Let’s Talk (And Play) Rome II Multiplayer

The Youtube generation has a lot to answer for. We used to call these “Gameplay Trailers” but now those hip young kids have their “Let’s Plays” and their “unboxing vids” and the ancient golems of PR, marketing and development are racing to catch up. Creative Assembley’s latest Rome II effort has two rad fellows spitting rhymes (disclaimer: may not contain rhymes) and throwing info about new features in the strategy sequel. Then they realise what we’re all here for and get down to proxy-beating on one another via the medium of tiny digital men. Onward, to glory!

Congratulations to the both of them on managing to sound at least vaguely human while commentating a pre-recorded match of their own game. It’s better than some can manage.

Quite cool to see Total War taking tentative steps down the competitive multiplayer route with ELO-based ladders for 1v1 matches. There’s actually quite a following for casted games of the original Rome and this is sure to generate more interest. I doubt we’ll be seeing it at the next MLG event, but having the option appeals to a niche with a lot of spending power and loud voices thanks to the rise of e-sports. You can get your grubby mitts on Rome II September 3rd and see Adam’s latest thoughts here.


  1. daphne says:

    “I think C&C can die now”


  2. Cytrom says:

    “It was a good match” Lol she was completely dominated and defeated at every encounter. A more even match would have been probably a a bit more exciting… but anyways this looks kinda fun, despite that I never really cared about MP in total war.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      I really don’t get the impression she was trying when she said “I don’t like camels anyway” and charged them into spears. Second Total War combat video I’ve watched and have yet to see any half-decent battle. The contestants on Time Commanders could give us a better show than this. :)

      • NefariousRainbows says:

        Thank you, you have just named the program I have spent so long trying to remember. Time to search for clips on youtube :)

    • yurusei says:

      The dude was just rubbing it in her face. It was apparent she was no match for him when she left her units of archers standing at the capture point instead of providing missile support for her troops.

  3. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Staring eyes?

  4. Malk_Content says:

    Wonder if they ever considering making the shift to showing a close game rather than just a fairly boring stomp and just hearing someone going “hah more of your guys a routing.” Its kind of like the COD marketing trailers all from a the pov of a player destroying other people. Not saying the game won’t be balanced, but when you are talking about how good your match making is and how well done the maps are, don’t show a video of an entirely one sided battle afterwards.

  5. Jake says:

    It’s like a Blue Peter audition tape.

  6. Reapy says:

    I’ve actually never played total war online against a person? How has it been? I always thought in my head it would ruin the fun of SP where I can bring a balanced force to the table and have that sort of makeshift army composition that comes from the campaign. But maybe not, maybe it can be more fun?

    • misterT0AST says:

      You usually find out every time that some kind of unit is way stronger or way weaker than you expected, and that sends all of your plans out of the window. Then you spend the rest of the battle minimizing the losses and mumbling about how overpowered the enemy units seem.
      Also, charging the pikemen on the rear only so that your charging unit does an unexplainable turn to directly run in front of the pikes.
      So, the usual stuff you do in Total War, without the satisfaction of knowing you have any kind of advantage or ace up your sleeve, like you do when you moved around the armies in the tactical map.

    • FunkyLlama says:

      TW multiplayer is generally pretty shit. CA don’t put anywhere near enough effort into balance, to the extent that spamming one kind of unit is usually much more effective than having a well-rounded army. The resulting gameplay is extremely dull.

      • DigitalParadox says:

        Don’t forget the typical contest of who gets bored and attacks first after spending an hour with both players sitting their main armies on hills and sending out skirmishers.

        Hopefully at least the balance will be improved in this since they do seem to be putting more attention into multiplayer. I’ve always thought that Total War multiplayer should be a really good thing, but in the end I just end up playing a match and then going back to singleplayer.

    • bstard says:

      Are you saying you take the TW AI seriously and spend effort in balance? Or is it the noble art of roll play you need an army that vaguely represents some out some movie?

      Crtl+A GetEmBoys!1!

  7. Dowr says:

    I despise who ever coined the term “Let’s Play”.

  8. Strangerator says:

    That was quite the spanking. It was clear one person had played strategy games before, and the other… yikes. Clearly not a strategy gamer.

    “It’s hard to defend the city because of all the narrow passages.”


  9. tehsorrow says:

    I am increasingly worried this wont run nicely on my PC

  10. SanguineAngel says:

    So I somehow can’t seem to find any info on this – the real multiplayer mode that interests me is the campaign. Has there been any word on this does anyone know?

    I actually thought some of the options they discussed at the beginning looked really cool, particularly choosing and bookmarking battlefields anywhere on the campaign map.

  11. Supremum says:

    It’s such a shame that CA once again approaches multiplayer game design with that bloody idea of “let’s pretend TW is just another typical no-global-map-component-here-move-along RTS” stuck in their mind… Seriously, main game provides such an immense amount of tools for creation of slick and original MP modes – why the heck not to use those?!
    I mean, OK, with TW2 we will be able to select whichever piece of global map as a battleground and blablabla but… why stop there? It is an awesome sandbox, true, but it is still no different to what we have seen before. Why not go further and create something new? For example, something like “global capture/defend the castle” mode. Think “The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot” here. Each MP participant picks himself a castle to defend from the set of ones created by developers. There’s some gold available to spend on defending army, Castle reinforcements included. Each battle then is Castle Defend. Attacking player has some resources available as well, of course, and the amount of those should be balanced with defending side’s. Or not balanced – it may be even more fun.

    No more running around the battlefield pretending to fight, no more of these silly Mexican standoffs on higher terrain, no more tedious archers-shooting-at-other-archers-for-an-hour boredom fests…

    And to spice it all up there should be some Strategic Points earned by playing MP. Possible usage: spies and counterspies (obviously used for getting intelligence on enemy forces), special units, reinforcements and maybe even abilities. Fireball-spitting ships near the shore anyone?

    And even this simple concept is incredibly expandable… Like, all the same stuff can be used for some sort of an “escort VIP” missions. Basic version: map is forest-y with some defensible terrain and 2-3 roads where VIP can move. Pretty!

    • Leb says:

      err cause they are utilizing the campaign mode for multiplayer… will have 2 player campaign support just like S2

      • Supremum says:

        My question is: why stop there? I am quite certain developers know exactly how [un]popular was the multiplayer in previous TW games. Give us some equivalent (in terms of neatness and accessibility) of Capture the Flag mode and there’ll be a crapload more people willing to try it out.

  12. AshleyK says:

    I do like that they list the new battle type. And they were ones that we have had in every total war.
    He does this at 2 min in if anyone wants to check, after saying we used to have only “land, naval and sea”.
    Which also made me, do a double take.
    Still pre-orderd it

  13. GameDreamer says:

    This is great!

    I have a good news for you guys there is a limited offer giveaway in Total War Rome II.

    Free CD Key

    Have fun and enjoy!