Posts Tagged ‘Total War: Rome II’

Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia is a smaller game with some very big ideas

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It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. That’s a useful motto, a pick-me-up for the smaller among us, but the truth is right now, I am a very small dog with very little fight left in it.

I’m the boss of Mide, a province in the middle of Ireland. The 9th century is drawing to a close and everything is in disarray. The coasts are saturated with Danes, there is no unification among my own people, and at the horizon’s edge, England is burning. Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia has a cumbersome name but it might be the leanest and meanest game in Creative Assembly’s long-running strategy series. It’s a little dog with a whole lot of beautiful fight in it.

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Total War: Three Kingdoms tackles the turbulence of 3rd century China

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Total War has been enjoying its time among the greenskins and the undead, but we’ve been waiting to see exactly which period it’d land in when it returns to its historical roots for its next major installment. Now the answer is here. Total War: Three Kingdoms.

The year is 190CE. China is in turmoil. The Han Dynasty crumbles before the child-emperor. He is but a figurehead; a mere puppet for the tyrant warlord Dong Zhuo. It is a brutal and oppressive regime, and as Dong Zhuo’s power grows, the empire slips further into the cauldron of anarchy… Only one thing is certain: the very future of China will be shaped by its champions. Total War: Three Kingdoms is the next major historical strategy game in the award-winning Total War series.

This is both unexpected and precisely the kind of setting I was hoping for. A mostly self-contained conflict with a clear end-goal and set of factions. The trailer follows.

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Total War: Rome 2’s Empire Divided DLC is out now

When Empire Divided, Total War’s latest expansion, trundled into our garage, Fraser was the mechanic on duty. He walked around the chariot, kicked the wheels, took the pencil from behind his ear and made a few notes. “It’s not in bad nick,” he said, after some deliberation, “but it’s no Warhammer.”

You should read the rest of his review if you’re considering buying this new expansion for Rome II. It’s out now, gives the game a brand new grand campaign and loads of other gubbins, and might scratch that historic itch. But it also highlights one of the issues of a post-Warhammer world; namely, that loads of people with various pointy or clubby things don’t quite match up to dragons, dinosaurs and man-eating trolls.

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Wot I Think: Total War: Rome 2 – Empire Divided

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How can a historical Total War compete with dinosaurs besieging a fortress filled with wraiths and shambling corpses? Ever since the launch of Total War: Warhammer, but even more since the arrival of Warhammer 2, I’ve been wondering if Creative Assembly has backed itself into a corner. Total War’s historical games will undoubtedly continue to appeal to those craving a more grounded strategy romp, but so many of the series’ most significant improvements are inextricably linked to a fantasy premise. So where does that leave Total War: Rome 2 – Empire Divided?

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Total War: Rome II expanding again with Empire Divided

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A brand new expansion is coming to Total War: Rome II, developers Creative Assembly announced today, four years since the game came out and three since its last expansion. Empire Divided will travel back to the third century for a new grand-scale campaign as the Roman Empire risks collapsing. It’ll feature ten playable factions, from good ol’ Rome through the goths to Armenia, and bring new problems such as plagues, excess bandits, and cults.

The paid expansion is due later this month and will be accompanied by a free update overhauling expanding Rome II’s political system. Read the rest of this entry »

Historical hints from the Total War teams

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Total War might have been away in the land of elves and orcs for a while now, but it hasn’t forgotten its historical roots. In fact, Creative Assembly are working on three historical Total War games: one is an expansion to an older title, one is a spin-off of sorts called a Saga, and the biggest of the lot is set in an entirely new era. New to Total War, that is. Being historical it will definitely be something old. A big blog post today gives some hints as to what we can expect and I’m just going to come right out and say one word: Vikings.

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Total War Sagas will spin off specific points of history

A new branch of Total War games, going under the badge of ‘A Total War Saga’, will focus the historical strategy action on more specific times and places. Total War devs The Creative Assembly announced the new line today, which will kick off with “another spiritual follow-up” to Total War: Rome II. Total War Sagas will drill down into pivotal moments connected to eras the series has already covered, see, much like 2012’s Total War: Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai did. They’ll play the same but have a tighter focus. Read the rest of this entry »

Time Commanders brings Total War back to TV tonight

Time Commanders, the BBC game show where contestants order around someone playing Total War, returns to British screens tonight. Imagine a blind Let’s Play of Rome: Total War directed by teams who didn’t know what Total War was but did between them share a Desmond in classics, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, experience leading their university rugger society, and four awful haircuts. After eleven years away, Time Commanders is back tonight with Gregg Wallace off Masterchef pitting board gamers against wrestlers in a recreation of 202 BC’s Battle of Zama. Have a butcher’s at this: Read the rest of this entry »

The Best And Worst Total War Games

At its best, the Total War series casts a spell over you. Your empire rises from nothing, surrounded by enemies who are poised to trample it into the dust. Each decision on the strategic level is a gamble on the immediate future, where “one more turn” isn’t just a stepping-stone to a new upgrade, but a perilous step onto thin ice. Each time you take to the battlefield is another do-or-die moment, a possible Hastings or Austerlitz that can open the road to conquest or plunge you into a desperate fight for survival.

But the Total War series has also been defined by massive, abrupt swings in quality. While the series has been on a linear trajectory in terms of graphics, the quality of the games underlying those vivid battlefield vistas has varied wildly. Total War at its best is interactive Kurosawa and Kubrick. At its worst, it’s a middle-school history textbook as told by Drunk History and filmed by the cast and crew of The Patriot.

So before the series (temporarily) leaves history behind for the grimdark faux-history of Warhammer fantasy, let’s put into order the times that Total War was at its best… and why sometimes its lows were so very low. We’ll save the worst for last, because if there’s one thing that every Total War fan loves, it’s an argument over which games were the biggest disappointments.

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Wot I Think: Total War Attila – Age Of Charlemagne

The Age of Charlemagne is the latest expansion for Attila: Total War [official site] and I’ve had a splendid time with it over the last few days. I’d go so far as to say that the entire package, Charlemagne and Attila, has been my favourite Total War experience since Shogun 2, but that’s partly due to my love of this period. Caught mid-stride between the remnants of the Roman Empire and the dawn of the medieval period, Charlemagne provides a concise campaign that gains a great deal from its concentrated focus.

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Total War: Warhammer Out April 28th, Bringing Chaos

The wait for Total War: Hammer [official site] is far from over. Creative Assembly’s strategic take on the Warhammer Fantasy world will be with us on April 28th but, as is traditional, the preorder incentives and collector’s edition malarkey has already begun. Below, you’ll find a video showcasing the Chaos Warriors, growly-voiced corruptions intent on spreading their unholy powers across the world. They’ll make up the first DLC for the game but if you’re willing to put down the money before release, they’ll be included with your copy of the game. Details of that and a preposterous special edition (it includes a drinking horn and functional whetstone) below.

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Lovekill – CoH 2 and Total War: Rome 2 Weekend Trials

The stream represents the rift between us caused by my fear that I inevitably hurt people.

“This Valentine’s Day,” reads a sign in my bank’s window, “give the gift of buildings and contents insurance.” The cornershop plan to only serve couples maintaining physical contact. I’m facing eviction as, in lieu of rent money, my landlord demands a sworn statement that I think I’m capable of love. In this wacky world, I’m not at all surprised that Sega are marking Valentine’s Day with war.

Total War: Rome II and Company of Heroes 2 are both free for all to play this romantic weekend as part of some competition over free DLC. NBA 2K15 has a free Steam weekend trial too but it’s unrelated to both love and murder so let’s skip over it.

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It’s A-Parta The Plan! Total War: Rome II – Wrath of Sparta

This. Is. A screenshot.

It’s a shame that the promotional machinery of video games moves so rapidly these days, because it would have been Just Plain Charming had Sega been able to announce this Total War: Rome II campaign expansion two hundred and eighty-nine days ago.

Then again, it would have wildly inaccurate to do so because Wrath of Sparta is set about sixty years after some well-oiled Greeks with CGI torsos fought off thirty million Persians [citation needed], and as we all know video games rarely play fast and loose with historical facts.

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Premium Patching: Total War Rome 2 Emperor’s Edition

Still waiting for Dota 2: Lord Edition.

I lead a high-end life and have high-end tastes: penthouse suites, the finest champagne, custom cars, and Cuban cigars the size of your forearm. I demand the same from my video games. The Premium Edition, that’s the one I’ll buy with my many dollars. Gold Edition. Titanium Edition. Blood Red Edition. Deluxe Edition. Ultimate Sith Edition. Collector’s Edition, oh yes; I collect the finest.

Total War: Rome II is now up to my standards, as it’s getting an Emperor Edition. Technically it’s only a renaming of the base game to mark the launch of a big patch and a free new story campaign, but just look at that name: Emperor Edition. That belongs in my Steam display cabinet.

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Rome II Daughters Of Mars DLC Adds Warrior Women

A how to session on creating fine gonad paste.

While some battle tactics are outstripped by technology, it’s actually gotten quite a lot easier to perform the above strategy thanks to the removal of platemail in modern times. Still equally as effective at causing extreme pain and temporary, floor-based groan-paralysis too. It’s part of the latest Total War: Rome II DLC ‘Daughters of Mars’, which adds a number of women-only formations to The Creative Assembly’s grand strategy. They’ve also released a free update providing some female units to a couple of factions and updating the roster of the Suebi.

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Fish, Hitler, And Naughty Language: DLC Is Bloody Weird

Shooting Hitler is weird

What do Hitler, Snoop Dogg, George Washington, and Shakespeare have in common? If you said they all appear in Rik Mayall’s autobiography Bigger Than Hitler, Better Than Christ*, you’re wrong. Washington and Snoop aren’t mentioned in that. The correct answer is that each has been digitised and reformed–Weird Science style–into your games as DLC.

There’s a lot of DLC out there, ranging from the mundane to the insane, and I think I know why. Games are increasingly serious business, with huge budgets and a cast amount of public scrutiny. DLC–well some of it–feels like the passion projects that don’t fit into the canon. An outlet for the stuff that gets cleared from the whiteboard for being too off message, or too niche. DLC is cathartic. I’ve been on a strange journey, readers. I’ve been looking through games catalogues and hunting down the sort of DLC that could be described as ’boutique’. I’ve been on a boutique call, ahahahahahahaha!

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Carry On Carthage: Rome 2 Hannibal At The Gates DLC

Total War: Rome II has probably had the most troubled existence of any Total War game, trampling on expectations like a giant war elephant crushing the skull of an infantry man. At least that’s the impression I had from comment threads and old ladies who stopped me in the street: my brain is not wired for grand strategy games, so I only played it for a short time and then abandoned it to the Recycle Bin. However, that won’t stop me pointing that out there’s a new DLC pack coming out: Hannibal At The Gates. The trailer below shows a whole lot of big talk for people facing a man with angry elephants at his disposal.
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Rebuild It In A Day: Total War: Rome II Mod Tools Arrive

I am a conscientious objector in the Total War war. I fight for neither side, and I shall declare no opinions about the controversies surrounding the release state of Total War: Rome II. All I shall do is report the facts, ma’am. Today’s fact is that devs the Creative Assembly have just released a beta version of the game’s Assembly Kit mod tools, which have been long expected/demanded by the TW community. That is a fact.
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The Gaul Of It: Total War: Rome 2 Expansion Announced

Asterix is going to punch this guy so hard.

Total War: Rome 2 made Adam hesitate, then point his thumb skywards, celebrating the game’s victories in spite of its bugs. Developers Creative Assembly have spent the time since working hard on patches to resolve some the most troublesome bugs and AI follies, but now seem ready to turn their attention towards larger conquests. Caeser in Gaul has just been announced, and it’s the first campaign expansion for the game. It has a new campaign map, new factions and units, all that stuff.

Come look at the screenshots. Come see how the little men fight.
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Blood Money: Rome II Gets Paid Blood And Gore DLC

You cannot cut that which already has a NECK MADE OF BLOOD.

Blood! You and I – and all people, really – are full of it! If you cut us, we will dribble out red stuff until we are naught but pale, crumbling husks. That, more often than not, is how blood works. Total War: Rome II, however, begs to differ. First it implicitly argued that blood doesn’t exist at all, but now it’s had a change of heart and pumped its soldiers full of so much plasma that the slightest pin prick will make them pop like balloons full of cherry pie. It’s a, er, fun option, but there’s just one problem. The aptly titled “Blood and Gore” DLC? It costs money. Not a lot, but this is kind of an inconsequential feature – not so many clippity clopping steps removed from horse armor. And in light of Rome II’s list of rather glaring issues, this seems like kind of an odd time to charge for a glorified blood slider option.

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