power Struggles

When playing as the Roman faction, I would like to see more interactions with the all important Senate besides complying or ignoring a few missions to take settlements that are often no where near where you are currently campaigning. Perhaps there could be gameplay within the Senate itself in that the player can form alliances, bribe, buy, and maneuver in the politics, perhaps even employing actual options to help win the hearts of the plebs. I'd imagine such a game mechanic would work in a very similar way as diplomacy in general. For example, when Caesar was finished conquering Gaul and the Senate began to suspect he'd march on Rome to become King, his rival Pompeii used his influence in the Senate, as well as his command of the legions to dictate the Senate's decisions in how to deal with Caesar. At one point he even threatened to abandon the Senate to take his legions to Spain and let Caesar take Rome unopposed. Of course, the gameplay might not ever get so specific as all that, but real options in how to deal with the Senate beyond simply taking over Rome would be interesting.

Historical Figures

Just about any nation of the time had at least one figure the world remembers to this very day. For Rome, it may be Skipio who finally defeated Hanibal Barca, for the Gauls it may be Verson etorics, for Macedon it may be Alexander the Great, for Carthage is may be Hanibal, and so on. I think it would be neat if each leader and gerneral could become something along the lines of "super" generals, with added and unique traits, abilities, and influences.For example, Hanibal Barca might have a bonus when commanding light troops and elephants. Caesar may have an improved forced march ability, or major sway with the people of Rome. Vercion Getorix may have a unification ability to unite the different tribes of Gaul and specialiaze in ambushes, which Geterex employed often against Caesar and his unsuspecting Legions.

Naval Warfare

I felt that the naval warfare in Shogun 2 was an improvement over Empire and Napoleon. The 18th century naval combat required too much micro management in my opinion, and constantly adjusting to the wind, switching up the type of shots used in the cannons, and so on, not to mention how long they could be with larger navies combating, don't even get me started on how long some of those battles could take, the battles in Shogun, probably because it was a more primitive time and the technology wasn't like the European navies of the 18th century, were more to the point, personal, and, in my opinion, more satisfying, not to mention so much shorter. This can be even better in Rome 2. Battering ships was the name of the game during the time period. Smashing against other sips, launching fire arrows against the sails, boarding your opponents ship and taking the sword to them could be more fun and engaging.

Satellite Nations

Client and Satellite nations could be improved upon. The the original Rome Total War, there was the option, but I couldn't get it to work even when surrounding a nation's final city with several armies, blockading their ports, with no hope of aid from allies, and a single Family Member left to command a feeble garrison, and when offered the option to become a satellite country, the AI would refuse no matter what I did. And yet, the AI was able to do this against other AI factions. For example,e it was common to see the Seleucids become a protectorate

Fighting Animations and Re-blancing Units

Fighting animations have always been impressive in the Total War Series. I would like even more realism, however. A tall order, but it would be phenomenal. For example, I would like to see the Roman Legions stabbing more, as the sword they used, the gladius, was primarily designed for stabbing, not hacking and slashing.I would like to see the "Barbarian" factions fight in a more disorganized fashion. Hoplite and phalanx units should have a harder time turning around. In the Original Rome, the phalanx and hoplite units could turn on the drop of a dime. One of the reasons the Romans beat them so easily was that once the phalanx was flanked and outmaneuvered, it was very hard for them to move and turn around. This could help balance out what many believe to be overpowered units in the original game. Elephants were, in my opinion, highly overpowered. If used efficiently, even the weakest elephant units in the original could lay waste to most armies. Historically, the Romans fared very well against elephants, through intimidation, and specialized formations like columns or runways to nullify the war elephant's charge. In short, there needs to be some re-balancing in general to the different units.

In Closing

Alright, I could go on for hours here. There's a lot I'd like to see and there's much I hope the Creative Assembly is smart enough to keep. Maintaina and preserve the fan's favorite features and game mechanics, while creating new ones players will love. If anyone reading this has some ideas, feel free to leave a comment below. Total War Rome 2 won't hit the market for about a year so a lot can happen and change between now and then.

The Original Rome Total War game plus Expansions

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