Up Their Sleevies – Total War: Rome II Screens

They did make an awful fuss, those Romans.

Here’s what I know about Total War: Rome 2. It’s this strategy game, where you play as… the Romans? And they’re really angry about something – I bet Caecilius cheated on Metella again, in the horto. So rather than just a regular war, that they have all the time, this time it’s a TOTAL WAR. But for the second time, because the last one didn’t quite take. The game features Romans, horses, and probably statistics. And armies! You can see four new screenshots of such matters below.

That’s what happens when I’m left alone to write news. Click on the pics to see them biggerised.

The game has a loose release date of Autumn next year.


  1. Didden says:

    Very pretty. Here’s hoping for some decent AI and baggage trains!

    Be interesting to see if the final game has so many soldiers on screen at once. CA have in the past tend to post screenshots with more units in than you ever get to play with in battle.

    • BwenGun says:

      Well Empire, Napoleon and Shogun II were all really quite scalable on the unit size front. I don’t think I’ve ever played a full campaign on any of them where I haven’t used mods which doubles the max unit size. And unlike Medieval or Rome the actual stability of the games with that many men on screen was pretty solid in my experience.

      Given that they’ve said they’re going to be putting a fair amount of work into optimising the game so that it can run on low-end systems I wouldn’t be surprised if the max unit size/number of units in a battle is even higher. Or at least I hope so, as the battles are always a lot more enjoyable with the added sense of scale and epicness that really large armies bring.

    • CalleX says:

      In which if these screenshots are there many units. I still see the same size and numbers that I did in all the last games. I was hoping for the vast armies the ancient era had. And in some articles there were hints that they were doing just that. Imagine wings of your army with subcommanders etc.

      • Ultra-Humanite says:

        It doesn’t seem likely they are going to be able to render some 100,000 units on the screen at the same time yet. I’m sorry I have to break this to you.

        • Werthead says:

          Actually, the engine can render more than half that: 56,000 units on-screen simultaneously (or at least it could in the previous games, with the maximum number of multiplayer slots filled and everyone fielding full-stack units), so it’s not quite so unthinkable. Certainly not that many in one army though (at least, not yet).

      • Werthead says:

        Vast armies? At the height of the Empire, the Romans only had about 400,000 troops in total, spread across a vast distance. The largest battle in Roman history, Philippi, saw about half of those numbers gathered in one place, but that was under extraordinary circumstances. Most of the time, Roman armies of a few thousand or (rarely) a few tens of thousands were deployed at a time, easily within the scope of a TOTAL WAR game.

  2. cai says:

    Cambridge Latin Course JOKES! :D

    • Gormongous says:

      I’m always going to remember my first Latin course in the seventh grade opening with “Caecilius est homo”. That’s tough not to laugh at when you’re fourteen.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Unrelated to RTW,. but would that Caecilius live in Pompey and be a business man of some sort?

        I’m sure that’s how our Latin system basically started when I took a Latin course at uni.

        • DuddBudda says:

          that’s the family from the first book of cambridge latin course
          Caecillius the moneylending father, Metella the mother, Quintus the son, Cerberus the dog, Felix the thief, some household gods and some slaves, and then they all die when the volcano erupts.
          you know it’s a decent textbook if students cry when it ends

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Spoilers! I dropped out of the course due to having way too much on my plate at the time. Still got the books though. I suppose I should pick it up again.

            I did like the system in the books though, even if I did feel a bit silly saying stuff like ‘This is a lion’ or ‘Cerberus sleeps in the house’ at the age of 26 or whatever doing a masters at uni.

            But then, that’s also how we started out in my ancient Greek course. I think it just felt more bad ass due to the alphabet being different.

            Anyway, classical nerd away!

    • Garg says:

      Ah yes, I remember we spent a Latin lesson laughing at Caeccilius and a merchant both admiring and complementing each others “precious jewels”. And then Grumio running off with the slave girl.

    • lionheart says:

      Isn’t the Cambridge Latin Course the hilariously trendy (i.e. crap) book that they use in state schools? Flicked through one once and it was bloody awful. Looked like Latin for the under 5s.

      Guess only public schools still use Wilding these days

  3. Cinnamon says:

    I spy with my little eye, Triarii.

  4. Matt-R says:

    Hmm that last screen might induce headaches in reality 40vs40 unit battles were epic but.. not so fun to control. If it expands as some want to 80+ units I can forsee hours of slow motion control.

    Still it is very pretty, couple of AI improvements and should hopefully have a winner.

  5. Tei says:

    NOTE: In a alternate universe, this game is a spin-off of Fallout New Vegas, where you play as the Caesar Legions invading the New California Republic.

  6. DuddBudda says:

    Cerberus in villa mansit. Dominum frustra custodiebat.

    A true classic

  7. FloorBelow says:

    This is the brownest strategy game I’ve ever seen. Which is a shame, since Shogun II was so nice and colourful.

    • baby snot says:

      Awww, cannot be unseen (un-noticed).

      • Cinnamon says:

        At least he didn’t tell you that the graphical effect is generally called the piss filter. So you can keep some innocence.

    • Bhazor says:

      Have to say it’s a shame to lose the water colour art style of Shogun 2 and go into just “realistic” shades of brown.

  8. Cytrom says:

    Whats up with all the ‘next-gen brown’? Rome was more colorful than this.

    Other than that it looks nice.. but seriously grass is green not brownish grey dammit.

    • Baboonanza says:

      Even the clouds are brown!

    • abandonhope says:

      There’s a lot of smoke hanging in the air… but that only explains some of the brown in some of the shots, not what seems to be an outright filter.

    • Oh Tyrone says:

      The least they could do is throw some blue in there.

    • Reapy says:

      As I looked at the shots I was hoping I could turn off whatever “Quake 1” filter they have put on this game.

    • Napalm Sushi says:

      It’s possible that the filter here is an attempt to evoke the aridity of the Greek climate. I’ll wait for the shots of Gaul and Britannia before making any judgements on this front.

  9. HarryJW says:

    References to the GCSE latin course! Which I get! Oh holy crumbs,,,,

    • Llewyn says:

      Pah. Not the Latin course I did at school (Ecce! In pictura est puella, nomine Cornelia) although, to be fair, it was still a living language then.

      • TheWhippetLord says:

        Good old “Ecce Romani”. So many (current or former) latin geeks coming out of the woodwork around here. :)

  10. Unaco says:

    When!?! When can I have it?! (Q3 2013, apparently). It is looking amazing.

  11. Triglav says:

    When in fact you all know the REAL question is, will it have exploding pigs!?

  12. mcwill says:

    I’m on this like a person that’s on something. Possibly crystal meth, I dunno.

  13. TC-27 says:


    Looks like CA are going down the ultra rich soldier detail route but leaving us trying to fight epic ancient battles with a few hundred men due to the limits on CPU and GPU cycles.

    I would honestly prefer them to try and give us realistic numbers in battles instead of bump mapped breastplates and moody lighting effects – but I guess thats just me…..

    • CalleX says:

      Agree. I want 50.000 men in my armies, not 2-3000 only to have them more detailed.

  14. Oneah says:

    I know that total war games are all about the grand scale battles, but i’m gonna come out and say that, although having a improved combat AI would be nice, to me the most important aspect is improving the very dull and simple campaign map. I mean, there is no excuse for CA to not take inspirations from games like Crusader Kings 2, Europe Univer, etc…
    That’s my biggest complain when it comes to total war games, its that the campaign is there to serve the battles and not the other way around…
    Typical CA campaign:

    1. You always start at war with somebody, because you know not having a battle in turn 2 is gonna make your fans fall a sleep apparently.

    2. Diplomacy is completely random, everyone eventually wants to declare war on you.

    3. No point in having allies because they will just prevent you from achieving the main boring goal in the game which is total domination and also point 2.

    4. Everyone could be just one big faction because there’s no differences from behavior. All clans in shogun 2 could very well just be 1 because they would all just end up as the next target for your conquest and they all reacted the same way.

    5. Last and most important, which kinda involves the other points is that.. there’s never any justification for wars. In total war games wars have little consequences and have no justification. The game never gives you a reason why your suddenly attacking everybody.

    • Subject 706 says:

      I agree with all points. Crusader Kings 2 has ruined me, I am afraid. No longer can I be content with the simplicity of the Total War mechanics…

    • DuddBudda says:

      wanting Total War to serve up Paradox-like systems and granularity is paradoxical

      Total War is totally about war, it’s always had stunted mechanical alleys to poke around in, but the main street has always held a badass military parade, it’s the main event, it’s held every other year, and people keep going back because it’s massive and rad and fun

      Paradox’s clausowitz engine games, on the other hand, are like navigating in venice: everything’s a narrow little alley, with graffiti on the walls and plaster cracking round the door frame, and instead of paving, you have to navigate flowing fetid waterways and tides. The chaps who kick around there take pleasure in intersecting matrices and identifying wood.

      Certain;y it’d be cool to have TW-style battles on a Clausowitz strategic, but let’s not pretend either is the only way, because that’s just like your opinion man.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      That’s funny because when I played through Shogun 2 some 8+ times, I never noticed “completely random” diplomacy, homogenous behavior or there being no point to having allies. Honestly, I’m not even sure what game you were playing based on that incredibly inaccurate description. And seriously, get out of here with Crusader Kings II. It’s not even the same kind of game, and has laughably simplistic mechanics of its own, when it comes to battle.

    • Gasmask Hero says:

      Paradox and CA titles are not superior to each other. They’re just different.

  15. Crainey says:

    Looks like I’m building a whole new gaming system again.

  16. Slinkyboy says:

    Yay play in Rome again :)

  17. Morte66 says:

    The only Rome Total War II that matters is the upcoming Europa Barbarorum II mod for M2TW,

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    theleif says:

    Cool, cool, cool.

  19. Demarcate says:

    Quite miffed that they are still ignoring Imperial China.

    I mean, when they were fielding armies well larger than their European counterparts (past 1.6 million), they suit the whole scale thing pretty well.