Killing the Faceless Unit in Total War: Rome II

In Creative Assembly's upcoming Total War: Rome II, we learn how the team is planning to push human-level drama to the forefront of this strategy game.

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Carthage burns. Amid the ruins of this dying city we got our first peek into the world of Total War: Rome II. This game represents developer Creative Assembly's largest investment yet, with a budget that dwarfs even their previous game, Total War: Shogun 2. In this hands-off demonstration we saw how those additional resources are being spent: fine details on unit armor, expressions of agony on unit faces, buildings that crumble apart, and more. Our demo was one of details, starting with the interview below.

Throughout the demo, the film Saving Private Ryan was referenced for the style and tone Creative Assembly is aiming for in Rome II. The film's influence was apparent from the opening scene. Dozens of soldiers lined the decks of warships en route to the flaming city of Carthage. The developers brought the camera in close to show off the small details on the suits of armor the soldiers wore--as well as their stern expressions.

As the ships ran ashore and the soldiers poured into a war zone--not unlike in the movie--the camera pulled back to reveal the entirety of Carthage. The Total War series has always featured massive armies made up of hundreds of units, and Rome II is no exception. Through use of destructible buildings and multiple capture points, the goal is to make city assaults such as this more dynamic and create--as the developer puts it--"cat-and-mouse maneuverability."

While the game's massive scale was apparent, one aspect the team wants to explore more in this game is human-level drama. Wishing "to explore the darker side of war," the team is putting a greater emphasis on individual unit expressions, animations, and design. As they describe it, this was an era filled with individuals who changed history. They want players to connect with individuals, and empathize with their army rather than see a faceless swath of soldiers.

How these desires will manifest in the game itself remains to be seen, but the developers did hint that they want their unit-level camera to bring additional features to the game--not just look pretty. On the macro level, they offered some cryptic comments on the possible structure of the game's camping or other single-player modes. The developers would like fewer, more-significant battles; for players to build their empire from the ground up; and for actual land-to-sea battles (and vice versa).

There are still several fine details that remain to be seen with Rome II. As noted in the interview, what is apparent is Creative Assembly's desire to make this game feel very different from Shogun 2. While Shogun 2 focused more on the traditional Total War formula of massive armies and grand strategy, Rome II is being positioned as taking a more personal approach. We'll be sure to keep you updated as Total War: Rome II approaches its release date sometime next year.

Discussion

4 comments
xanal_juicex
xanal_juicex

PEOPLE PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THE MOVIE GLADIATOR WITH RUSSELL CROW BEFORE PLAYING ROME II TOTAL WAR!

xanal_juicex
xanal_juicex

WTF i like micro management 

Do NOT take it Away!

And Please Add Prema Noctes

granted them the right of "Prima Nocta" (Latin for "First Night") stating, "When any common girl inhabiting their lands is married, our Nobles shall have SEXUAL rights to her on the night of her wedding."

xanal_juicex
xanal_juicex

Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his ASS!

I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You've come to fight as free men... and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?

Noble Fighter:
Fight? Against that? No! We will run. And we will live.

William Wallence:
Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

layham2
layham2

What made Rome so epic was the variety of units and their abilities.  I don't want to see another game with awesome graphics and all the same units like shogun 2.   I want to be able to put a hoplite unit in a street and kill thousands of parthians again or to have my berzerkers and wardogs rout entire armies.  In rome it felt like every faction was a new game, I just hope this new rome can do it justice

Miraklum
Miraklum

Upgrade in progress...

Might as well change my graphics card.

remavrcar
remavrcar

how to download the fucking game

splinter10
splinter10

Only thing that worries me is the talk of reducing Micro Management. I hope that doesn't mean more things being automanage. one thing I loved About Rome, was being able to build my settlements to my liking and purpose. Automgae would take the fun out of that.

THGBlackScar
THGBlackScar

I think Supply units should have to be built alongside military ones! that'll give having these huge armies moving and camping about some real plausibility. The real Legions needed mules loaded with supplies to travel in real life, with groups of men dedicated to gathering wood, water and additional food too. You'd still need to pay the soldiers upkeep fee too, of course. Kind of like having the villagers around in age of empires. 

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

all good and well, looking forward to it, rome was the best..

 

but please dont feed us anymore "live action" trailer crap... soo cheesy 

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

this is another of my absolute favorite series that i dont think ill be picking up for a long long while.   In this case?  ive already played the bad ai.  Its going to be the same as the last game, and the same as the first rome.

 

They arent making this game for us old schoolers, they are making it to introduce new people to the series.  Its not men that makes descisions for them anymore, but their economist.

bsmith12
bsmith12

Although I am looking forward to this games release date with baited breath, it  is the second sequell in a row. Up until now we got something new between the mark 2 games. I will be getting this on preorder the moment it is anounced, but I hope the next one will be in a new time frame the 19th century would be good to follow empire a lot happened then too.

syphon24
syphon24

Total war is probably my favorite series of all time. I still play all of the games from time to time. I just about shit my pants when I heard about this. As soon as there is a definite release date I'll be counting down the seconds until it comes out!

dalgard
dalgard

I played all the Total War games, but the only one which stayed forever on my computer is Rome: TW. A masterpiece.

 

But I don't know about these "massive" battles, because TW games were always massives, and bigger armies are not going to improve the gameplay. In RTW, I loved when my army was reduced to a few brave veterans, lead by a tough general, fighting for survival in the foggy German forests. That was epic. It was truly like Saving Private Ryan.

 

We need more more in-depht gameplay, more involvment, a stronger connection between the player and his legions/generals/assasins. We need more human approach, not just more units on the battlefield. In fact, too many units will destroy any involvment whatsoever. Why should I care about this particular soldier and his legion, when I have a zilion to replace him?

 

I hope CA will make the right choice, and will preserve the unique feeling of the original RTW.

nz_caleb
nz_caleb

Shogun TW2, while being visually stunning, was a disappointment. Virtually no difference between factions, and I hated the way each of my provinces could only specialise in one thing. I used to love building my cities in Medieval 2 and Rome into huge commercial and cultural centres - and how the factions in these games felt so different, with completely different units and buildings. 

 

This game looks amazing however. Expanding the map, bringing back different cultures, beautiful, detailed graphics....what more could you ask for? Well, it'd be nice if they shipped it with a new video card for my computer, 'cause I'm gonna need one. Oh how I miss the days when Age of Empires graphics used to be impressive...

Mewels
Mewels

I will be following this game intently. I have played every game and update in the series, and usually time my new computer investments around new releases of TW. However the last two games disapointed me a little. I don't think that the gameplay was as deep, as the old games, wich I still play from time to time. Also the huge amounts of bugs and crashes due to Steam and what not, put me totally of Empire.

 

Also with all the tech avialable it's amazing that they haven't done a better job with diplomacy, treaties, relations other than those of war and all the gameplay around the battles in general. Also I don't think that bigger necessarily is better. Yes huge battles can be amazing and fun, but it does'nt give me better battle experiences or make me relate better to my units or my army. I still love the small skirmishes between a few units in a forrest clearing (a lot of battles were actually  fought like this). If they want to make the player relate more to the single unit, they should'nt allways go for massive, but enhance the experience of the smaller parts as well.

 

All that said I love these games so much and love the fact that Rome will be the next!

 

Fingers crossed for a job hopefully well done!

WasTeDMinD86
WasTeDMinD86

This is the only game that I'm looking forward to.

burnettaj
burnettaj

I am glad they are doing another Total War series game. I have loved these games from the original to the Shogun games. I will be following this one closely. I hope they go all out and improve the Total War: Rome as that game was damn good.

Joesocwork
Joesocwork

Wow, I can't believe they actually are going to redo Rome: Total War. It really is the flagship of the Total War franchise. I just hope that phrases like "The developers would like fewer, more-significant battles; for players to build their empire from the ground up" aren't code words for dumbing down.  Seen it in too many great franchises turned weak.

squidbilly22
squidbilly22

Hopefully they just polish it kinda like SC2 did . ..

 

otherwise i fear they will screw it up too like shogun 2 failed in combat and fun.

]

sometimes i wonder if they even play the entire game more than once and honestly ask did i enjoy myself or was it boring as hell.

Avenger_05
Avenger_05

After the constant crashes on NTW, the dull combat on Shogun 2, I will be ignoring this.  Just mod RTW with Rome:Total Realism or another mod of similar caliber and the old game still beats ETW, NTW and this... pretender

Gixzr
Gixzr

Ok this is going to be torture waiting for 2013   need some game play video already...

Hawke7
Hawke7

Can't wait to play this one :D

Nowayouthere
Nowayouthere

i hope also that they make cargo armies on ships visible during the naval combat :)

 

Nowayouthere
Nowayouthere

only thing i hated about old RTW was, that phalanks formation was a bit overpowered as computer could turn it around without raising their spears  :(

and they could point at your horses in a second even when flanking...

Otherwise the just awesome!

 

Gonefishing95
Gonefishing95

Im so happy they are fiiiinnally sorting out the diplomacy, it was a 'Hey want to have trade rights?' A turn later..'we hate you we are at war' -.-

ragnar320
ragnar320

hmm to be honest idk bout this one guys cause why are they taking out micromangement of your empire. and fewer more significate battles what does that mean? does it mean that the AI is gonna group its amries togather more and less raiding on the AIs part or does it mean that battles might be scirpted now? ALso whats up with the influence of like certain individuals from history? does that mean that generals will appear that are special or does it affect the faction and how that faction operates? i love total wars ive playdem all but idk im kinda nervous about all this new stuff there adding idk i guess time will tell

 

on a postive note the sea to land battles look epic and im wondering does that mean ships have a ground force now or do you need to embark a army onto your navy and then assualt

JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

Wishing "to explore the darker side of war,"

 

There's a lighter side to war? could have fooled me.

dalhaug
dalhaug

Hallelujah! I just cant wait!! The Total War series is just fantastic! I hope ive finished playing The Secret World by then.

monggy
monggy

FUCK YER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! played rome to many times and still love it

Amrikove
Amrikove

I think they are influenced by paradox games, and its felt since shogun 2.

The_Broken_Wing
The_Broken_Wing

@xanal_juicex Again, wrong era. I do not think this Prima Nocta even existed in the same timeline as Rome 2 is trying to portrait. 

qweasd54
qweasd54

 @remavrcar Lol it comes out in 2013 you moron. The demo is only for the press.

Snorkasaurus
Snorkasaurus

 @THGBlackScar i don't think that's what total war is about. but i do agree with you. i'd like to see that kind of realism on classical to medieval era war games. i've crossed fingers hoping the developers of mount & blade will churn out a game like that.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

@WasTeDMinD86 This is the only AAA game I am looking forward to.

Mewels
Mewels

 @Joesocwork You are so right. It seems like the more popular a franchise gets, the wider the target group gets, that leads to more arcade-style/plug and play. If you try to make a game for everybody, most of the time you end up making a game for nobody.

Pyerun
Pyerun

 @squidbilly22

 Shogun 2 is not a failure in any way.  The multiplayer maps are pretty basic, but the campaign, and the fortress battles are epic.  You just need to know what you're doing.

Snorkasaurus
Snorkasaurus

 @Avenger_05 ah a fellow pessimist. the series has been going downhill since RTW. i fear they're going to cater a larger target group and end up making this one an arcade total war. i love how some developers actually ramp up difficulty on the sequel of their games. these guys aren't one of those developers.

shingui5
shingui5

 @Avenger_05 Wow...just wow.

 

people just try to be negative about anything don't they?

 

bloody hell....

sonofmarch
sonofmarch

 @Gonefishing95  absolutely agree with you. the worse was when you were dealing with a nation with one city left and like two regiments, and you've got a full army outside the gates, and you demand that they become a protectorate and they're like "You don't scare us, we will never surrender!"

jaruhl
jaruhl

 @ragnar320

 Ragnar320: During this time period in history a naval force was simply an army on a boat at sea. A navy seperated from the army did not come around until much later.

 

nz_caleb
nz_caleb

 @Pyerun I dunno, I felt Shogun 2 was pretty boring and repetitive. I guess I'm not in it as much for the battles, but I hated how simple the management was. There were only a few units to build, and every faction was like identical. Plus that one building per province thing really steamed my vegetables. 

ragnar320
ragnar320

 @jaruhl

 well thats a good point but my question was about gameplay thats why i used the word embark cause thats how you moved your armies by a navy so im wondering if a fleet alone can assualt a city and then be able to like garrision that city with its crew or do you need to have an army embarked on the fleet

JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

 @gameking5000 Probably.. but the other ones wern't rated mature?. It hits me now that I never bothered to look.

sonofmarch
sonofmarch

 @nz_caleb Are you sure that was Shogun 2?because I could build anything I wanted in my provinces.

Anyway for those players who came late into the series I can understand why Shogun 2 wasn't exciting. But for those of us who got into the series at the beginning, we appreciate that we could enjoy that game the way we now do with the newer total war games...That said, I agree that Rome was the diverse in terms of factions and the world was much bigger.                                                                                                                                                    There were few issues with Rome when it came to the A.I. and how pursuing cavalry would focus more on remaining in formation than chasing down a unit right next to it. I think Shogun 2 fixed a lot of those issues and I must say I was pleased with how things were. After Shogun 2 came out I said, Now I'm ready for them to do Rome 2 because I know they are now ready to seriously tackle those issues, while improving the game. The one thing I hated though in Rome above anything else were the revolts. No matter what you did or built the people would revolt. That was more annoying than anything else. If they could find a way to fix that, it will be an almost perfect game.