About Total War: ROME II - Emperor Edition: Emperor Edition is the definitive edition of ROME II, featuring an improved politics system, overhauled building chains, rebalanced battles and improved visuals in both campaign and battle.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (21,269 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 2, 2013

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Total War: Rome II



Packages that include this game

Buy Total War Master Collection

Includes 9 items: Medieval II: Total War™, Rome: Total War™, Empire: Total War™, Napoleon: Total War™, Total War: SHOGUN 2, Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai, Total War Battles: SHOGUN, Viking: Battle for Asgard, Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition


Buy SEGA Super Bundle

Includes 96 items: Alex Kidd™ in the Enchanted Castle, Alien Soldier, Alien Storm, Aliens vs. Predator™, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Alpha Protocol™, Altered Beast™, Binary Domain, Bio-Hazard Battle™, Bonanza Bros.™, CoH 2 - The Western Front Armies: US Forces, Columns™, Columns™ III, Comix Zone™, Company of Heroes, Company of Heroes 2, Company of Heroes 2 - Ardennes Assault, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, Condemned: Criminal Origins, Crack Down™, Crazy Taxi, Decap Attack™, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine™, Dynamite Headdy, Ecco the Dolphin™, Ecco™ Jr., Ecco™: The Tides of Time, Empire: Total War™, ESWAT™: City Under Siege, Eternal Champions™, Fatal Labyrinth™, Flicky™, Football Manager 2015, Gain Ground™, Galaxy Force II™, Golden Axe III, Golden Axe™, Golden Axe™ II, Gunstar Heroes, Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, Kid Chameleon™, Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole, Light Crusader, Medieval II: Total War™, Napoleon: Total War™, NiGHTS Into Dreams, Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom, Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium, Renegade Ops, Ristar™, SEGA Bass Fishing, Shadow Dancer™, Shining Force, Shining Force II, Shining in the Darkness, Shinobi™ III: Return of the Ninja Master, Sonic 3 and Knuckles, Sonic 3D Blast™, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic CD, Sonic Generations, Sonic Spinball™, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode I, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode II, Space Channel 5: Part 2, Space Harrier™ II, Space Siege, Super Thunder Blade™, Sword of Vermilion™, The Club™, The Typing of The Dead: Overkill, ToeJam & Earl, ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron, Total War Battles: SHOGUN, Total War: SHOGUN 2, Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai, Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition, Valkyria Chronicles™, Vectorman 2, Vectorman™, Viking: Battle for Asgard, Virtua Fighter™ 2, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution, Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn of War® - Dark Crusade, Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn of War® - Game of the Year Edition, Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn of War® - Soulstorm, Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn of War® II Chaos Rising, Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn Of War® – Winter Assault, Warhammer® 40,000™: Dawn of War® II, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Wonder Boy in Monster World


Recommended By Curators

"Fight past the niggles and you'll find a truly epic grand strategy game with a tremendous sense of spectacle. Go, see, conquer."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (20)

December 17, 2014

Wrath Of Sparta - Release & Official Trailer!

Hi guys!

The Wrath of Sparta Campaign Pack is out now, and we’ve got a new trailer showing the might of the Spartans to get you in the mood!


A whole new campaign with more conquerable regions than SHOGUN 2; Wrath of Sparta is a huge, engrossing new take on ROME II guaranteed to add hours of gameplay.

We’re also hosting a live stream at 3.30pm GMT over on our Twitch channel with a Q&A with designer Jack Lusted, so be sure to tune in: twitch.tv/totalwarofficial

The Wrath of Sparta Campaign Pack is available now on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/327280/

Patch 16.1 is also live, you can check the list of changes here: http://wiki.totalwar.com/w/Total_War_ROME_II:_Patch_16.1

48 comments Read more

December 10, 2014

Wrath of Sparta Campaign Map Revealed

The Peloponnesian war has it all (well, everything except Siege equipment). It has great named heroes, masters of history, backstabbing political dealings and great walls. Today we are showing off the map of the upcoming Wrath of Sparta Campaign Pack:


This is the most detailed campaign map we’ve made for ROME II, contain 22 provinces across 78 regions and all new wonders, so head on over to the official wiki for more information!

62 comments Read more

Coming to SteamOS/Linux

Total War™: ROME II will be available on SteamOS and Linux in 2015.

About This Game

About Total War: ROME II - Emperor Edition:

Emperor Edition is the definitive edition of ROME II, featuring an improved politics system, overhauled building chains, rebalanced battles and improved visuals in both campaign and battle.

In addition, Emperor Edition includes all content and feature updates made available for ROME II since its launch in September 2013. These include Twitch.TV integration, touchscreen controls, new playable factions and units, and Mac compatibility.
The Imperator Augustus Campaign Pack and all Emperor Edition content and features are free, via automatic update, to all existing ROME II owners.

About the Imperator Augustus Campaign Pack

The Imperator Augustus Campaign Pack is a new playable campaign for ROME II, which rivals the original ROME II Grand Campaign in both scope and scale. This campaign comes as part of Total War™: ROME II – Emperor Edition and is available as a free, automatic update to existing owners of Total War™: ROME II.
The Imperator Augustus Campaign Pack is set in 42 BC during the chaotic aftermath of Caesar’s grisly murder. The republic remains whole, but its soul is divided as three great men, the members of the Second Triumvirate, hold the future of Rome in the palms of their hands.

Octavian, Caesar’s adoptive son and the heir to his legacy.

Marc Antony, Caesar’s loyal friend and most trusted lieutenant.

Lepidus, Pontifex Maximus of Rome and the man who secured Caesar’s dictatorship.

With the territories of The Republic divided between them and the military might of Rome at their beck-and-call, the members of The Second Triumvirate are each in a position to make a bid for leadership, and rule Rome as its first – and only – emperor.

However, external forces are on the move, looking to exploit the instability of Rome and expand their own territories. Will you fight as a defender of Rome and defeat the other members of the Triumvirate? Or lead another faction on a campaign of conquest and expansion, and take advantage of the chaos as the Roman civil war rages?

Playable Factions

Players may embark on a new Campaign as one of the following playable factions:
Marc Antony
Armenia (also now playable in the ROME II Grand Campaign).

How far will you go for Rome?

The award-winning Total War series returns to Rome, setting a brand new quality benchmark for Strategy gaming. Become the world’s first superpower and command the Ancient world’s most incredible war machine. Dominate your enemies by military, economic and political means. Your ascension will bring both admiration and jealousy, even from your closest allies.

Will you suffer betrayal or will you be the first to turn on old friends? Will you fight to save the Republic, or plot to rule alone as Emperor?

✢ Plan your conquest of the known world in a massive sandbox turn-based campaign mode (supporting additional 2-player cooperative & competitive modes). Conspiracies, politics, intrigue, revolts, loyalty, honour, ambition, betrayal. Your decisions will write your own story.

✢ Build vast armies and take to the battlefield in real-time combat mode. Put your tactical skills to the test as you directly control tens of thousands of men clashing in epic land and sea battles.

✢ Play for the glory of Rome as one of three families or take command of a huge variety of rival civilisations – each offers a notably different form of gameplay experience with hundreds of unique units from siege engines and heavy cavalry to steel-plated legionaries and barbarian berserkers.

✢ See exotic ancient cities and colossal armies rendered in incredible detail, as jaw-dropping battles unfold. Detailed camera perspectives allow you to see your men shout in victory or scream in pain on the frontline, while a new tactical cam allows a god’s eye view of the carnage to better inform your strategic decisions.

✢ Extremely scalable experience, with gameplay and graphics performance optimised to match low and high-end hardware alike.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: XP/ Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8
    • Processor:2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor
    • Memory:2GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible card (shader model 3, vertex texture fetch support).
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:35 GB HD space
    • Additional:Screen Resolution - 1024x768
    • OS:Windows 7 / Windows 8
    • Processor:2nd Generation Intel Core i5 processor (or greater)
    • Memory:4GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024 MB DirectX 11 compatible graphics card.
    • DirectX®:11
    • Hard Drive:35 GB HD space
    • Additional:Screen Resolution - 1920x1080
    • Operating System: OS X 10.7.5
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
    • RAM: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 25 GB
    • Video Card: 512 MB AMD Radeon HD 4850, NVidia GeForce 640 or Intel HD 4000
    • Screen Resolution: 1024x768.

    Unsupported graphics chipsets for Mac: NVidia GeForce 9 series, GeForce 300 series, GeForce Quadro series, AMD Radeon HD 4000 series, Radeon HD 2000 series
    • Operating System: OS X 10.7.5 (or later)
    • Processor: 2nd Generation
    Intel Core i5 (or greater)
    • RAM: 8 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 25 GB
    • Video Card: 1 GB NVidia 750 (or better)
    • Screen Resolution: 1920x1080.

    Unsupported graphics chipsets for Mac: NVidia GeForce 9 series, GeForce 300 series, GeForce Quadro series, AMD Radeon HD 4000 series, Radeon HD 2000 series
Helpful customer reviews
5,063 of 5,307 people (95%) found this review helpful
60 people found this review funny
779.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
I am not a big gamer. I'm old. Over 50. When I purchased a new computer recently, wanting to take it for a spin, I asked my son what to do and he told me about Steam. As an ancient history buff (I'm also a writer and have written a novel about the ancient Spartans), I did searches on Greece and Rome and eventurally found Rome 2.

I read all the negative reviews about the launch. Things haven't changed much in the gaming industry. Companies have always rushed their product to market. I imagine after spending years developing a game they end up deep in the hole and pressured by corporations like Sega to push it out - no matter how many problems exist. That's been going on for years. The wise thing to do is to wait. You know there is going to be a patch. Why not let someone else trip over all the bugs? From what I gather, a lot of gamers just can't wait today.

Anyway, I love Rome 2. When I read about the Emperor's Edition having worked out most of the problems, I dove in. It's been a delight. What a great game. It's more addicting that crack. Being able to play so many different factions gives it limitless re-playability. Thus far I've played as the Romans, Spartans, Athenians and Epirus, and have had a blast with each. There is a huge amount of strategy and tactics available on both the campaign map and the battle maps. Placing your armies at choke points in the mountains or at river crossings... putting them in ambush mode... slaughtering 2x or 3x your number of units without getting your hands dirty... it's all so gratifying.

One of the things I've noticed is that I usually end up winning by gaining a technological edge over the computer AI factions. If I can survive the early stages of play, eventually I'll start kicking out armies composed of better units than my opponents. When the autoresolve gives me results I don't like, saying I'm going to lose, or take unexceptable losses, it's fun to take control of your army and lead them on to victory when the oddsmakers are betting against you. Of course, often times you're leading superior units against hordes of untrained spearmen or levies, but occasionally the computer gives you a run for your money and there's nothing like destroyng your opponents Praetorian guard or Oathsworn unit that fights to last man.

Big kudos to the modding community. After playing vanilla R2, I found the Workshop and have been in pure amazement at the products the community has added to the game. The 4x moves per year mod, agent color coding, the new unit mods, and many others deserve effusive praise. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning every time I look in the Workshop, wondering what new toy I'll find under the tree today.

The Bad. I have none. Okay, okay, there are some, but I'm like a newlywed on his honeymoon right now. I don't care if she leaves her panties on the bathroom floor or that the 4x calendar year mod makes agents overpowered. For right now, I'm enjoying the game far too much to complain about a thing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2,724 of 3,471 people (78%) found this review helpful
130 people found this review funny
89.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
More civil disobedience in my cities than in Ferguson
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1,203 of 1,516 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
321.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
I wanted to love Rome II, but couldn't. I wanted to like it,.. to enjoy it,.. I tried for over a year but ultimately it just fell flat.

I've played Total War games since the first Shogun. They've never been perfect, but have always been thoroughly enjoyable and value for money. The following is mainly based on the main campaign as updated for the emperor version, although I did try the emperor campaign but soon gave up.

What is good?:

- The battles are good; after much patching, balancing etc. they are the strongest part of the game, which is rather important considering the nature of the game! Sometimes they can look stunning, and the size is vast.
- There are many, many units, and many playable factions (even without DLC)
- The game is easy to pick up and play, there are no over-fiddly interfaces
- The developers have provided support for this game so far (it needed it)
- There are many mods that can be easily implemented
- (External) Diplomacy - this works better than any other TW game. Truces, alliances all work well.

What is bad?:

- The lack of feeling/immersion/atmosphere, particularly without any Mods. There is very little going on when viewing the campaign map. There's no driving force behind your actions other than simply choosing a province to completely control or a new one to invade. There seem to be a few events early on in a campaign but these dry up and the benefits of them I've always found to be a bit 'well so what?'

- Limited battle maps - I got very tired of seeing the same small fishing village layout very quickly

- The overall campaign map looks open, but for areas such as Italy/Gaul in particular there are effectively just wide 'roads' linking each settlement flanked by impassable forest. This would seem historical, but seems to just feel like you are on a motorway between settlements. Particularly so as you can often move from settlement to settlement in a turn. Deserts are not like this but have themselves attrition rates that effectively force you to take the same path to cross them. The apparent freedom of movement often felt to me like simply moving from cell to cell similar to Medieval I !

- Generals -I simply don't care for them, why should I? They have no connections, no background, the traits come along all too easily that you can stockpile them and they have no 'wow' value.

- Armies - you cannot have an army without a general. Previous TW games enabled you to have small groups of units led by a non-detailed 'Captain'. The lack of captains prevents you from moving units from one area to another to join up with a different army without taking the whole army or designating a general as a taxi driver. Often not possible if you have multiple fronts. Armies also always tend to be huge, (perhaps as a result of no captains), this means there are no small skirmish engagements, always large battles.

- Battles still have their issues, mainly too short and often it feels like just throwing whatever unit is to hand into the fray, they can just be frantic mouse clicking sessions without being able to take time to flank, or watch units weaken against holding lines. (But, they have worked hard to fix many issues in the battles.)

- Graphics - one moment they are great, the next not so. The drawing distance seems rubbish, if you're viewing from on high it all looks jagged and rubbish. Up close, yes it is nice, but as mentioned there is often little time to enjoy this. I have spent a lot of time messing about with settings in game and through Nvidea, also tried a mod, trying to get things better, even just the lighting. But there's always something spoiling it

- The weird one year is a season set-up, best try some mods to balance that out if you can.

However the main issue I have with Rome II is that it SHOULD be good, it seems to have a lot there, but when you get into it, it just seems so hollow, it doesn't add up to the sum of its parts. Idly clicking 'end turn' waiting for your army to be big enough to attack the massive garrison, or waiting to be attacked yourself.. with nothing to look at. I found locating the elephants in Africa and listening to their trumpeting the best way to pass time. But the truth is I often ambled off and did some washing-up instead, this is not what entertainment should be!

The makers actually shot themselves in the foot with Rome II. 100 hours of my RII game-time was spent in the dark post-release days, (fiddling with settings, running benchmarks, restarting campaigns when patched, finding killer glitches) and what a criminal release it was too, but by about patch 12 (I think it was) things were relatively playable. I only stuck with this game because I have utterly adored previous Total Wars. However, during this time (8 months or so), I found two games made by Paradox, which immerse you and make you care! They made looking at a much blander map a far more rewarding and enjoyable experience, when on paper they perhaps shouldn't have. This may of course just be me, maybe I'm tired of the Total War format and you should look to reviews about those games judging them there. However, after sampling the immersive, engaging, passionate events of those, which kept me glued to the computer, Rome II simply plays like,...erm, doing the washing up as quick as you can, or alternately peeling potatoes slowly.

In fact there have been many other games of completely different genres during the time I;ve had RII which have simply provided good quality entertainment and much better value for money/time.

On a side note the marketing/PR activity around RII leaves a sour taste, this is possibly common across the industry, but from the terrible release through to seeing the official web forum remove comments that might spoil their one-sided celebration of the upcoming Attila release, all seems a little anti-free-speech. I'll be interested in seeing how TW games are in future, I hope they return to being an entertaining, engrossing challenge, but for now I fear the Total War franchise is a shadow of what it once was and to put it simply, you'll have more fun with somethign else.

* Review recommendation is based on full price (or thereabouts), if in a big sale it may be worth it to you to try, if it is dirt cheap.

** Please don't leave comments; I am tired of explaining why this game is still not recommended despite the 300 hrs playtime (i.e.of giving it a fair chance after each patch).

*** Thanks for the friend requests, however I don't accept any, no offence intended to anyone.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
449 of 575 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
420.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
This game was literally the worst when they first released it, but after several patches i got better and better and when they released the Emperor edition it became my favourite game. So i recommend this game if you like strategy, but i don't think its worth 54.99€.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2,108 of 2,847 people (74%) found this review helpful
145 people found this review funny
53.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
Rome wasn't patched in a day.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
180 of 227 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
507.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
The pros and cons as I see it (compared to other TW games) based on the campaign (single and multiplayer)

- campaign map environments are varied and atmospheric
- graphics especially in battles are beautiful
- small details such as rocks hitting walls then falling to the ground, & remaining lethal while in motion adds to the immersion
- army/navy military traditions and generals/agents traits create a satisfying long-term progression over the campaign
- The conversations and comments among soldiers during battles are amusing and add immersion

- Naval combat and boat physics is abysmal, the worst yet by far.
- Naval AI is feeble.
- Autoresolve calculations are extremely bad, making small and uninteresting battles often compulsory to play to prevent ridiculously unrealistic outcomes.
- When autoresolving, siege equipment is invariably the heaviest casualty, even on a 98% victory I have had entire units of Heavy Onagers wiped out entirely. Cavalry often suffers disproportionaly high casualties as well.
- Diplomacy is still terrible, despite what they say about improving it: nations with 1 village demanding tens of thousands of gold for a non aggression pact when you control half the game world...
- Unable to specify amounts of money in diplomatic negotiations, instead having to select a percentage of your total treasury.
- Pikemen were the one unit which actually behaved realistically upon release, moving forward relentlessly into the enemy lines and encircling cornered enemies. That has since been "fixed" and they now stand gormlessly in a dead straight line, even when "formation attack" is unticked.
- Roman legionary units fight in the same style as barbarians, with single men constantly breaking formation to have a 1v1...
- "Growth" becomes worthless after about 50 turns, whereas in all previous games it continues to be beneficial.
- Desyncs in multiplayer campaigns are not uncommon, and often void the save.
- Barbarian units are far too disciplined and tightly regimented. Essentially just reskins of helenistic or roman unit columns.
- Barbarians have access to the same siege equipment as the Romans and Greeks (with the exception of the Polybolos, which barely counts as it is the most useless of all the siege units)
- Many available buildings, such as the slave trader or wine markets, are completely redundant and offer nothing that isn't easily bested by other buildings.

Overall this game has been a major let down, and I wasn't even one of the ones who was super hyped about a Rome 2! Add to all this the constant releasing of new DLC which - even if you do not buy it - downloads automatically, rendering all mods incompatible! (but remains unavailable until you pay for the handful of half-baked reskins of pre-existing units & new menu screen that it contains)

Its not all terrible. With enough modding it does become relatively enjoyable. So as long as you are prepared to spend the time finding the right mods to address the multitudes of issues, and are willing to endure the frustration of having them periodically disabled by some new piece of unrequested DLC inviting itself into your install, then it is worth a look. Otherwise, its not a good call.

I would love to love this game, it has so much potential, but unfortunately I cannot recommend it to anyone, especially not fans of the series such as myself, as it has seriously damaged my faith in Total War.


(Update 31/01/15):
Few more cons that I didn't mention first time around (the list is so long its hard to remember them all!)

- Campaign AI is idiotic regarding threats. An enemy army garrisons a town. I move an army into the region in preparation for attack. Next turn, the enemy army has gone and the town is completely undefended. Bad AI and an opportunity for a fun siege battle ruined.

- I have never seen campaign AI recruit the top tier units for Roman or Hellenistic factions. Even 250+ turns into the game I'm fighting against armies of militia hoplites + slingers.

- Amphibious battles: AI frequently leaves one or two ships out at sea, so after killing their land forces the only way to "win" is to sit there on fast forward for the next 20 minutes while the clock ticks down.
(NB: If you have selected "Unlimited" battle time, this situation can not be won, you must quit battle and be given a defeat, or reload and autoresolve. Yup, one ship containing 10 levy freemen can defeat your force of 1000+ elite troops just by sitting at sea, doing nothing!)

- "Fast forward" in battles increases game speed by about 3%....

- Pathing for siege engines and siege-equipped ships is terrible. Instructions to shoot at targets within range often just results in the engine walking/sailing slowly towards the target, not shooting at it.

- "Fire at will" often results in many friendly casualties, as they will simply attack the nearest target regardless of its proximity to friendly units. Shogun 2 was intelligent about this and did not have this problem. Rome 2 seems to have gone backwards here...

- Cavalry frequently ignore orders to disengage from melee. Often the same order needs to be given 3-5 times before they actually attempt to escape the melee.

- Cavalry frequently ignore orders to attack. If the enemy unit begins to run from the fight, your units will make no attempt to pursue or re-engage them. This means MASSIVE micro-management of cavalry units when fighting against skirmisher or archer cavalry, as each individual unit needs to be re-instructed to attack several times throughout the battle. Failure to notice this results in your unit standing still whilst the enemy cavalry sit 20 feet away murdering them with javelins and arrows.

- Ship ramming animations look like something from a cartoon. They are truly terrible. Again, Shogun 2 did this MUCH better. Heck, even Empire had better collision effects, and that game didn't even have a ramming mechanic!

- Campaign map resources are.... a nice idea. However, one region of North Africa containing little more than sand and scrub supposedly supplies timber. Playing as Macedon, I found myself importing my timber from this North African region in order to build siege engines, despite occupying around a dozen heavily forested regions in Europe, none of which apparently had any access to timber... Nice idea, but ludicrously implemented.

Keep in mind, ALL of these issues are reported from the Emperor edition. This is all after the game has supposedly been "fixed"..! Personally, Empire TW still beats this game, even now.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
274 of 378 people (72%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
138.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
Total war: ROME II has been vastly improved from last years catastrophic release. This is the game that should have been released originally. It's not perfect but it's now a solid fun TW Rome experience, which I can finally comfortably recommend.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
256 of 358 people (72%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
139.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
Full Video Review

Revisiting the game and it's current state.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
149 of 209 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
162.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
The release of Rome Total War 2 was one of the worst in gaming history (In my experience only Assassin's Creed Unitys launch was worse), creating a huge outrage even outside the Total War community (and also some pretty funny memes).

The questions is: Is it playable after more than a year? Yes it is. Is it as good as its predecessors? Sadly, no. And while I can recommend it to you, if you're looking for a good casual strategy game, its still a huge step backwards for the franchise, And like after playing Mass Effect 3, I am afraid of what the developers are doing to my beloved franchises next.
So while it has its good aspects, I will focus mainly on the flaws of this game in this review.

The Total War series is my favorite strategy franchise, and maybe my favorite game series in general. You've got a turn based campaign map where you capture and hold cities, build up diplomatic relationships with other nations, recruit armies and so on and so forth. When it comes to battle, the game changes from the campaign to a randomly created battlefield map, where you command your troops in real time. Total War connects the "just-one-more-turn" mentality from games like Civilization with intense real time battles like in World in Conflict for instance. This formula works every time, regardless of the given time period or setting. Creative Assembly added features until 2009s Empire Total War, and with Shogun 2 they've streamlined it back to bare bones to get rid of the problematic AI, which was all over the place in Empire and Napoleon.

Rome 2 promised us an overhaul of the traditional Total War concept while bringing back the diversity of factions (Shoguns Clans all had the same units due to the Japan setting) and adding new features. They have lied to us. I still remember the moment when my legions first encountered the Scythians and their mounted archers in Rome 1. What I'm trying to say is that you had to adapt your tactics to the foe you were fighting back in the day. Now, although the skins and names are different, every nation still seems to have nearly the same roster. Barbarian swordmasters really play like a legionary cohort, they even throw javelins like them.

The biggest two problems I have with Rome 2 is that its a) even more streamlined than Shogun 2 (they've even cut out building and upgrading streets. What the ♥♥♥♥, so you're telling me that some barbarians could march as fast through their ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ woods as the mighty legions of rome on their high-tech streets?) And b), the features they've added don't work.

The best example for this problem is how they've "improved" armies and recruitment. Previously you've recruited your troops in your cities and gathered them to army stacks. Now you have a limited amount of stacks, which gets increased by your "empire level" (so even if I have the economic capability to recruit more troops, I can't do that, because my "empire level" isn't high enough? What the flying ♥♥♥♥). Those serve under a general, who materializes the troops out of thin air apparently, as long as he is marching through friendly territory. And while the RPG elements they've added to the stacks are interesting, not being able to move single or small amounts of units independent from a general breaks your strategy big time. If you want to capture a small city, you used to be able to dispatch a small force to get the job done. Here you have to use one of your huge, bigass Armies to conquer a tiny village. Or imagine a rebellion at the heart of you empire, while all your armies are fighting thousands of miles away. Normally you would recruit some units near the troublespot and eradicate the filthy rebel scum, but now you have to remove one of your armies from the front, leaving your cities near the enemy undefended cause once again, you can't recruit units in your cities, just to march all the way back and crush the rebellion. And if you want to exchange the units beetween your stacks, you have to move your entire stack to the other just to exchange one unit. I don't have to explain why this can be infuriating at times.

Now lets get to the building and campaign map. Cities are now organized in provinces with 2 to 4 of them. This really helps to overwatch and upgrade entire regions but also comes with some problems. Those are the culture spread (Syracuse for instance has a cultural impact on southern Italy because they're in a province together) that creates public discontent, and the public discontent after capturing a city in a province. For instance the people of rome get angry at you when you take a city in northern italy, because they're in the same province. Why does this happen? Why does local discontent have to have an impact on your already captured and secured cities and lead them to rebel? What the ♥♥♥♥ CA.

I could ramble on about the hundreds of minor issues and odd design decisions of Rome 2, like the train wreck politic system, the faceless randomly generated Generals that are just weak compared to the family tree system of Medieval 2 for instance, which created interesting characters that you really cared about. I could talk about how you can't even see the fight animations because battles are huge moshpits with no order or discipline whatsoever (although CA managed to patch the worst parts of these) or how it just fails to get you immersed in the time period. Or that the repeated one-line general "speeches" are a shameful display compared to the long, randomly created ones of the previous games.

But what breaks the game at the end of the day is the bare bones A.I. Total War is a single player game, period. And when you ♥♥♥♥ up the A.I. in a game that is designed for daylong sessions in front of your computer, you're doing something wrong. The A.I. was never CAs strenght, I admit that, but compared to the budget RTW2 had, the A.I. was never this incompetent. And while they fixed the worst insults displayed in the real time battles, it still seems you're playing against a brain dead infant on the campaign map. Giant enemy forces ignoring defenseless cities (garrisons are a joke), the A.I. randomly trying to form contracts with you even if they are completely useless, almost never declaring war on you (except you're playing the Seleucids, where its you against every eastern faction) and army stacks made half out of peasant slingers. And when you want to auto resolve those battles because 2000 slingers aren't worth your time, guess what. the auto resolve system is completely ♥♥♥♥ed, so you either lose or get unacceptable losses with your heavily armored legionaries accompanied by elite cavalry.

But you've gotta give it to Creative Assembly. They know they've ♥♥♥♥ed up and they've patched big times. And while everything I've mentioned is still an issue (bad design decisions can't get patched), this is pure gold compared to the release state of Rome 2. With the release of the emperor edition, this game became something worth your money.
But at the end of the day, looking at all the flaws this game has, you're better off with Medieval 2 or Rome 1.

Speaking of money, my biggest concern about Creative Assembly isn't Rome Total War 2 anymore, its their DLC ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. We're getting stoned to death by unit packs, faction DLC and additional mini campaigns, which are all right to ask money for, but please dont display a ♥♥♥♥ing button in the main menu that tells me to pay 15 ♥♥♥♥ING BUCKS for three uninteresting factions from the black sea. Again, the units are all reskins of the same 10 or so unit types, so why even bother when there are mods that make ALL FACTIONS AVAILABLE. I understand you don't have to buy these DLCs, but they lack quality and are way way overpriced. If they released a single, huge faction pack with 40 or 50 completely new units for 30 bugs, I would buy it. But the bombardment with lazy ♥♥♥ pay 15-bucks-for-three-more-dull-factions "expansions" is unacceptable and infuriating.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
482 of 751 people (64%) found this review helpful
40 people found this review funny
277.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2014
I would say that this is like getting a Vietnamese tranny and a female hockey player to tie you up, put a plastic bag over your head and punch your balls until you come. Some people enjoy it, some people don't.

I know I do.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
193 of 292 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
219.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
With the release of Emperor Edition, Total War: ROME II has finally launched the game they meant to make back in 2013, a full year ago. What this means is ROME II no longer has fatal bugs, crashes, humorously rendered faces, poorly designed building trees, poorly designed tech trees, or painful wait times between turns. The bugs are gone, the polish is there, it is safe to say this is a completed game.

This might be too long for people, so I'll put my final thoughts here and then if you wish you can read the justification for them below:

Rome 2 is more of a management game than a strategy game. There are very few strategic descisions to be made in this game after 30 turns into a campaign. You simply build buildings, train troops, give movement orders, and upgrade generals because if you don't the game gives you a pop up telling you what you forgot to do. There's a shameful lack of interesting battles to be fought, and it hardly matters what buildings you choose to upgrade or build, and it certainly doesn't matter what general traits you choose. So you click the buttons to get the pop ups to go away, and eventually you start wondering why you started the game up in the first place, because there's no game to be had here.

I'll start with the Campaign.

The map is pretty, but a pain to navigate when your empire is large, as the camera does not zoom out enough on the main screen, forcing you to go into 'strategic mode' and double click and have the game zip the camera over there. Despite there being several views of the map: the normal camera, the strategic map, and the diplomatic map (the latter of the two having options to change different overlays) there is still no good way to get a picture of what is going on in your empire. The Strategic map will show you the position of your armies and enemy armies, but it doesn't tell you how big the armies are, or how much movement they have left. So when you see an enemy flag in your territory, you still have to zoom your camera over there to see if its a full army or one of the small, threatless stacks the AI likes to create.

On the campaign you will develope your cities and move your armies. The UI for these functions is minimalistic with lots of tool tips that pop up. This allows you to get a good look at the graphics, and a poor look at what the buildings do and what affects are on your armies and generals. To compare two different buildings you have to hover over one, wait for the tool tip, memorize the stats then hover over another, wait for the tool tip and mentaly compare the stats of the first option. There is no side by side view, or a list of effects or anything. This leaves you mousing back and forth frequently trying to pick which building you want. The buildings themselves often offer small percentage bonuses to one type of income (cultural for example) and cost food. Thus one must balance their food and food-demanding buildings appropriately. This is an ok mechanic. It's not great, but it's something to break up the monotony or the linear upgrades of other Total War titles. However once you have a large empire, it is very easy to lose interest in min-maxing your buildings, because you end up conquering so many cities so quickly that you always have food and you always have money, so balancing the economy and food tends to go away at a certain size. The technology tree feels rather pointless and linear. It provides either a flat bonus to troops (like upkeep, movement speed, or combat effectiveness) and access to buildings which allow higher teir troops to be trained. This mechanic is hollow. It primarily serves to gateway what troops are available at what times of the game, because the flat bonuses are small and inconsequential. Some of the religious buildings will increase your research rate by a small amount, but the technology tree still fees shallow and arbitrary. In Rome 1 units were gated by buildings, and occasionally (in the case of Roman legionaries) the date. This functioned better, and was more transparent, which allowed for better planning.

I like the feature of generals and armies leveling up, but they get too many bonuses and they seem so small and unnoticeable. This leaves me clicking one at random and not really caring, similar to buildings.

Other aspects of the campaign map are simmilar enough to the other Total Wars that I can't expect anything more or less from them.

On to the battles.

Battles are pretty. There's plenty of nice effects that let you see your army of antiquity on the battlefield in high fidelity. However, due to the nature of Total War AI (which is SLIGHTLY improved in Rome 2) the battles are boring. As long as you line your men up to face the enemy properly and prevent any sad attempts the AI makes at flanking you, you'll probably win. This is a problem because the battles are supposed to be the best part. That's where they spent all the money, right? Right?

The unit variety is nice, and I could complain about the way pikemen don't really feel like pikemen, and that the difference between heavy cav and light cav is very minimal, but there's no point, because it takes a special kind of idiot to lose to a Total War AI. I haven't played much multiplayer, I presume the battles are decently interesting when they're both controlled by a human.


There's a mysterious and unfortunate paradox to the Total War series. If you are playing correctly on the strategy map, you would make sure you have the highest chance to win a battle as you possibly could. This means that most of the battles you fight you will have overwhelming odds and you can auto resolve them with 95% of your army remaining. Fighting it out would be boring, and you probably wouldn't save that many casualties commanding yourself so what's the point? This means that there's a small 20-30 turn window at the start of a game where you actually fight the battles because you only have one or two armies and you need to put them in 'risky' situations. And since in a fair fight you will always defeat the AI you win those risky situations. But once you're large enough you tend not to fight battles, and just auto resolve as you blob over the entire map. Which leads me to the short sampler from the top of the page.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
60 of 80 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
660.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
If you're willing to play with DeI or another overhaul mod, the game is worth an upvote and can actually be fun to play, but this review is for the base game, which is underwhelming even post Emperor Edition release.
First and foremost, only the first couple of turns - depending on the starting faction between 10 and 30 - feel like an actual challenge, even when playing on legendary. This is caused by the fact that the campaign map is simply to big. It takes conquering 3 or 4 nations to become the largest faction on the map and once that happens, the rest is simply a matter of time. If you get past that, the only potential problem might be the infamous civil war.
Civil war was a bad mechanic at the time of release, and Emperor Edition has somehow managed to make it even more annoying. It simply punishes the players for making progress by randomly turning parts of their territory and armies against them, unless they bother doing lots of micromanagement within the faction politics system, which is boring and requires putting some aspects of character development (political traits) outside players control. I recommend using a mod that disables it altogether and hoping that Creative Assembly will finally stop adding punishing mechanics that try to emulate an actual challenge to their games - realm divide in Shogun II and civil war in Rome II have set up a bad trend, and I don't want it to be continued in Attila.
In my opinion, too many buildings give happiness penalty from squalor when upgraded. It's neither a good gameplay concept nor a realistic situation, unless people living back then had nothing better to do than riot because someone in their province was farming cattle with clearly nefarious intent.
The battle AI got better since release, but it can still be exploited, for example some barbarian coastal settlement maps have areas that AI never enters unless you lure its units there by coming close and then retreating inside them slowly, allowing to safely murder it with ranged troops. Siege battles haven't really gotten much harder in my opinion. Previously all you needed to do in order to win them was place a single unit of pikemen in pike phalanx behind the gate. Now you just block the stairways and towers on the wall section the AI is attacking, which will force a fight on the wall. This has the advantage of making your units pretty much immune to slingers and javelinmen - throwing stones and javelins up the walls doesn't really work, whereas a unit waiting behind the gate could still be hit - while also allowing your towers to score a lot of kills. The AI still mostly attempts to attack instantly instead of waiting for a few turns, except in certain settlements, such as Pulpedeva, where it will usually try to besiege.
The factions are diverse when it comes to troop rosters, but they're still lacking balance. Armored elephants can easily destroy several units and depending on troop composition sometimes entire armies by themselves. This is offset by the fact that they require completing one of the military research lines to recruit, so normally you can't get them early on. Except if your faction can use them as general bodyguards, in which case you can get them at turn one. Sword infantry in general is also pretty underwhelming, which makes Rome itself a not-so-good faction. Basic barbarian units have morale horrible enough to make them route from being sneezed at and barbarian cities have pretty much zero defensive capabilities when compared to 'civilised' factions. The wooden towers at barbarian city gates also tend to burn one another with their own arrows if the attackers come from certain directions.
When it comes to diplomacy, AI has some major issues when it comes to anything client state or satrapy related. Your allies will often declare wars against them, forcing you to either break the allience or lose the client state/satrapy. This happens because your allies will hate your vassals for having past wars with you, trespassing on your territories and agent actions against you. It also seems that other faction don't acknowledge resources produced in settlements that are being upgraded. Even if you have several settlements that produce a single type of resource, if you're upgrading just one of them then the chance to get the AI to trade with you will go down. This tends to only be noticeable at the beginning of campaigns though.
The agents in general are far too strong. An experienced spy is especially broken, as he can can reliably kill over half of an army with a single poisoning.
There are several major issues with the battle system.
Firstly, AI troops (not whole units) will always turn to face the player cavalry charge. This is especially annoying when you try to charge at spearmen who are currently engaging your own infantry in the rear. You will notice that before your cavalry hits them, the last row of the spearmen will turn towards it, causing some extra casualties. This can be avoided by ordering the cavalry to run in the direction of the unit and only make them attack at the very last moment, and this only occurs when player does this to the AI, never the other way around.
Secondly, flanking penalties are applied too often. Sometimes a single soldier will awkwardly move too far to the left or right, giving the opposing unit a morale penalty for being flanked.
Thirdly, all the AI does in battles is ram your battle line with 2-3 large blobs of units, while also attacking your flanks with cavalry - even if the flanks consist of spearmen turned to face them or horse archers/skirmishers.
Fourthly, giving active abilities to pretty much every single unit is annoying and is nothing more than a micromanagement nightmare that doesn't really increase the complexity of the game, since most of them have no drawbacks and should simply be used as soon as possible.
Lastly, the points where reinforcements enter the battle are somewhat random. It's perfectly possible to have enemy reinforcements pop up behind you and vice versa, regardless of campaign map placement.
My last concern lies with the DLC. There's more of it than it was in previous total war games, and most of it also costs more than before. In the main campaign, only 14 of the 32 playable factions are available without the DLC, which to me feels downright insulting.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
189 of 293 people (65%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
failed the prologue
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
283 of 448 people (63%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
994.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2014
My life has disappeared
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
179 of 283 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
898.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Even though several communities hate on this game, I have almost 1,000 hours on it and the modding community for this game is just another jewel. Great game with variated campaigns, strongly recommended
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
76 of 111 people (68%) found this review helpful
105.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
when i went to play a historical battle and saw "Purchase" instead of "Play" on nearly all of them, i immediately regretted buying this
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
247 of 403 people (61%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
57.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
" How far will you go for DLCs ? "
DLCs Total War
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
61 of 88 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
23.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
If you want to have everything that should be in a $50 game then you'll have to pay $167.86 without sales.

money hungry ♥♥♥♥♥s...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
56 of 84 people (67%) found this review helpful
176.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Where to start with Rome 2..? Well, it looks nice I guess, but promised way too much. If you're coming to this from Rome: Total War then you'll notice a lot that is different and not so much in a good way. The game is literally still riddled with game breaking bugs 1 year from release, even after hefty patching that seems to have just covered up an otherwise sinking boat. AI that doesn't know how to siege your settlements, the game engine itself struggling to cope with 2 full armies on the field at once resulting in a perfect FPS on your part but the units in-game moving in a stuttering motion being just one bug that's been there from release and has yet to be fixed, The huge battles take such a toll on your system even though on paper your machine should be able to smash this game, leaving you feeling bitter for the price you've had to pay for a series that keeps letting it's fans down but lying to them to get their money again.
There are a few interesting features like on the campaign map how you have to deal with dilemma's in your empire, I like that, makes you feel like your involved with you populace on a personal level. There is a large unit variety which is nice but after a certain point, if you're not playing as Rome, your empires tech just stops which has also been a problem in previous Total War titles, for example. Rome has a meagre power in your game but they can still happen upon the tech for their heavily armoured and well trained legions yet if you're playing as another faction then a few upgrades later is all you're going to get.
There is too much that is wrong with this game and I've found that contradicting something the Creative Assembly has said gets you insta-hate from their fanboys which is a constant on the forums or blocked entirely from saying anything constructive about the game at all. With a mix of bad customer service, bare-faced lying to their customers and combined with a broken game, this Total War game isn't worth your attention unless it's on sale for a very low price.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
90 of 152 people (59%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
54.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
I once hated it, and reviewed it as such back in february. Long story short I have officially erased that review to replace it with a positive one. Good Job CA you deserve all the praise you can get. It's not perfect, and it's not my favorite title in the series, But you've made it right by me, and as someone who preordered, defended its launch, then got fed up and bashed-- I can only praise the fact that you did not leave it in the state it was in and jumped through hoops to make it right as you could.

I think at the very least we can simply forgive the past, and play the game. Just please don't do it again, boys.

Is this game the best in the series? No.
Is this game better than the original ROME? as far as I'm concerned they can't even be compared.
Is this game perfect? No.
Is it fun? yes
Do I recommend it as a TW-veteran that's played these games since my age only had one-digit? Yes, Yes I do.

I still say it's geared to the more casual-player, but honestly thats a really hard position to defend. If you like Total War you will get good gameplay out of this. If you've never played total war this is a good one to start with in my opinion.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny