Creative Assembly today announced Total War: Rome 2's next expansion - Rise Of The Republic. A prequel campaign set 127 years before Rome 2's campaign, it promises a more focused game of grand ambition as nine playable factions set their eyes on a detailed, zoomed-in map of Italy. In the real world this era of conflict led to the Second Founding of Rome, but with Gallic tribes and Syracuse playable, the history books seem due for a rewrite on August 9th.
Among Rise Of The Republic's new features are Government Actions, unique abilities for each faction that replace the Change Government system. For example, Taras can boost research with court philosophers, while the Samnites can invoke ancient rites to instantly raise an army. Each faction has their own extended chains of dilemmas to cope with in Rise Of The Republic, which should hopefully make for a more storied campaign. Plus, each region has its own scripted problems, which can cause even more dilemmas to raise their ugly heads once you hold them.
Rise Of The Republic will launch alongside the Ancestral update (currently in beta), which introduces a family tree and the Intrigues system, letting characters carry out personal actions in Crusader Kings 2 fashion. While these are features coming to Rome 2 for everyone, I feel they could be a good fit for Rise Of The Republic's smaller conflict. Something about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer springs to mind, especially when Italians are involved.
While I personally don't have time for another Total War game (Warhammer's Mortal Empires campaign can devour entire lifetimes), Rise Of The Republic looks to capitalise on the things I've come to enjoy most about Total War in recent years. Huge battles with thousands of soldiers are great, but they're even more fun if you're invested in the scheming and ambitions underpinning them.
Total War: Rome 2 - Rise Of The Republic will launch on Steam on August 9th, and will cost £12/€17/$17.